Chinese Jokes: A Secret Learning Tool
Can you really learn Mandarin through Chinese jokes? Sure you can
Humour is a cross-cultural way to make friends and have a good time with the people around you.
Unfortunately, it is often one of the trickiest parts of a language to understand.
Puns, cultural references, and sarcasm all require a fairly advanced level of language and cultural comprehension.
So to those learning the language, Chinese jokes can often seem hard to understand.
Despite this, language learners need not fear! You don’t need to wait until HSK 6 to begin appreciating funny things in Chinese. Jokes can be a fun and memorable way to learn new vocabulary and cultural nuance.
Funny Chinese Videos
Before we get stuck into some written jokes here’s a couple of videos to enjoy. Some classic Chinese pranks, and 3 jokes explained by native speakers! Enjoy
Learning Chinese through Jokes
Here are some jokes that are a great way to practice your Chinese, improve your reading, and have fun learning – all at the same time!
For the following jokes, read the jokes, then check the caption under the photo for a hint.
If you still can’t get it, read the explanation, then go back and try to understand the whole thing.
Make sure you read the jokes aloud to get in some pronunciation practice!
Chinese Joke #1: Life advice (HSK 4)
Outsmarted by your child. It happens to parents all the time! Here’s a prime example!
māma shuō: “jīntiān néng wánchéngde shì bùyào liú dào míngtiān”
érzi huídá : “hǎoba ba, quán dàngāo gěiwǒ wǒ 。 dōu chīguāng le ba”
Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Literally this means: The things you can finish today, do not save until tomorrow.
Okay, then give me the whole cake.
I will eat the whole thing today.
Chinese Joke #2: Alphabet Humour (HSK 3)
A clever joke that plays on the order of the alphabet, ABCD.
B: C, 因为，A比C低。
A: shéi bǐjiào gāo? A háishi C?
B: C, yīnwèi A bǐ C dī 。
A: Who is taller? A or C?
B: C because, A is lower than C.
But this is funny because the pinyin for “A is lower than C” sounds like “ABCD” (A bǐ C dī)
Chinese Joke #3: Marriage Advice
An inquisitive kid gets a true reality check at the cost of weddings!
一个小孩儿问他的爸爸：“爸爸，结婚 需要 花 多少钱”
爸爸说：“儿子，我 不知道。 我 还在付款!”
yī gè xiǎo hái ér wèn tā de bà ba: “bà ba, jié hūn xū yào huā duō shǎo qián?”
bà ba shuō: “ér zi, wǒ bù zhī dào. Wǒ hái zài fù kuǎn!”
A little kid asked his father: “Dad, how much does it cost to get married?”
The father said: “Son, I don’t know. I’m still paying!”
Mandarin Joke #4: Fruit Humour (HSK0)
Notice we switched from Chinese to Mandarin, but why?
Back to basics with these two! No one need know any Mandarin to understand these. Simple is best, less is more! These were too fun not to share!
For the record the Mandarin is saying happy Birthday in Chinese 生日快乐, the poor old apple will never know!
Don’t let the Chinese jokes stop here!
Ask your friends or Chinese teacher to share their favorite Chinese jokes with you.
Feeling brave? Try translating some of these jokes from English into Chinese!
Whether you’re already in China or hoping to visit in the future, having a few jokes up your sleeve is a good way to break the ice, impress your friends, and feel more confident in your language use skills.
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