Question 7 ”Can foreigners understand Japanese jokes?” 異文化対応力

ビジネス英語の学習法やポイントについて聞くQ&A 第7弾は “Can foreigners understand Japanese jokes?” です。

「外国人は日本のジョークを理解できるのか?」

Hika は動画で次のように言っています。

『 「外国人は漫才やオヤジギャグを理解できない」と思っている日本人は多いです。
もちろん文化が違うので、全てを面白いと思うわけではないですが、これは正しくありません。

ちなみに「ダジャレ」は英語で “pun” といって、英語にも存在する言葉なのです。

ぜひ英語でジョークを言えるような機会があるといいですね。

しかし気をつけなければならないのですが、世界のいろいろな国の人が出席する公式の場で
プレゼンテーション等をする際は、こうしたジョークは使わないでください。
とてもセンシティブであり、リスクがあるのですね。』

そして Hika の実の従弟が実際につかって笑いをとったジョーク、
日本人にとっても、外国人にとっても寒いと感じるジョークについて紹介しており、
思わず笑ってしまう内容になっています。

どんなジョークかは、ぜひ動画でご覧ください!

Hello and welcome to this Bizmates
question and answer video series.

And today's question is a fun one. It's
Can foreigners understand Japanese jokes?

And many people you know many of my students say,

Maybe Hika you don't understand manzai.
Maybe you don't understand oyaji joke.

And it's actually not true. OK and I'll show you today.
Now not all Japanese jokes are funny.

OK some are funny; some are very confusing
because of cultural differences. OK.

So what Japanese jokes are funny OK.
Well many people say this:

English speakers can't understand Japanese humor.

It's too different. That's not necessarily true OK.
Japanese people are funny to English speakers, sometimes, OK.

They do tell funny jokes. OK.
And the funny jokes are these.

The "ダジャレ" cause we have them in English too.
We call them puns. Yeah.

dajare OK. And I'm gonna tell you a true story

because I actually met with my cousin,
who is Japanese. He was born and raised in Japan.

But he's living in Canada now working in a restaurant, izakaya.
And he's a chef. OK.

And I was talking to him the other day.
And we were talking about this topic.

I was like, you know, are Japanese jokes funny?

Do you... you know, you're living in Canada.
You probably tell jokes

to, you know, Canadian customers.
Do they understand?

And this is what he said. He told me a great joke.
I wanna give you an example.

Now in Canada, sushi has become widespread.

And even the average Canadian living in Vancouver will know like
Anago or "Unagi" or "Hamachi".

You know, they'll know these Japanese words,
fish names yeah, "Hamachi".

And the customer. This customer asked my cousin.
My cousin was, you know, making sushi.

And the customer said "Chef. do you have Unagi?"

He was like "Yes yes, we have Unagi, yes.
It is a 2 dollar 20 cents for 1 piece."

OK great. "Do you have Hamachi?"

He's like "yes yes, we have Hamachi, but I dont know how much."

And the customer just went "Ha ha ha. That's so funny."

And he had a really good talk with this customer.

OK. Yeah. So, it's funny in Japanese;
it's funny in English.

He gave me another example like soba.
He served soba.

It's an izakaya. They serve udon; they serve soba,
many things.

And he served him soba and my friend said
So how's the soba? Is it good?

And the customer said "Oh it's so bad."

OK I'm sorry. It's very cold in here.
I'm very sorry. Yeah.

So jokes that are not so funny in Japan,
maybe are not so funny in English either. Yes. OK.

Please turn down the airconditioner
It's really cold. OK.

So anyway. I hope you have a chance to
experiment with jokes in English as well.

But just a warning. If you're making a presentation,
a formal presentation

with people from all around the world,
don't, don't tell any jokes there.

It could be a little bit sensitive. OK.
It's very risky.

If you know the person and it's one on one,
maybe it's OK.

So I hope I answered your question about Japanese jokes in English.
OK so thank you. We'll see you soon.

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