Jokes from

20 Aug 2009

My wife recently introduced me to the humor site 一日一囧 ( The videos she showed me were crude animations, each telling a single simple joke. Some were unfunny, some were Chinese translations of jokes I’d heard before, but a few very funny and worth sharing.

Of the four clips below, the first three are linguistic in nature. You’re going to need at least an intermediate level of Chinese to understand these jokes. I’ve provided a transcript for the last one, which has a lot of narration but no subtitles.

1. 太阳打电话 (The Sun Makes a Phone Call)

Priceless! This joke revolves around the words (grass) and (sun), and how they sound like the obscene and (same character and pronunciation, different usage). The funny accents make the joke work well. Of course, some experience in “overheard phone calls” in China also helps.

2. 猪才怪 (Pig… not)

This one is quite silly, but to appreciate it you have to be familiar with the usage of …才怪 in spoken Mandarin. It’s tacked onto the end of statements much the same way that “…NOT!” was in American English in the 90’s, to similar effect.

3. 公公再见 (Bye, Grandpa)

If you’re not a native speaker, you probably won’t appreciate this one unless you’ve had sufficient exposure to children’s books and songs. 公公 means “grandpa,” but 太阳公公 is a traditional title for the sun in kids’ stories. (This video also did a great job of recreating the classic Asian horror film feel in a simple way.)

4. 日记本 (The Diary)

There’s no cultural or linguistic reason not to get this one (by which I mean it’s totally translatable). Here’s the Chinese transcript:

> 今天呢,给大家讲一个鬼故事,相当恐怖的鬼故事。话说,从前有一个人,他正在写日记。写着写着呢,他发现这个日记本用完了。于是他就出去买日记本。这个时候已经夜里十二点多了。他找了好久,好久,找到了一家小卖部。他就问这个老板,“日记本有吗?”

> 这个老板用很低沉的声音说,“有的。这是进口的,定价70块。”

> “太贵了。我只带了50块钱。”

> “没关系。就算你50块好了。”

> 这个人就挺开心的,就说,“谢谢老板!”

> 但是这个老板又用很阴森,很恐怖的声音说,“你买回去的时候,千万不要翻开最后一页,不然会发生很恐怖的事情。到时候,别怪我没用提醒你啊。”

> 这个人就觉得很奇怪,就说,“那好吧,我知道了,我不会翻的。”

> 于是他把日记本买回家了,然后把那个包装拆开。然后随手放在了窗口前的桌子上。这个时候呢,他想洗个澡,然后回来再写日记。

> 洗完澡以后,这个人发现这个书桌前的窗户竟然被打开了。它那个风把日记本一页一页地吹开,一页一页地吹开。当这个风把这个日记本吹到最后一页的时候,他想赶快去阻止,但这个时候已经来不及了!最后一页还是被吹开。这时候发生一件非常非常恐怖的事情!他看到最后一页尖叫一声,因为最后一页写着:定价:3元。



John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. The Diairy one is cool! thanks for the transcript.

    The 猪才怪 one is unfunny unless I missed something… so he is not a pig, not! = he is a pig, right? 囧!

  2. Have you seen any of the 蠢爸爸/叫兽 videos? They’re pretty corny, but for some reason I find the accents funny…

    Here’s one about picking up girls:

    And another making fun of the post-90s “alternative” girls:

  3. Um, the link to “Bye, Grandpa” works, but the embedded video is another joke about a farmer and a crow…one of the “unfunny” ones you mentioned!

  4. Mike Fish Says: August 25, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Great stuff…

  5. Mike Fish Says: August 25, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Oh yeah Uln about 才怪… it’s sorta like NOT but look at its literal meaning for more depth. 才怪 could be… “that would in fact be strange” so the guy’s comment…我不是猪才怪 would be “It would be strange if I wasn’t a pig”… but John’s “I’m not a pig… NOT!” sounds a lot better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *