Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on February 18, 2013 By Draginol In Personal Computing

I sometimes wonder how many misunderstandings occur online due to people who don’t speak English as their native language interpreting dry humor as literal statements. 

I recently saw on a forum a discussion that quoted banter back and forth between myself and our PR rep. It goes something like this:

PR Rep: Got a 4.5 out of 5 on Game X!

Me: Oh no! That’ll wreck the Metacritic score – we want it to end up at 79. High enough for sales but low enough so we don’t have to give bonuses!

PR Rep: Stop! What is wrong with you?

Me: Same thing as when I had that case of Tourette's Syndrome

The dry humor part is the infamous rumor/fact that studios won’t get bonuses if the metacritic score is less than 80. But on the forum I saw, they were taking these statements literally. But the people doing so didn’t speak English as their first language.

Obviously, it’s possible they’re just…you know…dumb. But I wonder how much is lost in translation.


Comments (Page 1)
on Feb 18, 2013

Uhmmmmmmm...OK Brad.

on Feb 18, 2013

I only speak English so I don't know how other cultures interpret implied humor. I'd probably go with the "They're dumb" path.

on Feb 18, 2013

LightStar
Uhmmmmmmm...OK Brad.

Why, do you have another theory?

on Feb 18, 2013

But I wonder how much is lost in translation.

It didn't need to be translated for me to get lost. 

on Feb 18, 2013

They're making fun of the way the major studios are notorious for hinging bonuses on a particular metacritic score.

Unless you're into gaming, it probably doesn't make any sense. But apparently some people took the conversation literally. The internets are full of people looking to be offended.

 

on Feb 18, 2013

PR Rep: Got a 4.5 out of 5 on Game X!

Me: Oh no! That’ll wreck the Metacritic score – we want it to end up at 79. High enough for sales but low enough so we don’t have to give bonuses!

PR Rep: Stop! What is wrong with you?

Me: Same thing as when I had that case of Tourette's Syndrome

Maybe it's just me but that's pretty damn funny.

I'd say that sometimes it just goes over thier heads.

on Feb 18, 2013

Here's one that got people so riled up we had to delete a bunch of comments:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPc9Z2Dn94U

And there's various forums where they talk about how horrible this was.

on Feb 18, 2013

I could never understand English humor. For some reason it seems a bit...........meh.

on Feb 18, 2013

Frogboy

Quoting LightStar, reply 1Uhmmmmmmm...OK Brad.

Why, do you have another theory?

 

Nope, I just have absolutely no idea what you are talking about is all.

on Feb 18, 2013

But I wonder how much is lost in translation

We even had a drama over here during the Australian Open [tennis]....one commentator [obviously an Aussie] said about one of the players... "he must be buggered..." [after 3+ hours of match]

In Oz that means....'stuffed'....'knackered'...'worn out'...'tired'....

But some twit claimed it wasn't appropriate .... something about sexual preferences.....

...

 

Yes, a lot is lost in translation...

on Feb 18, 2013

Doesn't take people of different langages though. Most of inter-human communication is mutual misunderstanding (potential for misunderstanding internet > voice-only > face to face in group > face to face with 2 people talking). From someone with a few years in sales / customer support...
Sender of the message usually is liable for making sure being understood though. Since he / she has to foot the bill usually. Something oft misunderstood by my more technically minded collegues...
Men ain't wired to understand. Just to communicate.
Grave error to see the stupidity on part of the receiver if the sender has to cope with the damage / results.
Still feels silly how riled up / feeling entitled people can become at other people they don't know over something rather innocent even if taken literally (on an emotional level. cold analysis yields the above).
From a non-english native if something is hard to grasp.

PS: Very much liking british humor myself.

on Feb 18, 2013

I could never understand English humor. For some reason it seems a bit...........meh.

on Feb 18, 2013

Frogboy
And there's various forums where they talk about how horrible this was.
And then there was that Porsche parking incident.....

on Feb 18, 2013

Wizard1956
And then there was that Porsche parking incident.....

"Don't mention the war....

I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it."...

on Feb 19, 2013

 

"Don't mention the war...."

John Cleese at his best. That was dead funny, even for a German.

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