How to Develop Your Language Skills by Learning Jokes

Learning a new language is always among the best choices to improve as a person. When you adopt such a skill and are able to communicate with a whole new group of people, so many new doors open for you and you take one step further to becoming a true citizen of the world. Language barriers were among the most prominent forces that prevented civilizations from getting along, so naturally people decided to put an end to it and adopt learning each other’s ways of communication. In the modern world, it is hardly enough to only speak your native language, or even just one foreign language for that matter.

In order to be a true modern citizen, you must have the means of communicating with anyone and anywhere, which statistically means speaking at least two foreign languages. Chances to meet somebody who can understand you increase dramatically whenever you adopt a new language so expanding your skills in this area should never stop, both for your personal and professional lives to prosper and be more successful. Since language and culture go hand in hand, there are certain shortcuts to improving your language skills, one of which is the star of this article. By this we mean learning jokes with a goal of developing your language skills further. To find out how humor and jokes can help you become a better polyglot, keep reading this article and make sure to check out for more.

Language and Culture

Languages and cultures of the world developed at the same time. There can never be one without the other and the reasons for that are many. First of all, you cannot document a culture and its traditions without the proper use of spoken and written language. Next, you cannot really have an identity as a separate people, ethnic and racial group, or nation without something crucial as the way you talk to your fellow compatriots.

When we want to learn a new language, we must also take some time to study the history and the culture of the people(s) who use it as their mother or native tongue. For example, during the studies of English as a second language, students always learn things about the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and even South Africa. You cannot understand the language and use it properly without knowing the people who use it and the way they live.

There are so many notions and sayings people of different cultures and from different corners of the world use that are hard or even impossible to understand and translate. Therefore, taking some time to learn them and adopt them into your own use of that language is a key component of mastering it completely. And what better way to understand a whole people better and to be able to spend time with them than learning how they like to have fun and joke among themselves?

Humor and Jokes as Learning Tool

Let us start this section with an example of a classic joke in English. Before we give it to you, consider the two English words, homophones, that sound the same but have vastly different meaning. The word “eight” is the number we all know, and the word “ate” is the past simple form of the verb “eat”. So “eight” and “ate” are pronounced exactly the same. Time for a joke. “Why is six afraid of seven? Because seven eight (ate) nine.” If you understand English well enough, you will understand the joke immediately since you know about the past tense of the verb and the number that sound the same. If not, you will be confused because it does not seem funny, it looks just like a string of numbers without the punchline.

This is only one of the examples and English language is rich with similar jokes. Word play is crucial for it because it is a type of language where the phonetics and spelling are two different things. The potential for clever and hilarious jokes, as well as vulgar and dark humor, is limitless. And the same exact thing is possible in numerous other languages but in different ways. You cannot tell the same joke from above in any other language however because it would not have the same effect. Once you hear such humor during your studying, it will stimulate your brain and make you wonder about the language and its mechanisms more and therefore help you adopt more knowledge and new ideas.

Skills Jokes Help With

Apart from making your family and friends laugh in multiple languages and some bragging rights here and there, you will also get numerous useful benefits and more refined and developed language skills if you try to incorporate jokes into your learning. The aforementioned homophones are great for expanding your vocabulary, but so are homographs (spelled the same but red differently). Together, they make homonyms, a special group of words that will make you a much better speaker if you learn them.

Perhaps the most special way of telling jokes is through idioms and metaphors. In figures of speech and strings of words, the whole phrase means one thing but individual words mean something else when isolated. Beating around the bush does not literally mean beating the area around a bush. It means being hesitant to say or do something without for some reason. If you know such a saying, you instantly become a better speaker of English. And again, there are idioms and metaphors in all languages.

Laughing is healthy and it promotes positive vibes and a generally pleasant atmosphere in the classroom. It does not matter if you are a part of a language learning group or if you are doing it on your own. Try to incorporate foreign humor into your lessons and you will see how much fun languages can truly be. You will explore whole new approach to learning and elevate everything you have successfully dealt with so far, from tenses and complicated rules to specialized vocabulary, prepositions, and conjunctions.

A Few Sound-alike Jokes for You:

What does a rabbit use to fix its fur? A hairspray. (hare=hair)

What is the cheapest way to travel? By sailboat. (sail=sale)

What did the beach say to the tide? Long time no see. (see=sea)

Some Knock-Knock Jokes:

Knock-Knock! Who’s there? Candice. Candice who? Candice door open, or am I stuck out here? (Candice=can this)

Knock-Knock! Who’s there? Voodoo. Voodoo who? Voodoo you think you are, asking all these questions? (voodoo=who do)

Knock-Knock! Who’s there? Mikey. Mikey who? Mikey isn’t working, can you let me in? (Mikey=my key)

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]