A Secret Way to Unlock High Level Mandarin Chinese Jokes
Can you really learn Mandarin through Chinese jokes? Sure you can! We are going to show you how.
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.
First up, our student Zoe had some fun filming this video where she stitches Ben up a treat. Here’s what NOT to do when asking someone out in Chinese!
Chinese Pranks on Video
Next up time for some classic Chinese pranks, and 3 jokes explained by native speakers! Enjoy
Now time for some Chinese jokes you can use with the locals! We’ve assigned each joke a HSK level also to give you an idea of the vocabulary needed to tell the joke.
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 (HSK2)
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!
Chinese + English = Chinglish 😲 You Must See To Believe
Chinglish – Sometimes you have to see it to believe it. You will be amazed at some of these language mishaps that are made when translating to Chinese.
Chinese Jokes – Memes
Memes appear to me all the rage online these dates, no matter what way you pronounce it!
In fact, there are so many we’ve not got one but TWO dedicated posts regarding Chinese Memes which are:
- Some of our favourite Chinese Memes
- Make your own Chinese Memes – choose from our selection of 100 templates and send us your very own!
Here are some of our favourites across the two blogs!
Chinglish in China
And just to wrap up, it wouldn’t be a blog of jokes without some Chinglish thrown in there.
For those of you who don’t know, the equation is simple
Chinese + English = Chinglish!
Again – we dedicated a whole blog towards Chinglish which you have to check out – 20 of the finest examples, but here are some of our favourites.
Don’t let the Chinese Jokes stop here!
We hope you enjoyed our series of Chinese jokes, videos, memes and the rest of it!
Ask your friends or Chinese teacher to share their favourite 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.
Another great way to learn Chinese…
Jokes in Chinese – FAQ’s
Is Chinese humour understood by westerners?
As with any culture, learning the humour takes some time. You have to live here long enough to understand the humour, and of course learning the language helps.
A lot of Chinese humour is created online these days through Social Media and keeping up with these trends takes time and a fair amount of effort. Being immersed into China is the best way with helping understand the humour here.
What are the main differences between Western and Chinese humour?
Taboo topics in Chinese humour can relate to personal life, the government and causing someone to lose face.
Sarcasm is one key aspect where opinion splits in Chinese culture.
Some believe sarcastic comments and jokes go over the heads of Chinese whereas others claim the humour is the same. This very much depends on where you are in China, who you are interacting with etc.
Lots of Chinese now expose themselves to Western TV culture, bridging the gap of humour and language.
Physical comedy is one thing in China that is not really considered so funny. Certain comedians use physical comedy as a key area to stand up comedy, this isn’t so in China.
How do stand up comedians differ in China and the West?
Chinese audiences tend to enjoy a lack of facial expressions on stand up comedians. In the west, generally bigger responses come from a comedian who is more physical with their actions.
One of China’s top comedians 黄西 (huáng xī) Joe Wong famously did this at a stand up. “Hi, everybody… So, I’m Irish”. His facial expression was blank but he drew a huge response from his adoring audience.
In China crosstalk is hugely popular with the audience. Crosstalk is a fast and quite cheesy stand-up which normally includes singing and dancing.
What is the best way to learn about Chinese humour?
Learning the language from the start and being thrust into an all Chinese environment is the best way.
Humour and comedy, in any language, take quite some time to pick up. You’ll need to gain a basic understanding in the language first, before perhaps making local friends.
This is a great way to boost your ability, talk about comedy and how it differs from your country. There is no substitute for being immersed in China.
Want more from LTL?
If you wish to hear more from LTL Mandarin School why not join our mailing list.
We give plenty of handy information on learning Chinese, useful apps to learn the language and everything going on at our LTL schools!
What about online Chinese classes? We have a super new system called Flexi Classes we think you’ll love!
Sign up below and become part of our ever growing community!