Erklären oder nicht? – To Explain or Not Explain?

One of my students forwarded a message to the group today which read:

Dear women: Best wishes for International Women’s Day!

Dear rest of the world: Don’t worry, the International Men’s Year will continue tomorrow as usual.

What to do? I’m sure he didn’t understand the sarcasm in the post and was completely guileless. So do I explain the joke or not?

Ein Kursteilnehmer hat heute eine Nachricht an die Gruppe geschickt:

Liebe Frauen: Alles Gute zum Weltfrauentag!

Lieber Rest der Welt: Keine Sorge, das Welt-Männer-Jahr wird morgen planmäßig fortgesetzt.

Was soll ich jetzt machen? Ich bin sicher, dass er den Sarkasmus des Posts nicht verstanden hat und ganz arglos war. Soll ich den Witz erklären oder nicht?


4 thoughts on “Erklären oder nicht? – To Explain or Not Explain?

  1. Yes, you should try to explain. In English, in German, and maybe another language. Sarcasm, and puns even more so, are hard when learning a new language. I’m still struggling after 70+ years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No other common language available. My students do speak Arabic, Dari, Kurdish or Tigrinya. I don’t speak any of these. They don’t speak English, French or Afrikaans. That leaves German or Marcel Marceaux.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No way to explain a sarcasm in mime, so stick to German. As you, no doubt, well know, speaking in a new language tends to be slow as speakers have to still handle two languages in their heads. I remember when I was new to English that I had trouble in normal conversations, by the time I had a response ready nobody was interested anymore – but I aced the spelling tests.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My first response would be to try to explain. After thinking about the cultural and language barriers, I wonder if you tried to explain whether he would understand. Not much help, am I? 😏

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s