Inadvertent Achievement

As anyone who has ever tried to tell an American joke to a foreigner or to understand a joke from another culture knows, most humor is cultural.  Humor often involves cultural references or plays on words that aren’t so funny if it isn’t your culture or language.  I think that I am a fairly witty person in English, but I make no attempts to be funny in Lithuanian.

So imagine my surprise when I inadvertently made a witty comment in Lithuanian on Wednesday.  I was chatting in Lithuanian with colleagues at the university when suddenly they started laughing.  At first I was concerned, because I had not intended to say anything funny.  However, my comment was apparently a clever play on words in the context of our conversation.  They all remarked that my Lithuanian language is now so good that I can make jokes.  I decided to accept the compliment and not admit that I didn’t actually understand what was quite so funny about my comment.  I count even an inadvertent witticism as an achievement!


About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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