Eight of the best translated jokes from across the globe

In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, celebrated on April 1, we’ve collected some of the best jokes in different languages. Humor doesn’t always translate well across other languages because of wordplay and cultural references. Each culture defines humor differently and what may be hilarious in one country could be offensive or crass in another. However, when tackling more universal topics, some jokes are still funny even when translated into English.

1. Danish

I England har jeg lært et nyt udtryk: Dellejæger. Som tyk person synes jeg, at det er mega-underligt. Prø’li’hør, der er aldrig som sådan behov for en jagt. Jeg løber ikke.

Here in England, I learned a new word: chubby chaser. As a fat person, I find that hilarious. Look, there’s never a need for a chase. I don’t run.

2. Hebrew

יהודיה פולניה קמה באמצע טיסה לארה”ב וצועקת: “יש כאן רופא??”. בחור נחמד ורציני ניגש אליה מהר ואומר לה: “כן מה הבעיה?”. היא עונה לו: “אתה רוצה אולי להכיר את הבת שלי?”.

A Polish Jewish woman gets up mid-flight to the U.S. and shouts: “Is there a doctor here?” A nice, serious guy approaches her quickly and tells her: “I am. What is the problem?” She replies: “Do you want to meet my daughter?”

3. Filipino (Tagalog)

Pedro: Ang tapang talaga ni Juan! Biro mo, tumalon sa eroplano ng walang parachute!
Lito:  Totoo?! Saan mo naman nabalitaan ‘yan?
Pedro: Sa burol niya.

Pedro: Juan is really so brave! He jumped off a plane without a parachute!
Lito: Really?! Where did you hear the news?
Pedro: At his wake.

4. Chinese


Teacher: If you had just one day to live, where would you go?
Student: I would spend my last day in school, in this classroom.
Teacher: Oh! How touching! Such an eager student!
Student: Because time in this class goes so slowly, one day feels like a year!

5. Japanese

A: チャウチャウちゃう?(チャウチャウじゃないかしら?)
B: チャウチャウちゃうんちゃう?(チャウチャウじゃないのでは?)
A: チャウチャウちゃうん?(チャウチャウだと思うよ?)
B: ちゃうって!チャウチャウちゃうって!(ちがう!チャウチャウじゃないから!)
A: ちゃうわ。。。チャウチャウちゃうわ。(ちがうなあ。。チャウチャウじゃないな。)

“Chow” means “incorrect” in Kansai dialect (違う in Japanese).

A: Is that a chow chow?
B: No, it’s not chow chow.
A: Really? It might be chow chow.
B: No, it’s not a chow chow!
A: Oh you are right, it’s not chow chow.

6. French

Au cours d’une croisière, une tempête fait rage. Sur le pont du bateau un marin s’approche d’une dame et dit, “vous ne devriez pas rester là, madame, une vague pourrait vous emporter”. Un homme qui se trouve à coté se retourne et dit au marin, “Dites donc, occupez-vous de vos affaires, c’est ma belle-mère pas la vôtre!”

During a cruise, there is a storm. On the deck of the boat, a sailor spots a woman and says, “you shouldn’t be here ma’am, it’s not safe”. A man nearby answers, “hey, mind your own business, she’s my mother-in-law not yours!”

7. Spanish

Entre dos borrachos:
– Pues yo dedico 2000 euros semanales a lucha contra el alcoholismo.
– No te creo!
– Que si, cuanto mas bebo yo, menos beben los demas.

A conversation between two drunks:
– I spend 2,000 euros per week in the fight against alcoholism.
– I don’t believe it!
– Yes, the more I drink, the less there is for others.

8. German

Q: Was haben Frauen und Handgranaten gemeinsam?
A: Ziehst du den Ring ab, ist dein Haus weg!

Q: What do women and hand grenades have in common?
A: When you pull the ring off, your house goes away.

Do you know any jokes in your native language? Translate and share!


Jenie Gabriel

The author

Jenie Gabriel

Jenie creates and coordinates content for Gengo's marketing team. Originally from the Philippines, she was an advertising creative in Singapore before moving to Tokyo. In her spare time, you’ll find her wandering around the city or planning her next escapade.

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