Humor in Second-Language Learning
There is a popular perception that learning a language is somewhat tedious for human beings. It could be easier for artificial intelligences, such as Data in Star Trek, which are typically portrayed in science fiction as having superior cognitive skills, but no sense of humor. However, the use of humor can, among other effects, significantly improve second-language learning for students.
In general, humor is likely to motivate the student to study with more fun (and as a result to learn more efficiently). Moreover, because humor frequently rests on cultural concepts such as social environment, taboos, stereotypes and so on, studying humor can lead to a deeper understanding of the target language. Finally, practice in the humorous forms of the target culture might allow a student to actively use humor in the same way a native speaker would, which increases the chances of genuine communication.
» Audi Quattro / Fiat Uno … »
Five Germans in an Audi Quattro arrive at the Italian
The Italian Customs agent stops them and tells them:
"It'sa illegala to putta 5 people in a Quattro."
"Vot do you mean it'z illegal?" asks the German driver.
"Quattro meansa four" replies the Italian official.
"Qvattro is just ze name of ze automobile", the Germans retort unbelievingly.
"Look at ze papers: zis car is designt to kerry 5 persons."
"You can'ta pulla thata one on me!", replies the Italian customs agent.
"Quattro meansa four. You hava fivea people ina your car and you are thereforea breaking the law."
The German driver replies angrily, "You idiot! Call your zupervisor over, I vant to speak to somevone viz more intelligence!"
"Sorry", responds the Italian official, "he can'ta come.
He'sa busy with a 2 guys in a Fiat Uno.
» Language … International »
Pilot: "Good morning, Frankfurt ground, KLM 242 request start up and push back, please."
Tower: "KLM 242 expect start up in two hours."
Pilot: "Please confirm: two hours delay?"
Pilot: "In that case, cancel the good morning!"
Tower: Lufthansa 893, number one, check for workers on the taxiway.
Pilot: Roger . (brief pause) . We've checked the workers, they are all working.
Pilot: "Tower, give me a rough time check."
Tower: "Itīs Tuesday."
Tower: "Tuesday afternoon ..."