Mandarin is the most spoken native language in the world with nearly a billion native speakers. It is also considered one of the most difficult languages in the world. Mandarin is an important part of Chinese history and culture.
The jokes in Mandarin are also quite unique. Some of them will only make sense to those who can speak Mandarin. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy a few Chinese jokes that are humorous and can work with a diverse audience.
The Best Mandarin Jokes
Translation has helped humans a lot over time and history. It has bridged the gap between the speakers of different languages. But despite its usefulness, it still has a few flaws. There’s a lot that can get lost in translation. Translating things such as poetry, literature, and jokes are the most difficult.
There are many jokes that cannot be translated from Mandarin into English because they involve word play. Despite that, you can find quite a few Mandarin jokes that don’t lose their meaning after being translated.
Don’t you hate it when you are out and can’t remember whether you turned off the stove or not? Well, a famous Chinese joke is based on this fear. But unlike real life, there’s a balance in this joke. So, it’s alright even if the gas was not turned off:
A married couple went out for dinner. Suddenly the wife exclaimed, “Oh! I forgot to turn off the gas! There could be a fire!”
The husband tried to comfort her by saying, “Don’t worry about it. In any case, I also forgot to turn off the water faucet.”
Although it is a joke, it isn’t that far from the kind of jokes husbands often make. Fortunately, the joke is funny even in English, so non-Mandarin speakers can also enjoy it.
Children Are So Smart
Parents are always sharing life advice with their kids because it is their responsibility to prepare their child for the world. But children these days are so smart and can twist your words so easily. So, be careful what you decide to tell your child. Your own words can be used against you by your child. Here’s a Chinese joke as an example of this:
Mom: “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today.”
Son: “Okay, then give me the whole cake today.”
It is important to tell children not to put off their studies for another day. But sometimes, your own words can come back to bite you when your kids ask for the whole dessert.
The Cost of Marriage
Like every other language, Mandarin also has plenty of marriage jokes. One of the most popular Chinese jokes on marriage can be perfectly translated into English. It is something that every married man can relate with. Jokes like this one can be learned by Mandarin learners to improve their pronunciation.
Son: “Dad, how much does it cost to get married?”
Dad: “I don’t know, son, I am still paying.”
If you laughed out loud at this, that means you are married, and probably still paying the cost of marriage like the dad in the joke.
Apple Can’t Understand
You can’t read the best jokes and not come across a pun. There are a lot of puns in Mandarin that cannot be translated into English, just like English puns cannot be translated into Mandarin. But this is a play on the name of the language, which is why you will get it:
“Why couldn’t the apple understand what the orange said?”
“Because it did not speak Mandarin.”
Get it? Now, that’s a Mandarin pun that English speakers can understand easily.
Racist Jokes to Avoid
When you look up Chinese jokes, you will come across a lot of racist jokes. Chinese people are often the target of racist and xenophobic remarks in Western countries and on online forums. Some people think that making racist jokes is okay because they are not being serious. But they don’t realize that someone might take these jokes as an approval of their racism.
Being racist and targeting certain communities is easy. But it is not how a person should live life on this planet. You can only get respect if you are willing to give it too. Instead of sharing racist jokes, you should try to support communities that often get targeted in real life and online.
There are some jokes that could easily offend your friend or colleague, which is why it’s best to avoid them.
Ridiculing the Names
People of every country have different names. But some people think that names different from theirs must be ridiculed. You can find hundreds of jokes online about the names of Chinese people. One example of this is:
“What did the doctor say to the Chinese patient? Sum ting wong.”
This is a highly offensive joke. You can find plenty of similar jokes online that target the names of Chinese people. No citizen of a civilized society should be making such racist jokes.
Targeting Their Culture
Different cultures and languages exist in the world. It does not mean that one of them is the right culture or language and the rest are all useless. Each culture has its own value and deserves respect. Unfortunately, along with Chinese names, the Chinese culture and norms are also targeted through jokes.
“Why doesn’t China have a cricket team?”
“They always eat the bat.”
This is the perfect example of people targeting Chinese culture. Every culture will have its unique features. Our differences exist to be celebrated, not to be ridiculed. The sooner we learn this, the easier it will be for us to co-exist.
Mandarin is a very unique language and can introduce the beautiful culture of Chinese people. But learning it is not easy or feasible for everyone.
However, you can add fun to the learning process by looking up Chinese jokes. Learning jokes in another language is a great way to understand different cultures and lifestyles. It can also help you make friends quickly and have a good time with them.