IELTS Part 3 Questions & Answers About Comedy, Humor, Jokes

IELTS Speaking Test Part 3

What is the difference between comedy on TV and comedy in books?

I’m not really sure; I can’t remember ever reading a comedy book, or a book that was funny. I usually read non-fiction or novels, and they’re generally not funny, but I suppose comedy on TV can be more spontaneous – I mean it’s difficult to transmit comedy in a book, isn’t it?

It’s a bit like the story about my niece that I told you – telling it now it doesn’t seem as funny as watching it actually happen in front of you – I guess TV and books are the same – TV comedy is more instant and easier to get across to people.

Are there comedy shows (either live or on TV) in your country?

Yes, both. There are the usual sit-coms on TV, quiz shows that are designed to be funny, as well as stand up comedians, and then there are live comedy shows, either plays or comedians who do solo performances.

Can someone use humor to learn another language?

I suppose so, if you watch TV in another language you can learn about the culture and learn what is considered funny and what is not, and so you can learn the language used when people are being funny.

Can humor be translated from one language to another?

In some cases it can, but in some cases the humor is in the culture rather than the actual language and that is more difficult to translate to another culture which is different. What some people might find funny may not appear to be funny to people from another part of the world, even if the language is translated.

It’s like the humor of the situation is embedded in the stereotypes or aspects of everyday life – and unless the other culture is very similar or shares the same characteristics – the humor might not travel well between cultures.

Are there jokes in your language that sound different in another language? Why do you think this is so?

Yes, clearly, they sound different because the language is different, but it’s the same joke. The biggest difference I’ve found though is the time it takes to process a joke in a different language. Even if I understand the words, it still takes me a second or two longer to process it and understand why it’s funny – and that makes a big difference.

You how when you hear something funny in your own language you laugh instantly, when I hear something funny in another language, it’s like there’s a tiny delay before I start laughing, so it’s not as natural.
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