Listening to the radio in the car earlier, I heard about a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival called Bilingual Comedian.

The show is by Becky Donohue, and in it she apparently “attempts to ‘teach’ the audience and herself Spanish using nothing but ‘borrowed’ language tapes”. The show is based on the genius Eddie Izzard’s ‘Bring Bilingual’ (see video).

Coincidentally, I also read an article today about comics from overseas performing at the festival. The article explores the idea that comedy is different in different languages – for example a joke that works in Italian because it uses Italian wordplay would not have the same effect in English.

Being able to laugh and joke in a different language seems to be quite difficult to achieve – not only do you need to know the language, you need to know the cultural background. If you enjoy comedy, make it part of your language learning by finding comedy routines in your target language and listening until you can understand – or at least raise a chuckle.