Learn These Spanish Jokes to Break the Ice
The most universal form of communication is a smile. A smile can mean a lot of things, but a laugh is even better. This is why, it is important to know a thing or two about Spanish humour. Why not even learn a few Spanish jokes? After all, jokes are great ice breakers.
First, let’s take a look at what makes Spaniards laugh.
Spanish humour is highly influenced by the Spanish Civil War and dictatorship. During the Post-Franco period, most of the jokes revolved around throwing over the sexual taboo. After that, with the instauration of the democracy, the humour developed toward caricatures, especially with Torrente, a “trashy” character, which is a personification of the Spanish subconscious.
Spaniards like to laugh, and they do it often. They enjoy laughing about pain, for example people falling over or even bumping into things. Spanish jokes are mostly the in-your-face type. However, it is quite useless to keep talking about humour without giving you a few examples.
Un pececito le pregunta a otro pececito:
– ¿Qué hace tu papá? /¿Qué hace tu mamá?
Translation: A small fish asks another:
-What does your father do?/ What does your mother do?
– He/She swims/nothing.
As you can see, in this case, we learn the fact that the word “nada” has two meanings. The first one comes from the verb “nadar”, which means to swim, and the second one is nothing.
–Tell me/ Or say “me”
In this case, the word “dime” comes from the imperative of the verb “decir”, which means to say. If we take the whole word, it means “tell me”. However, if we make a pause between the first syllable “di” and the second one “me”, we have the imperative “di” which means, say, and the pronoun “me”.
– Ayer me compré un reloj.
– ¿Qué marca?
– ¡Pues la hora!
-Yesterday I bought myself a clock.
-What brand? / What does it mark?
– The time!
In this case, you can see the fact that the word “marca” has a double meaning. On the one hand it comes from the verb “marcar”, which means “to mark”, and on the other hand, it means brand. Here, you get to see how the author of the joke plays with the double meaning of this word, and at the same time, you get to learn it.
En la playa:
– ¿Usted no nada nada?
– Es que no traje traje.
On the beach:
-Yo do not swim at all?
– It’s because I did not bring a swimsuit.
In this case, you can see the double meaning of two words: “nada”, which mentioned already above, and “traje”. As for the latter, it means suit on the one hand, and on the other hand, it comes from the verb “traer”, which means to bring.
– ¿Por qué el César iba siempre en sandalias?
– Porque era Julio.
-Why did Caesar always wear sandals?
-Because it was July / Julio.
In this case, we see the double meaning of the word “Julio”. On the one hand, it means July, and on the other hand it is a name. As you can see, Ceasar always wears sandals because it is July, or because you have confused him with another person.
Can we learn from Spanish jokes?
As you have probably noticed from the examples above, you have already learned the double meanings of some words. As jokes are usually short and catchy, it is always easier to learn them, and in this way improve your vocabulary at the same time.
In order to learn new words, it is better to put them in a context, and why not a joke? At the same time you will get the chance to use them as an icebreaker. After all, laughter is a universal language.
There are many videos on YouTube from which you can learn. The below three funny videos include beginner’s vocabulary, which you can easily understand. Let’s take a look:
Anders Nilsen: Salsa Tequila
This catchy song has many common Spanish words, such as “salsa” “tequila” “corazón” “muy bueno”. It is a great start if you want to learn some basic Spanish words or simply refresh your memory.
¿Qué hora es?
This sketch is a “Mexican soap opera” for “ people who studied Spanish for 3 weeks in the 4th grade”. It has very simple words and it is really easy to understand. It is only about three minutes long, but it is really funny and at times it does not make sense at all.
¿Qué hora es? Part 2
Surprise, surprise, ¿Qué hora es? has a part 2. Unfortunately this is the last part, but who knows? Maybe they will make a new one soon.
What about Spanish humour for advanced learners?
If you are an advanced learner and want to amp your Spanish vocabulary, you can always watch some Spanish comedies such as “Ocho Apellidos Vascos”, “Primos”, “La gran familia española” and many others.
You can also look for Spanish stand up. I personally prefer Luís Piedrahita. He once made a monologue about suitcases:
Dani Rovira is also very popular:
Learn Spanish jokes easier
One way to learn Spanish jokes easier is to import content (like the videos above) into LingQ which will turn them into interactive lessons. What’s so good about this is that you can easily read their transcripts using LingQ’s unique interface and listen along at the same time. In fact, you can do this with any video on YouTube that you would like to learn Spanish from! For a complete guide on importing content from YouTube into LingQ, please go here.
Alina Radoi has studied Spanish for more than 16 years and has an international C2 certificate. In addition to Spanish, she knows Romanian (her native language), English, German, and a bit of French.