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  #21  
Old 05.07.2010, 17:37
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

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There ya go ! A real Swiss joke Obviously irony plays an important part in the local humour.
In fact, no. My experience is that any language related jokes (irony, sarcasm and the like) are not understood by the swiss, at least not if formulated in standard German.
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  #22  
Old 05.07.2010, 17:42
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

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The Swiss have three jokes –

Lovely young lady gets custard pie in face
Lovely young lady loses her clothes
Lovely young lady gets custard pie in face and loses all her clothes

Anyone else have Benny Hill music in their head now?
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  #23  
Old 05.07.2010, 18:25
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

I miss humor from home, for sure. It's a lot more biting and dark than what I know from elsewhere, quite non PC. Here, the jokes are usually announced with some kind of little ritual behavior and then people laugh and clap hands, it's kinda cute. But since so much is taken for face value, the suprise moment ain't there, it's so predictable and kid like. I love hanging out with my Irish friends since we seem to share similar sense of humor, I wouldn't say it's smarter humor but maybe a lot more elaborate.

On the other hand, here anytime I open my mouth people expect me to be funny, they laugh before I even start, it's cool to live somewhere where jokes and spontaneous unprepared fun are scarcity, makes one a comedian without even wanting..or trying hard, hahaha..
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  #24  
Old 05.07.2010, 18:26
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

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Or, in other words, for those of you who, like me, fail to understand the above sentence after reading it again: We are so boring there is nothing to laugh about.
Fixed that for ya!

*ducks*
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Old 05.07.2010, 21:00
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

While I appreciate English sense of humor, Brits can be a bit of 'it's English humor or no humor at all'
I think every nation have some kind of humor, but it's of course not all the same and some are more difficult to figure out than others.
I could easily have my ex-family in law giggle through the whole night, I could even say a mild joke against the Swiss and they laught their asses of for half an hour. I can also get Brits to giggle so it's not that big of a different. Surly the family was more careful with making jokes on their own, they seamed to be careful not to offend their guest while the Brits fire away and the Danish are hysterical as well.
A little bit of different culture, but everyone everywhere have the need for giggles.
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Old 05.07.2010, 22:04
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

It seems to me that a culture a lot more ceremonial and safely planted in traditions, pride and rituals is less easily prone to just giggle...




It is silly to generalize, of course. But overall, while elsewhere I actually laugh at people's jokes, here I appreciate the cutely nervous effort the locals make to be funny.
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  #27  
Old 05.07.2010, 22:19
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.



Titled "Switzerland, the maritime superpower"
"What is your relationship with the sea?"
"We are an island!"
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  #28  
Old 05.07.2010, 22:27
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

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That would be a classic: (from 1959)

http://www.artfilm.ch/hdsoldatlaeppli.php

Making fun of the army.
http://www.artfilm.ch/schweizermacher.php This 1978 film portrays a Swiss official helping a foreigner overcome the Swiss naturalisation process.

"Peg A" mentioned Benny Hill, and I remember many Swiss colleagues used to rush home early to watch the Benny Hill show.
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  #29  
Old 05.07.2010, 22:39
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

This man (dressed up as a woman) is very popular in CH Romande and often makes fun of the Swiss (as well as every other nation).

- In French
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Old 06.07.2010, 00:05
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

"Emil" still is my favourite Swiss comedian.

I recently discovered that some of his numbers are very similar to what Bob Newhart did in the United States at about the same time.

I even wrote Emil to ask him if he had been "inspired" by Bob Newhart, but he declined.

It looks like two very talented people came up with similar stuff at about the same time in two different countries ...
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  #31  
Old 06.07.2010, 01:27
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

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In England, a sense of humour, the use of comedy is integrated into the language and culture. It pervades workplace banter, socialising, most conversations, and all media.

I am probably biased, but I have not seen anything similar in other European countries.

On various School French Exchanges in the 80s, it seemed the French had only one joke repeated by every school child (which involved a Frenchman throwing an "Arabe" out of a plane to reduce the weight).

In Germany, I found the humour not too far from the English, most (educated) Germans seemed able to appreciate a joke. There are amusing movies, and even a sitcom worth watching - Stromberg which is the German rip-off of The Office. I strongly disagree with the stereotype of Germans being humourless.

After a couple of years in Switzerland, I have not seen much evidence of humour. This is not to say that the Swiss are miserable, however I soon found that English humour is best rationned in the (Swiss German) workplace.

Any anecdotes of Swiss humour? Every country must have humour somewhere, I am sure it exists in abundance in Switzerland, I just have not found it yet. ()

There is lots of humour and jokes in Switzerland. But one thing you have to realize is that you should NOT try to translate humour and jokes literally from one language to the other. To give an example. I visited a famous castle in the Alsace and the guide, a bilingual local, gave his explanations in German and in French. I listened to both, and realized that he used quite different jokes in each language. After the roundtour we had a lengthy discussion as he had seen that I enjoyed both sides, and we agreed that humour in German and French culture cannot be translated. The Alsatians are very humourous folks, not least as they can shift between German and French very easily !
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  #32  
Old 06.07.2010, 01:47
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

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This man (dressed up as a woman) is very popular in CH Romande and often makes fun of the Swiss (as well as every other nation).

- In French

and has a perfect command of Swiss-German !
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  #33  
Old 06.07.2010, 06:52
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

The Swiss do have a sense of humour that is invaluble to them, so much so it is locked in a (private?) bank vault together with a lot of gold and the family jewels......

Humour within a culture is based on a degree of adversity in the development of that country, if you don't laugh you'll cry, the Swiss have not seen much of that so maybe that is the reason. Having said that I wonder weather will we see a lot of Iraqi and Afgan (?) comedians in the next generation?
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  #34  
Old 06.07.2010, 07:31
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

Has anyone ever seen Stiller Haas?
I have certainly been at the receving end of blank or horrified looks while 'not' being funny here, and I love going home and just letting go with my family and friends, but to say the Swiss don't understand irony or satire would not explain the popularity of Stiller Haas. It just has to be done 'their' way (ahem).
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  #35  
Old 06.07.2010, 08:11
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

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Having said that I wonder weather will we see a lot of Iraqi and Afgan (?) comedians in the next generation?
You might be surprised!

It is amazing how the intense insanity of wars and such like can produce quite some astonishing "comedians".
But they tend to keep that within their borders and it does them some mighty good too, be it to keep at least a tiny bit of sanity to get them through another day.

(Israel is a very good example for that.)


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  #36  
Old 06.07.2010, 09:13
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

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There is lots of humour and jokes in Switzerland. But one thing you have to realize is that you should NOT try to translate humour and jokes literally from one language to the other. To give an example. I visited a famous castle in the Alsace and the guide, a bilingual local, gave his explanations in German and in French. I listened to both, and realized that he used quite different jokes in each language. After the roundtour we had a lengthy discussion as he had seen that I enjoyed both sides, and we agreed that humour in German and French culture cannot be translated. The Alsatians are very humourous folks, not least as they can shift between German and French very easily !
I think if you're split between two different cultures the way they are, you have to see the funny side. Have you ever read Hansi? It pokes fun at both the Germans and the French from a very Alsatian perspective.
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  #37  
Old 06.07.2010, 09:13
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

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You might be surprised!

It is amazing how the intense insanity of wars and such like can produce quite some astonishing "comedians".
But they tend to keep that within their borders and it does them some mighty good too, be it to keep at least a tiny bit of sanity to get them through another day.

(Israel is a very good example for that.)


I don't think Jewish humor is kept within their country. In fact, I think it is the most universal source of jokes on the planet, haha...

But I agree, hardships makes the culture laugh, there is nothing left and not much to lose. We had so many jokes on all those oppressors we had to deal with, Habsburgs, Nazzies, Russians, our own commie "elite", you name it..If CH was threatened in any way, I think people's humor would be a lot more biting..But I am just theoretizing..
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  #38  
Old 06.07.2010, 09:18
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

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Humour within a culture is based on a degree of adversity in the development of that country, if you don't laugh you'll cry, the Swiss have not seen much of that so maybe that is the reason.
I disagree with that explanation. Through much of Swiss history, people have emigrated out of the country due to hardships. Also things such as being mercenaries reflect hardship back home and lead to adversity. Even today, in some mountain regions, life is pretty tough. I don't think that Switzerland has had any special lack of hardship.

I'd rather say that humour can stem from some sort of identity crisis or split allegiance or to counter what could otherwise lead to insecurity. The Swiss have always been Swiss through thick and thin and it's all quite simple. An Englishman may be split between being English and British, add in the question of class, add in the fact that the English language is actually a mix of probably 20 or more languages. As far as you go back in history it's a mix and mend situation. Same for the Alsations. Same for Jews. I think that's the pattern.
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  #39  
Old 06.07.2010, 09:24
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

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I don't think Jewish humor is kept within their country. In fact, I think it is the most universal source of jokes on the planet, haha...
Ah that is true of course, in general.
But I meant the rather daring fun & jokes they're were making of some rather recent events ...
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  #40  
Old 06.07.2010, 09:26
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Re: A Swiss sense of humour.

This made me laugh. Have I been living here too long?


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The Swiss have three jokes –

Lovely young lady gets custard pie in face
Lovely young lady loses her clothes
Lovely young lady gets custard pie in face and loses all her clothes
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