The Internet Offers Us Hilarious Linguistic Comedy

Risas. /ˈ n. Language: Spanish. Meaning: Laughter. Medically proven to cure Pink Eye, when used in conjunction with antibiotic cream. 

Last week, my toddlers gave me pink eye. This week, a fever. So instead of taking advantage of cloudless skies and enjoying Barcelona’s wonderful beaches, mountains, or nightlife, I’ve been lying in bed sipping liters of honey lemon tea, and calling upon the Internet to entertain me. (Luckily all my favorite U.S. shows had their season premiers this week, so there are worse times to fall ill.)

The good news is that all this show-watching and web-browsing has allowed me to come across some pretty entertaining stuff, and I thought I’d share a bit! No, I don’t just search “linguistic humor” on the Internet. But maybe Google shows me what I want to see.

1. “German Language Compared to Other Languages”

(Ok, I found this one before the fever). This video cracked me up on Wednesday night. A few friends from home were visiting Barcelona, and we drank way more wine than is advisable when working with toddlers the following day. But it was beyond worth it to laugh away with some good ol’ Americans over dinner, drinks, and Youtube language videos. This movie is hilarious in its own right—it wasn’t just the wine talking.

P.S. In defense of poor German (we really do love you!) read Alex Butt’s fascinating (and hilarious) interview on learning German.

P.P.S. An amazing linguistics study between German and Spanish.

2. Linguistics Riddle

An MIT 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 piped up, “Yeah, right.”

Source: Viralnova

3. Best Meme

japanese tattoo

Source: Pinterest

Come across anything funny related to language lately? Or anything funny in general? Do share!

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  • I love #3!!! I’m Japanese American and had the Japanese character for woman tattooed on my back when I was 18. When my Japanese grandfather saw it, he looked at me with a confused expression and said “did you think people were confused?”

  • First, I hope you feel better. I was always sick when I worked with the kindies too. Something about little kids always passing their germs, yuck.

    Second, I remember watching that video for the first time and laughing so, so hard. German always sounds so harsh :D

  • I laughed my butt off at #2 and #3! I’d seen the German video before. I love all things German, including their language! Hope you get to feeling better!

  • Hahahah #3, can’t even handle it