English International and humor

By on February 18, 2013 8:13:49 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Draginol

Join Date 03/2001
+102

I sometimes wonder how many misunderstandings occur online due to people who don’t speak English as their native language interpreting dry humor as literal statements. 

I recently saw on a forum a discussion that quoted banter back and forth between myself and our PR rep. It goes something like this:

PR Rep: Got a 4.5 out of 5 on Game X!

Me: Oh no! That’ll wreck the Metacritic score – we want it to end up at 79. High enough for sales but low enough so we don’t have to give bonuses!

PR Rep: Stop! What is wrong with you?

Me: Same thing as when I had that case of Tourette's Syndrome

The dry humor part is the infamous rumor/fact that studios won’t get bonuses if the metacritic score is less than 80. But on the forum I saw, they were taking these statements literally. But the people doing so didn’t speak English as their first language.

Obviously, it’s possible they’re just…you know…dumb. But I wonder how much is lost in translation.

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February 18, 2013 8:23:40 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Uhmmmmmmm...OK Brad.

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February 18, 2013 8:27:42 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I only speak English so I don't know how other cultures interpret implied humor. I'd probably go with the "They're dumb" path.

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February 18, 2013 8:30:12 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting LightStar,
Uhmmmmmmm...OK Brad.

Why, do you have another theory?

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February 18, 2013 8:33:50 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

But I wonder how much is lost in translation.

It didn't need to be translated for me to get lost. 

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February 18, 2013 8:42:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

They're making fun of the way the major studios are notorious for hinging bonuses on a particular metacritic score.

Unless you're into gaming, it probably doesn't make any sense. But apparently some people took the conversation literally. The internets are full of people looking to be offended.

 

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February 18, 2013 8:45:55 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

PR Rep: Got a 4.5 out of 5 on Game X!

Me: Oh no! That’ll wreck the Metacritic score – we want it to end up at 79. High enough for sales but low enough so we don’t have to give bonuses!

PR Rep: Stop! What is wrong with you?

Me: Same thing as when I had that case of Tourette's Syndrome

Maybe it's just me but that's pretty damn funny.

I'd say that sometimes it just goes over thier heads.

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February 18, 2013 8:51:34 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Here's one that got people so riled up we had to delete a bunch of comments:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPc9Z2Dn94U

And there's various forums where they talk about how horrible this was.

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February 18, 2013 9:13:05 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I could never understand English humor. For some reason it seems a bit...........meh.

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February 18, 2013 9:32:07 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Quoting LightStar, reply 1Uhmmmmmmm...OK Brad.

Why, do you have another theory?

 

Nope, I just have absolutely no idea what you are talking about is all.

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February 18, 2013 10:38:41 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

But I wonder how much is lost in translation

We even had a drama over here during the Australian Open [tennis]....one commentator [obviously an Aussie] said about one of the players... "he must be buggered..." [after 3+ hours of match]

In Oz that means....'stuffed'....'knackered'...'worn out'...'tired'....

But some twit claimed it wasn't appropriate .... something about sexual preferences.....

...

 

Yes, a lot is lost in translation...

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February 18, 2013 10:55:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Doesn't take people of different langages though. Most of inter-human communication is mutual misunderstanding (potential for misunderstanding internet > voice-only > face to face in group > face to face with 2 people talking). From someone with a few years in sales / customer support...
Sender of the message usually is liable for making sure being understood though. Since he / she has to foot the bill usually. Something oft misunderstood by my more technically minded collegues...
Men ain't wired to understand. Just to communicate.
Grave error to see the stupidity on part of the receiver if the sender has to cope with the damage / results.
Still feels silly how riled up / feeling entitled people can become at other people they don't know over something rather innocent even if taken literally (on an emotional level. cold analysis yields the above).
From a non-english native if something is hard to grasp.

PS: Very much liking british humor myself.

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February 18, 2013 10:59:12 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Uvah,
I could never understand English humor. For some reason it seems a bit...........meh.

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February 18, 2013 10:59:57 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
And there's various forums where they talk about how horrible this was.
And then there was that Porsche parking incident.....

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February 18, 2013 11:08:25 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Wizard1956,
And then there was that Porsche parking incident.....

"Don't mention the war....

I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it."...

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February 19, 2013 4:01:32 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

 

"Don't mention the war...."

John Cleese at his best. That was dead funny, even for a German.

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February 19, 2013 4:36:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I had heard about that bee thing on a gaming forum before, but never seen the video. Quite a different thing when not explained by someone trying to rile shit up.

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February 19, 2013 5:20:09 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Theres a penguin on the telly.

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February 19, 2013 5:35:07 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I know a dead parrot when I see one and I'm looking at one right now.

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February 19, 2013 9:49:52 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting tazgecko,
I know a dead parrot when I see one and I'm looking at one right now.

So that's where Polly got to.  Would you be so kind as to return her... we think we'd like to stuff her.

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February 19, 2013 12:38:04 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Are you sure?  You have to cook a stuffed parrot longer.

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February 19, 2013 12:47:48 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jythier,
Are you sure? You have to cook a stuffed parrot longer.

No.... as in taxidermy stuff.  We wanna preserve Polly ... um, like she was never gone, bless her soul.

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February 19, 2013 1:30:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wizard1956,

And there's various forums where they talk about how horrible this was. And then there was that Porsche parking incident.....

Oh that's a good one too.  

So one day *after* work hours I drove in and parked my car across two handicap spots to run up and take a picture. However, we had a guest in the building show snapped off a picture and uploaded it and when someone complained to us, the sales person who answered the email didn't know about it and just responded "Brad's the CEO, he parks wherever he wants." 

So what started out as something we (internally) thought was a funny self deprecating picture turned into "That bastard shows his disdain for the handicap!"  

Of course, the reality is that since I own the building, I picked where the handicap spots are. I have a parking spot already that I park in every day that's close to the building and my bee hives. 

The point being, WE thought it was funny. 

 

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February 19, 2013 3:46:14 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
"That bastard shows his disdain for the handicap!

Yeah, and when are you going to put in the handicapped toilets?

The handicapped kitchenette?

The handicapped bedroom in case one needs to lay down?

The handicapped lounge, equipped with all manner of entertainment and conveniences?

And the handicapped taxi service just in case they need to go out for popcorn and other nibblies?

What? You're not going to install these things?

See!!! They were right!!!!

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February 19, 2013 5:54:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually, our toilets are handicap accessible. We even had ramps built to get people into the building and we have a "quiet" room or people to lay down. And a nutritionist, And a personal fitness trainer.

The point about humor is that context is everything.  You take away context and suddenly you end up with someone just saying "Hey, your nipples look better on TV than mine!" and people being Aghast!

 

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February 19, 2013 6:49:45 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Actually, our toilets are handicap accessible. We even had ramps built to get people into the building and we have a "quiet" room or people to lay down. And a nutritionist, And a personal fitness trainer.

So the TV/entertainment lounge is out of the question, then?

Being that I have mobility issues that can present me with difficulties when I'm out, I do appreciate businesses who think to install ramps and easy access points for people with disabilities.  I'm not in a wheelchair as yet [and hope never to be] but often I find ramp access preferable to navigate than step/stairs.

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