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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

What is your sense of humour?

It's clear that different nations have different humours, and that they are not always mutually intelligible.

For instance in France, we have an absurd humour, like the British (but less deep), and some people have a college humour (mainly scatological, Rabelais country after all), and there are also a weird sense of humour where people think we are naughty or impolite, we love tease each other, but it's called pince-sans-rire (I think it's typically French), and self-derision (like Jewish humour), and I noticed that nobody understand this kind of humour (teasing + self-derision + pince-sans-rire), except the French.

Some people think, according to ethnic clichés, that some nations have no sense of humour, for instance the nations reputed to be well organized and rigorous.

Mr Rude
On the picture above: Typical example of self-derision

So, how is your national humour?

November 4, 2019

95 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArcticKatRina

I grew up in the USA. I watched a lot of TV (more than I’d like to admit).

I grew up watching some late-night talk shows, Saturday Night Live… Seinfeld….

Seinfeld and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart sort of made me fond of Jewish humor, I guess. I’m curious about studying Yiddish.

The nerdy part of me really enjoys puns. They’re best served deadpan.

• If a lawyer speaks for too long there will be an extended sentence.

• Oil executives are always using crude language.

• What is the difference between a raven and a crow? A raven has six pinions on each wing, and a crow has five pinions on each wing. So it’s a matter of a pinion.

Japanese is full of homonyms, so it’s ripe with wordplay. “Arumi kan ni aru mikan.” (Orange in aluminum can.) … (It just sounds better in Japanese).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Same here. But my TV fare was a little bit before your time. Until I was about 7 or 8, I grew up with radio. When TV's came out, all tiny screen black and white, our family watched Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners, Doris Day Show, Milton Berle Show (I learned to steal jokes from him), and for me during the day, it was Ramar of the Jungle, Captain Midnight, Chief Halftown, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SecretlyAnElf

Did you hear about the Eskimo who was stabbed by an icicle? He died of cold cuts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tembo441

Sense of humour?

I can confirm that at least 50% of Duolingo forum users don't have one. Which is a pity.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piotrekzet

So let's say that almost 50% users have one. Sounds much better, isn't it? ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DJrossonwye

I like your positive attitude. Marvellous. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Figuring out humor is sometimes difficult. All I know is I live for two reasons:

  1. I was born.

  2. I haven't died yet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tembo441

re: 2.

Are you sure?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Oh, no, my joke died...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Tembo - I've given you three yabba dabba do's ;-) Mine? Dry, ironic, British. Raised to survive the wit of an hilarious father and brother (now fondly remembered) sarcasm was my survival kit, and possibly still is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WitlessBittern

I don't have a sense of humour but I do have a sense of humor.

I've always been entertained by the extra U's in non-American English; no matter how much exposure I get I still mentally read it as humower, colower, labower, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

The worst is 'chuuurchyard', so spelt because they tend to have lots of yews, many of which are considerably older then the Nited States of America as a contry, let alone the gilty party in their pilferage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OhhShoot_A_Rat

Literally almost no one has a sense of humor on here. Like I'm sure people got offended at this comment


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannibal-Barkas

I am a German. I have no sense of humor - unless someone issued an order to have one. If I had one, it would be black and dry. I would like the Pythons, Blackadder and John Oliver.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Be funny! Right now!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannibal-Barkas

Two toothpicks go up a hill. Then they see a hedgehog. Says one toothpick to the other: Did you know there's a bus service up here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vu7xENbj

"Ein Bus mit Spitzentechnologie"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vetyr_Cylni

That’s a good one!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GingerSnap04

This cracked me up! Thanks for sharing!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

I don't get it...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vetyr_Cylni

Hedgehogs have needle like spikes, like a toothpick. The toothpick was asking if there was bus service because it looked liked there were other toothpick there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

I think my downvote was due to my humor fail, I got it and just said that to be goofy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SecretlyAnElf

Now that's funny.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KwanLowe

What did you think of: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2hwqqd

I have run it through a sentiment analysis algorithm and have determined it to be humorous.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jon786634

Lol. Now that’s funny.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abioseston

I have a dry sense of humor. People take me seriously way too often no matter if they are from France, Poland or Germany (I usually find out later after they don't accept my FB friend request)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MedusasKimono

Fantastic! I have a dry sense of humour as well (:


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Can humor be wet?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeff261178

Sponge Bob Squarepants says it can


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Excellent reply. I didn't think anyone could come up with anything and you nailed it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ARCANA-MVSA

Of course, when the ocean waves. :P

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Another excellent reply.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SmashCookie

Interesting topic.

I think Mexicans have a self deprecating sense of humor we use a lot of cliches and stereotypes from our society in our jokes and like the parodies of many aspects of our life.

We like to laugh about absurd or exaggerated missconducts that often have to do with forbidden topics like drugs-alcohol, perverted harrassment, flamboyant homosexuality but also with irresponsability, Mexican wit or the ridiculous things we're -not totally ironically- proud of . The memes became a really popular way to convey our humor, they tend to be raunchier than English memes from what I've seen. We tend to friendly tease eachother too.

Other thing we use are the double entendres with sexual allusions called albures, I think French people use double meaning too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SmashCookie

As for me you know I'm your cringiest edgelord and enjoy other people's suffering.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Vietnamese have those double entendres. There is one involving pen and ink.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ARCANA-MVSA

Well, I've been having fun learning my languages with and through silly puns and witty one-liners, which is pretty much how my humor runs ... together with a healthy dose of irony. I love playing with words, and since I've got so many of them, well, why not? :P

I've got no idea what the national humor is like. Every time I ask, people just look at me and say, "Funny."

Maybe that says enough.

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DJrossonwye

I believe the British have always used irony to stay more or less sane - it is often used to make a point without making a big fuss.

When ironic humour is used to point out the absurdities in life, it reassures us that other people have at least noticed those absurdities. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tembo441

Sane? ha ha ha ha ha


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

I have heard funny remarks that if something is really a big deal, the phrase sounds like it is tiny, and the reverse.

Edit: Reminds me of Monty Python bit where King Arthur hacks off the arm of the Black Night who still wants to fight. King Arthur remarks he lost his arm to which the Night retorts, "Tis but a flesh wound."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Multi_Fandom_

In English, we usually tend to enjoy dark humor. Not saying it's a good thing though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Working in the child protective services field, we had to deal with a lot of unimaginable harm to child on a daily basis. We developed "gallows humor", the darkest of the darkest humor, to deal with the stress. I won't share any but I have a great quote of an example from Douglas Adams in his book Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:

“So this is it," said Arthur, "We are going to die."

"Yes," said Ford, "except... no! Wait a minute!" He suddenly lunged across the chamber at something behind Arthur's line of vision. "What's this switch?" he cried.

"What? Where?" cried Arthur, twisting round.

"No, I was only fooling," said Ford, "we are going to die after all.” ―


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

Imho, there is a Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett quote for every situation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SecretlyAnElf

I love this. Also this quote from the same scene;"It's at times like this that I wish I had listened to my mother's advice."

"what was her advice?"

" I don't know. I didn't listen." not direct quote. sorry


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Every cigarette you smoke takes seven minutes off your student loan debt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kayla383602

I literally laughed so hard.. I think i know what my sense of humor is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uh_oh_stinky_

yea tbh a lot of middle schoolers enjoy dark humor including myself which yes is not a good thing but i mean its still funny


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndresGarner

Me (U.S) - My favorite humor is sarcasm I also like funny sketches where there is a hidden camera and someone weirds out strangers, I also like some dry humor.

Latino humor is funny as well, but it is hard to explain.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

Ivo Hollander from Brazil had some of the craziest sketches ever. Made me scared that if I ever traveled to Brazil I could get caught up in one of those crazy pranks. There was one sketch where a long line of people were waiting in line to exchange their small propane gas tanks. He waltzes up to the front of the line with his tank, making people angry telling him to get at the end of the line. He spends a few minutes arguing with them then walks away and returns with what looks like a bunch of dynamite sticks taped together with a lit fuse. People panic and run away.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaptianKaos8
  • In Germany

  • German man asks me a question (I don't know what it was)

  • I reply "I'm sorry, I don't speak German"

  • He replies "Ich spreche auch kein Deutsch"

  • Basil Fawlty is wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zyxwvutsrqpo

In Belgium the most favored type of humor is mockery and also some self-mockery, not rarely with a pinch of acidity. It's literally everywhere, TV, carnival, newspaper political comics, caricatures, ...

Personally I had an absurd type of humor, but nobody ever understood it. Seems like the French might have liked it rofl.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshorst

Absurdism is pretty big too. I love the Belgian sense of humour.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tim_funny_dragon

once upon a time, there was an aggie and his friends and they were stuck on a deserted island. Indian legends told of a cliff that, when you jump off of it you say a word and you will become that. So, they decided to use that for escape. The first friend ran and jumped off the cliff while saying "Blue jay!". He became a blue jay and flew away. Second friend decided on something more majestic. When he jumped off the cliff, he yelled "Eagle!". He became an eagle and flew away. When it was the aggie's turn, he ran, tripped on a rock, and said "crap." as he fell over the cliff side.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wonbit

I'd say my humor is 80% sarcasm and 20% incredibly silly jokes/behavior.

Overall, though, I think humor is very straightforward here in Portugal. People come up with good punchlines out of the blue all the time. We can be very witty around here.


[deactivated user]

    Whatever my sense of humour is - it gets me into trouble at times!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kel260568

    Same here. I tend to fall back on satire and understatement. Worse, I can also be a bit sardonic at times. It is not uncommon for people I meet on the Interwebz to assume I am British. In real life, though, I have had to learn to be careful because it often leads to trouble as well.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

    Years ago, I was departing St, Lucia. Security was checking my bags and found my squirt gun in the shape of a fish that I used to tease the woman I was traveling with. They asked me what it was and I said, "It's a squirt gun." and proceeded to squirt my woman. Suddenly I was swarmed by a bunch of security people who found no humor at all in what I did. I was let off with a stern warning.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vetyr_Cylni

    By your woman, are you referring to your wife? Either way, I don’t get it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tembo441

    So you've never experienced the deep joy that a squirt gun ("water pistol" or "water squirter" for the UK) can give you? Or how important it is to have one and to learn to use it effectively to cement the bonds of any truly loving relationship?

    I'm astonished.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

    We got married by mistake there and both wearing t-shirts Sandals gave us. Mine said Just and hers said Married.

    They have very strict gun laws in St Lucia and the guards were on me seconds after I uttered "gun". Actually, since I revealed the woman, the funniest thing that happened was as the guards were swarming me, someone shouted loudly amongst the others departing, "Can this marriage be saved?" And everyone laughed.

    And the answer to that question was "no".

    And in response to Tembo, the squirt gun melted the bonds...thankfully. Those bonds were too restrictive for us. But I was Just.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael595488

    British and it's all over the place from slapstick to dry humour. Since I'm learning Norwegian, a current favorite is Learn English with Ricky Gervais, subtitled in Norwegian.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

    Michael. Oh, how could I have forgotten to add Ricky Gervais. Thank you for the reminder.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PurpleBiased

    I don't know if my nationality (American) has anything to do with my humor, but I typically enjoy dirty (explicit) jokes. Perhaps it has something to do with how I was raised and the schools I attended. Also, I don't always enjoy English puns, but I always enjoy Korean puns. Wordplay is something that intrigues me.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

    My national humor? As a Vietnamese-in-training, living with Vietnamese, I am learning Vietnamese sense of humor and it is not much different from mine. I like to play jokes on people, here it is limited to word play, and enjoy having jokes played on me. Turn about is fair play and all that. Herewith are examples of jokes played on me in Vietnam by Vietnamese. There are many so I will limit it to one person who has gotten me a lot. I consider him my brother, a Saigon cop who grew up in Hanoi, Mr. Thanh.

    1. Family and friends went to a big park in Saigon for a day of world music. Live bands and singers, playing traditional Vietnamese song, rock, jazz, classical, etc They had big movie screens around the park so everyone could see the musicians. So I am sitting there very relaxed enjoying the music this fine April 30th day when suddenly the music stops and an old movie of US Huey helicopters land in a rice paddy disgorging troops. As I was in slight shock by this sudden change, Thanh sneaks up behind me, puts me in a choke hold and whispers in my ear, "Me VC. I kill you." I threw up my hands and said, "I give up!" and everyone laughs. Two things should be noted: Saigon cops are trained in martial arts and I also had years of training. Thanh and I had sparred a couple of times. The other thing was April 30 is like July 4 in US. We celebrate independence from Great Britain, Vietnam celebrates independence from the US. Strange feeling. You Americans reading this want to join in the strange feeling? Read the first sentence of the Vietnam Declaration of Independence. You know it well. http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/ps/vietnam/independence.pdf

    2. I was at a big party at a resort in Saigon and was asked to sing a song in Vietnamese. It is a custom that if you enjoy the singer you take a flower up to them as they are singing, roses are preferred. So, I am singing along, nailing the pronunciation to the satisfaction of the crowd, and I sense someone behind me. Mr Thanh playing his tricks again. There were no flowers available, so he gave me a handful of dead twigs. That almost broke my concentration.

    3. Here in US I was in the drugstore to get a flu shot and I noted by the name tag the pharmacist was Vietnamese so we talked in Vietnamese. He took me behind a screen for my shot and he said I spoke Vietnamese good. He said he wanted to give me a language test and I agreed. He spoke this nonsense sentence that is a play on Vietnamese pronunciation and tones and actually means something but I was lost. Had no idea what he said. Lucky for me, I had been recently taught a great retort for such an occasion, and said to him in a firm voice, "Biết chết liền." Translated it means, "If I understood that, I would die right now." He laughed out loud and said in English, "You pass!".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria213426

    Puns, I looove puns. But I absolutely despise potty humor, it's crude. I also like classic slapstick comedy. Dick Van ❤❤❤❤, Flinstones, The Monkees, Carol Burnett, etc...All amazing shows

    Edit: Apparently one of these names is censored, and I don't know why


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WitlessBittern

    The censorship here is funnier than any joke we could come up with


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

    I'm surprised Dick wasn't ❤️'d. But things could be worse. The algorithm on Yahoo won't let you write "monkey" or Dick.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria213426

    I was thinking that too! And Yahoo is for yahoos XD Gimmie google any day


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

    I go to yahoo for the comments. reinforces my belief the human race is doomed.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria213426

    I mean, you don't have to go to yahoo, just check the daily news XD


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshorst

    I guess Duo wants to get rid of the Dutch.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeff261178

    Need to send a note to expecting parents that if they dream of thier child growing up to be a Dulingo user that they tell him to use his full name- Richard or they can never brag about thier son- the linguist.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swedefinlinguist

    I guess, I would consider myself almost devoid of humour or have very specific taste in humour, I almost never laugh especially out loud but the times that I do laugh I usually completely lose it.

    Another caratheristic of my humour is that I like sophisticated huomour and comedy based on deadpan delivery.

    Some series and other comedic play/films/etc. that I like include Frasier, Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), Polonia (Catalan political satire) and the The Simpsons (season 3-11).

    I don't know what nationality my humour would be but the French seems like a quite serious bunch of people at least the Parisians.

    Edit:

    I know hardly anyone is going to read his but this joke gets me every time on some level (1.20 to 1.40)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqf5slEsdh0


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

    Swedish. Do you rember Victor (deadpan) Borge? Incredible;-(


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swedefinlinguist

    Nope, I am a bit to young to remember him (turning 30 next year). I don't really recognize Scandinavian actor/actresses/etc, other than well-known superstars.

    I did however recognize his final film role (according to Wikipedia), the king of comedy, which I have been meaning to see since it's quite topical with the similarities with the Joker.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

    I remember him fondly. First time I saw him when I was pretty young and expected a classical concert and at first I thought he was making big mistakes but finally caught on and laughed with the adults.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeff261178

    Dutch humor can seem quite blunt and direct to some but on the flipside most that dish it out can take it if you give it back. Israeli humor can be brilliant with a mix of intelligence self sarcasm and silly wit.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sophie526614

    gen z humour also horrible puns, and this really antique radio show u can find on youtube called the goon show, wordplay... but thats me not my country


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlyConwa3

    In America, the ' national humor ' varies. Youth, such as myself, laugh at images that would make absolutely no sense to others. Older people find things like a child saying ' dad why isn't the book touch screen? ' We basically have boomer humor, which is the example above, millennial humor, which is pretty dark, and gen z humor, which is even worse than millennial humor.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlyConwa3

    i think i fall in with millennial and gen z humor for sure, though


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Galactic_hamstah

    it's so funny, because even if it were translatable, Gen-z humor os so whacked out of shape that nobody over the age of 20 would understand it anyways.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WitlessBittern

    Oh it was definitely around well before Z was a thing, it just wasn't something that would get you invited to any parties. Thank us proud Millennial pioneers who sacrificed to push surreal horror-humor until it went mainstream.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

    R and his Zap Comix is still rather strange humor after all these years.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlyConwa3

    because i recently moved to minnesota from florida, my teacher asked me if it was cold up here yet. mind you, on this day it was like 50 degrees. out of instinct i said ' ok boomer ' and just walked away. that was a big brain moment on my part.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/logane616

    My sense of humor is dark and horrible. Maybe I'm French?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

    Monty Python, The Goons, Eddie Izzard, Jackie Mason, Fry n Laurie, French n Saunders, Dame Edna, Victoria Wood, Will Ferrell, Peter Kay, Joan Rivers and the great much-missed Robin Williams. Never in the field of such hilarity have so many made me laff so much;-) (Edit: Ricky Gervais too!)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KwanLowe

    I got side loaded into Monty Python as a kid in the 80s. Every other joke on the message boards and BBSs seemed to be a Monty Python reference. The "Nudge, Nudge.. wink wink.. Say no more" was the "That's what she said," of the day and I knew the meaning way before I'd seen the Python skit.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthiusDiaz

    Mr. Rude! I loved those books as child! My favorite was Mr Bounce.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/December-duck

    There's this joke when I was in primary.We use to say "Was your math taught by a P.E. teacher ?" It was kind of mean ,so we only used it as a joke : )


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

    In Primary school we were forced to act out Christmas pageants for a play for our parents. We tweaked the Christmas carols and a few of us actually sang the lyrics to one song thusly: "We three Kings of Orient are, tried to spoke a rubber cigar, it was loaded and exploded..." I forgot the rest.

    I looked up the song and found this British version: "We three kings of Leicester Square Selling ladies underwear So fantastic, no elastic Only tuppence a pair


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JankiPatelJG

    my sense of humor comes out when I am roasting people IDK thats just me ok dont judge lol


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Violet621635

    My sense of humor is TRAS- In all seriousness I think American humor is either intentionally obnoxious, or it's ironic to the point where other nations have no idea what's funny. Remember Cornn Flaek?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swedefinlinguist

    Now that I think about it, a sort of type of humor that I like and use is referential humor, what I mean is situations like this. I am confident in who I am but I might come across as a "elitist prick" or "eccentric" sort like Niles in this video who is looking for Daphne (the scene is from Frasier).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7ntUayzwZI


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vasily9157

    The media has a tendency to exaggerate a lot. A man is walking down a road in the middle of a storm and slips on a fast-food wrapper someone threw out their window. he tumbles down the hill and lands in front of a bear den and gets bitten. the news report reads as follows: "Is littering causing bear attacks?"

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