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 3)
on Feb 20, 2013



British humour...from THE Master...

 

I don't get what's funny about it 

 

But people find different things funny.

on Feb 20, 2013

Campaigner
I don't get what's funny about it

You're clearly not English.... .... Spell checker

on Feb 20, 2013

Campaigner
I don't get what's funny about it



But people find different things funny.

You need to serve your Bringlish humour apprenticeship.

Then you'd find it funny.

You're clearly not English.

Ah, but I clearly am.  And Marty Feldman was sheer genius, one of the best ever British comedians.

Sadly, his tenure on Terra Firma was shortened by an untimely and premature death. [e digicons]:'([/e]

on Feb 20, 2013



British humour...from THE Master...

HAHAHAHA!!!! Brilliant.

starkers
Sadly, his tenure on Terra Firma was shortened by an untimely and premature death.

Indeed. Never call for an ambulance in Mexico City. It never came.

on Feb 20, 2013

The reverse is also true. I look at US sitcoms, there's lots of laughter on screen, but I just sit there with a blank look...

 

OK, I have a blank look most of the time, this is just more blank. It makes my brain hurt...

on Feb 20, 2013

Fuzzy Logic
The reverse is also true. I look at US sitcoms, there's lots of laughter on screen, but I just sit there with a blank look...

Yeah, I'm pretty much the same.  Most US comedies fail to impress me.  I may appear to laugh but actually it's an involuntary reaction I had developed after one of my exes frightened shit out of me.  Yeah, we were doing about 80mph along the highway between Townsville and Home Hill in Nth Queensland when she screamed: "We got no fucking brakes!!!!!"  The bitch!! 

It was a lie, but I went 10 shades of ghostly white and suddenly remembered the joke about Admiral Nelson calling for his red battle jacket to hide the blood when he was informed 5 French frigates had appeared on the port side... and for his brown corduroy trousers when the lookout up in the birdsnest announced another 100 French frigates had appeared on the starboard side. 

Luckily, I was wearing my brown corduroy trousers that day.

on Feb 20, 2013

So it all blended in quite well I take it. BTW....I may not be English but Marty Feldman always cracked me up. Those eyes. They always looked as though they were going to pop out of his head.

on Feb 21, 2013

So it all blended in quite well I take it.

Yeah, and I only forgave her when she pulled over, cupped my head in her hands and pulled my face into her ample bosom.

Coulda stayed there all day but we were still 1200kms from home.

on Feb 22, 2013

can we come and visit?

on Mar 08, 2013
Context is just about everything with humor and translation. When I was taking Geology 101 back in the 70's, we had a TA from "England." He told us how difficult "Yankee" English is for him. He shared what he said was a true story: He was arraigning a group hike to go look at some fossil beds. He told the assistant that he would "knock her up at < I forget time>." She looked aghast. Seems that in merry 'ol England, "ringing" / "knocking" someone "up" means calling them on the phone / knocking on their door. Slight translation problem. Did he ever learn to park in driveways, and drive in parkways? Who knows. Some English/American-ism: Sidewalk = pavement. Lift = elevator. bathroom = loo. Auto: boot = trunk. Many more I am sure. I live on the Canadian border so here are a few Canadian/American -ism: Highway = route (as in route 66), serviette = napkin, AND napkin = kotex. Washroom = bathroom. Churchill said, "England and America are to great separated by a common language. If people who speak a common language can so easily mis-understand one another, just imagine the breadth of confusion (and opportunities for mischief) inherent in speakers of an other language. @starkers Is it true? Oz beer is making room for lemonade? Please tell me it's not true!
on Mar 08, 2013

starkers
So the TV/entertainment lounge is out of the question, then?

 

on Mar 08, 2013

ElanaAhova
Context is just about everything with humor and translation. When I was taking Geology 101 back in the 70's, we had a TA from "England." He told us how difficult "Yankee" English is for him. He shared what he said was a true story: He was arraigning a group hike to go look at some fossil beds. He told the assistant that he would "knock her up at < I forget time>." She looked aghast. Seems that in merry 'ol England, "ringing" / "knocking" someone "up" means calling them on the phone / knocking on their door. Slight translation problem. Did he ever learn to park in driveways, and drive in parkways? Who knows.
Some English/American-ism: Sidewalk = pavement. Lift = elevator. bathroom = loo. Auto: boot = trunk. Many more I am sure.

I live on the Canadian border so here are a few Canadian/American -ism: Highway = route (as in route 66), serviette = napkin, AND napkin = kotex. Washroom = bathroom.

Churchill said, "England and America are to great separated by a common language. If people who speak a common language can so easily mis-understand one another, just imagine the breadth of confusion (and opportunities for mischief) inherent in speakers of an other language.

@starkers Is it true? Oz beer is making room for lemonade? Please tell me it's not true!

Oh there's a heck of a lot more of 'em than that.

In some parts of the world 'Durex' is a proprietary and also generic name for 'sticky tape' [adhesive tape] and in other parts it's the same thing...except it's a brand of Condom.

Confusion could lead to some er...sticky situations....

on Mar 09, 2013

Yeah, Sellotape isn't so good as a contraceptive

Though duct tape would work if women sealed their [censored] with it...

on Mar 09, 2013

Ah...but an Aspro is quite efficient as a contraceptive....the woman just has to hold one between her knees...

on Mar 09, 2013

ElanaAhova
@starkers Is it true? Oz beer is making room for lemonade? Please tell me it's not true!

Yes, I put a splash of lemonade in my [mid-strength] beer... just a small one.  I don't drink for the alcoholic buzz anymore, it's purely for the taste as I do not like soft drink [soda] that much... too sweet.

Fuzzy Logic
Though duct tape would work if women sealed their [censored] with it...

Now that's not nice.... besides, makes it hard to re-use with all that darned hair on it.

S'pose it works out cheaper than waxing, though.

Ah...but an Aspro is quite efficient as a contraceptive....the woman just has to hold one between her knees..

Reminds me of the time I asked my daughter for 20c prior to her going on a date.  She asked why and I told her that I was going to Araldite it between her knees.

While on the subject of contraceptives, this bloke, throughout 25 years of marriage, insisted of making love to his wife with the lights off.... until one night when she turned on the bedside lamp and discovered he had used a condom-covered dildo.  "Please explain!!!", she shrieked.

"I will", he snorted: "after you explain the kids."

An effective form of contraception one of my exes insisted on was the rhythm method. 

Whenever I felt like it she'd hand me a guitar.

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