10 hilarious English language and translation jokes

Eva Mohyrova
Want to know what language lovers and translators laugh at? Today, we offer you a compilation of 10 hilarious jokes on language and translation. We hope you'll enjoy!

Who doesn’t enjoy a good joke? Jokes make us laugh, lighten up the mood, and can even make you the centre of everyone’s attention (if you’re the one telling the jokes—and they’re funny). Furthermore, jokes can also be a great way to explore language, both native or foreign.
We’ve already written an article on fun facts about the English language. In this article, however, we want to focus on jokes—both language and translation-related. Enjoy this silly (and hopefully fun) compilation.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good joke?

  1. How many translators does it take to change a light bulb?
    It depends on the context.
  2. The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
    It was tense.
  3. A teacher asked a particularly dull, lazy, and objectionable pupil if he was ignorant or apathetic.
    The pupil replied: “I don’t know, and I don’t care!”
  4. Two translators on a ship are talking.
    “Can you swim?”, asks one.
    “No”, says the other, “but I can shout for help in nine languages”.
  5. A linguistics professor was lecturing his class the other day. “In English”, he said, “a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn’t a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative”.
    A voice from the back of the room retorted, “Yeah, right”.
  6. Translator gets 400 words to translate.
    Client: How long will it take?
    Translator: About a week.
    Client: A whole week for just 400 words? God created the world in 6 days.
    Translator: Then just take a look at this world, and afterwards, take a look at my translation.
  7. “I’ve just had the most awful time”, said a boy to his friends. “First, I got angina pectoris, then arteriosclerosis. Just as I was recovering, I got psoriasis. They gave me hypodermics, and to top it all, tonsillitis was followed by appendectomy”.“Wow! How did you pull through?”, sympathised his friends.“I don’t know”, the boy replied, “toughest spelling test I ever had”.
  8. What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?
    A thesaurus!
  9. Geography teacher: Can you guess my favourite nation?
    Student: Yes, I can. Explanation.
  10. What is the longest word in the English language?
    “Smiles”, because there is a mile between its first and last letters.