Expression through language…

You can tell alot about a person through their choice of words. Like where they live, where they have been, and what they have read, seen, heard so on and so forth.

The aspect about language that I can’t seem to grasp are how some jokes are hilarous in Latin America, but just don’t translate here. Also, how certain comical phrases just aren’t funny in English. For instance, about a month ago I was eating dinner at my abuelitas house with some cousins from Mexico. One of the cousins looks at her husband and says, “Bueno, esposo mio, cuerpo de uva, ya nos tenemos que ir/Well, husband of mine, body of a grape, we’ve got to go.” Everyone, including myself was laughing, but as soon as I translated it, I knew that I could never pull that phrase off in English.

In Ecuador my husbands family loves telling jokes. Jokes that are what I would call stories. Sometimes they require two people to tell the joke. Throughout the story everyone laughs periodically. I do my best to follow, but many times I just don’t get them. Even when I translate them, I don’t find them comical. I remember another instance when we were hanging out with about 15 people from Colombia. They started sharing similar long jokes, everyone laughing. They are really quite engaging to watch, but it was difficult to find them as funny as everyone else.

I always to try to equate these kinds of experiences with instances in English in order to comprehend them better. This is when I realize that sometimes language is closely tied to culture and some things just aren’t comparable. Maybe not all language experiences share an equivalent counterpart in another language??

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