TRANSLATION HUMOR

“I learned their language in six weeks-it’s easy: you simply emit a string of consonants as long as your breath holds out and then point at what you’re asking for” – O. Henry.

In the 1930s, Stalin gives his final orders in the middle of the night at the Kremlin on the occasion of a meeting with the English ambassador the next day. At the very end, he says: “… Comrade Berezhkov will interpret”. His men listened dumbfounded and timidly reply: “Comrade Stalin…, you know, Comrade Berezhkov only … German is the only language he interprets from for us…” Stalin replies: “It doesn’t matter, I say he will also interpret from English…”

Someone arrives after seeing an ad for a vacancy at a translation agency. He is asked:
–– Do you speak English?
–– No.
–– German? Perhaps Hebrew?
–– Are you kidding. I don’t know any languages at all.
–– Then why in the world have you come?!
–– I came to tell you that you can’t rely on me.
— And how much will a translation cost?
— 20 dollars.
— For one piece of paper?
— No, the paper is free. That’s how much the work costs.

A graduate from a prestigious college applies for a job at a translation company. At the interview, he is asked:
— What languages do you speak?
English, French, and Spanish!
— Say something in Spanish.
— Guten morgen!
— Isn’t that German?
— That means I speak German too!
A client says to a translator:
“Can’t you give us a discount?
“?”
“You make more money than me!”
“Maybe you would like to be a translator too?”

A foreign delegation of three people has arrived at a company. The boss asks the secretary:
— Mary, I’m waiting for coffee for these three idiots!
One of the members of the delegation (fluently in the local language):
— Two idiots. I’m an interpreter.

A servant comes running up to an English lord and shouts:
- Sir! Save yourself! The Thames has overflowed its banks
The gentleman says indignantly:
- John?! Where are your manners?!

The embarrassed servant leaves the room, and comes back in five minutes swinging the door open and says solemnly:
- The Thames, sir!

A plane carrying gold crashes above a remote region of America. Rescue workers find debris from the plane, but the gold has vanished. A tribe of Indians is located nearby, but they couldn’t explain anything, because they only speak their language. So an investigator goes to the tribe with an interpreter. The investigator approaches the tribe’s chief and begins questioning him via the interpreter:

Detective: Where’s the gold?
The interpreter interprets.
Chief: We don’t have it, sir, we don’t know anything about any gold.
The interpreter interprets.
Detective: You’re lying, footprints from the plane lead to your village.
The interpreter interprets.
Chief: I don’t know sir, strangers probably passed through.
The interpreter interprets.
Detective: Tell him, if he doesn’t tell me where the gold is right away, I’ll shoot the place down!
The interpreter interprets.
The chief is startled: Whoa, don’t shoot, sir! The gold is in my home buried under the fireplace.
The interpreter gets a sly look in his eyes and interprets: “Shoot, you paleface dog, I’ll never tell you anyway!”

A company is in need of a female translator. Requirements: Long legs, language skills optional.

“Don’t translate spaces, because we won’t pay for them.”
“Fine. I will send you a translation without spaces.”

19th century translator: travels to different countries, lives in each one of them for long periods of time learning languages. 20th century translator: studies at universities for a long time, pulls all-nighters with thick books. 21st century translator: has sweet dreams when finished translations can finally be found on Google, not just separate parts.

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