Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Fall of Adam

Today's joke works so much better thanks to the fact that there are two words in the English language for the Autumn season. It definitely makes this one non-translatable into other languages.

From time to time, I've corresponded to Latter-day Saints from outside the English speaking world who are interested in translating my gags and hosting them on their website. I'm always eager to share, but I worry that too many of my jokes are a play on words that just won't work elsewhere.

It reminds me of the story shared by Ray Clifford at a recent BYU Devotional:
At a regional conference in Vienna, Austria, Brother Luschin was asked to interpret the visiting speaker’s English remarks into German.
Outside, snow was falling, and inside the chapel the heating system was struggling to cope with the cold weather. Noticing that those in attendance were shivering, the speaker began his remarks with the comment “Brothers and sisters, I see that many are cold but few are frozen."
Put yourself in the place of Brother Luschin. If you had been the interpreter, how would you have interpreted that pun?
Without a pause, Brother Luschin said in German, “Our speaker has just made a marvelous play on words that cannot be translated. Would everyone please laugh?”
Maybe they just caption my gags: "A clever play on words, please laugh."

3 comments:

  1. “Brothers and sisters, I see that many are cold but few are frozen."

    The most I've laughed all day. I love this!

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  2. I don’t get it. Probably because English isn’t my native lenguage

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    Replies
    1. "The Fall of Adam" is the event of Adam and Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit and being expelled from the Garden of Eden. Unless, of course, it's a reference to the Autumn season when there are plenty of leaves to rack up.

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