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[跨文化]:老外笑我听不懂 我笑老外笑点低

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admin 发表于 2015-12-21 16:41:16 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

Students struggle with jokes
老外笑我听不懂,我笑老外笑点低

It is beyond awkward when everyone around you bursts out laughing at a joke that you do not find funny, especially if it’s a joke told in a foreign language.
世间最尴尬的事莫过于周围的人都被段子(笑话)逗得哄堂大笑,只有你还没发现笑点。如果这段子是用外语讲的,那么尴尬值增加一万点。

While Chinese students find it easy to adapt to a foreign lifestyle, socializing with locals is much harder, according to a recent study. Researchers looked at how well Chinese students integrated into communities across the world. Of all the activities they struggled with, understanding jokes was considered the toughest.
最近一项研究发现,中国学生很容易适应国外的生活方式,但和老外打交道就没那么简单了。研究者对中国留学生如何融入世界各地群体进行了分析。在留学生面对的所有问题中,理解笑话被认为是最难的。

Most of the time, jokes are funny only for people who share a common cultural background or perceive humor in the same way.
多数情况下,笑话只有在文化背景相同或幽默感知方式相近的人中间才有笑果。

Chinese-American comedian Joe Wong found this out first-hand. He had achieved huge success doing stand-up comedy in the US, but when he returned to China in 2008 for his first live gig in Beijing, he discovered that humor doesn’t translate. People didn’t think his Chinese jokes were as funny as his English ones, the Global Times reported.
美籍华裔脱口秀主持人黄西对此感同身受。他在美国脱口秀节目中一炮而红,不过2008年,当他回到中国在北京开第一场现场脱口秀时,他发现幽默是无法被翻译的。《环球时报》报道说,大家觉得他的英语段子比中文的有趣。

Being able to understand local jokes can help students feel a sense of belonging. But even without the ability to understand jokes, students should not feel any less confident about themselves.
理解当地人的笑话能让留学生更有归属感。不过就算听不懂老外的笑话,也不必丧失自信。

“It’s OK if you don’t get the jokes. Don’t doubt yourself [because] a lot of the times, it is not a problem of language ability; it’s a matter of the known and unknown,” said Christine Han, who was once an overseas student and is now an Australian permanent resident.
曾在澳洲留学、现在是澳大利亚永久居民的克莉丝汀•韩说:“理解不了笑话也没关系。不必自我怀疑,(因为)这不是语言能力的问题;这是知道就知道,不知道就不知道的事儿。”

Australian humor
澳式幽默

The fact that Australia is called “Down Under” is funny by itself. Australia is ready-made for jokes, thanks to its history as a colony for convicts, its peculiar accent, the Outback and its strange cuisine. However, to most Chinese overseas students, understanding jokes about sports is the biggest headache.
事实上,澳大利亚的别称“在南方的下面”( 英语里北为up,南为down,澳大利亚在旧大陆的南边)本身就很有趣。它曾是流放犯人的殖民地,它的古怪口音,它的内陆和奇葩菜肴,都让澳大利亚的笑话俯拾皆是。不过对大多数中国留学生来说,最头疼的还是理解和体育有关的笑话。

“The hardest jokes are related to rugby because I know nothing about rugby,” said Melody Cao, who was once a student in Australia. “When I heard jokes I didn’t get, I just laughed along.”
“最难懂的笑话是和橄榄球有关的,因为我对橄榄球一无所知,”曾在澳洲留学的梅洛迪•曹说。“当我听不懂笑话时,我就跟着大家一起笑。”

Sport is an important part of Australian national identity. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 16 percent (2.8 million) of the population aged 15 years and over watched Australian football in 2010. About 9 percent (1.6 million) attended a rugby league game.
体育是澳大利亚民族认同的重要部分。据澳大利亚统计局数据,全国15岁及以上人口中有16%(约280万)观看了2010年的澳式足球赛,9%(约160万)参加过橄榄球联赛。

The rugby jokes are usually about how immature and dumb rugby players are, like in these two dialogues:
橄榄球的段子常常拿那些水平欠佳,不太灵光的球员开涮, 比如下面两段对话:

A: “Why don’t rugby players have mid-life crises?”
A:“为什么橄榄球运动员没有中年危机?”

B: “They stay stuck in adolescence.”
B:“因为他们被困在了青春期。”

A: “Why do rugby players like smart women?”
A:“为什么橄榄球运动员喜欢精明的女人?”

B: “Opposites attract.”
B:“因为异性相吸。”

British humor vs American humor
英式幽默vs 美式幽默

British actor and comedian Simon Pegg discussed the differences between British and American sense of humor in a column for The Guardian. He believes that while Brits use irony on a daily basis, the Americans do not see the point of using it so frequently. He wrote: “British jokes, on the other hand, tend to be more subtle with a dark or sarcastic undertone... the [American] jokes are more obvious and forward, a bit like Americans themselves.”
英国喜剧演员西蒙•佩吉曾在《卫报》专栏探讨过英式和美式幽默的区别。他认为英国人每天都会用反讽的幽默,而美国人用的却不是很多。他写道:“换句话说,英式笑话更隐晦,伴有黑色和讽刺的潜台词……而美式笑话更明显、直白,和美国人的个性很像。”

Pegg illustrated his point by transcribing a joke he heard a British friend make, in the wake of family tragedy.
佩吉转述了他从英国朋友那听到的一个笑话,调侃的是一出家庭悲剧。

A: “I had to go to my granddad’s funeral last week.”
A:“上周我去参加了我爷爷的葬礼。”

B: “Sorry to hear that.”
B:“节哀顺变。”

A: “Don’t be. It was the first time he ever paid for the drinks.”
A:“别这么说。这可是他第一次掏钱买喝的。”

In her book Watching the English – the Hidden Rules of English Behavior, Kate Fox, a British social anthropologist, describes her country’s humor rules. She argues that irony, understatement and self-depreciation are ingrained in the English mindset. “Humor is our ‘default mode’... We do not have to switch it on deliberately, and we cannot switch it off,” wrote Fox.
社会人类学家凯特•福克斯在她的书《英国人的言行潜规则》中描述了英国的幽默方式。她认为,讽刺、轻描淡写和自黑是英国人骨子里根深蒂固的东西。她写道:“幽默是我们的‘默认模式’……我们不必刻意启动它,当然也不能关掉它。”

“American humor is more straightforward like the punchlines in the famous TV show Friends,” an Internet user named “Zac” wrote on Zhihu. “You burst out laughing immediately when you watch American humor, and then you forget about it quite quickly, but it takes time to digest English humor, and it may be funnier when you reminisce about it.”
知乎网友Zac说:“美式幽默一般直白、浅显,如《老友记》的笑料。”“美式笑料属于当场大笑,笑过就忘,而英式幽默属于细嚼慢咽型,回味或许比看的当下更觉得好笑。”


BY Amberille from 21st Century
Published 2015-11-18
Source:《21世纪英文报》1129期


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