Then there were those language cartoons.

Just a while ago I gave you some of the comic strips that made me laugh absurdly hard over the course of my life. The ones I present here were not always that kind, but they are ones that pleased my inner linguist. You don’t spend a lifetime playing with languages and not appreciate things like this.

(Some of the images enlarge when you click on them, others don’t.)

The danger of encountering a translator in the wild.
A rare skill.

On that note, I mentioned this joke earlier in a post about macaronics:


A professor of Latin at Yale, (sounds like a limerick in the offing, doesn’t it?) having ordered a meal at a fine New Haven restaurant, decided that he would like some wine with his dinner. So he summoned the wine steward and asked for a bottle of hock. Feeling clever, he added, “hic, haec, hoc.”

“Very good, sir,” replied the wine steward, and left.

Twenty minutes later, no wine. The learned man summoned the steward again, and asked, “Didn’t I order a bottle of hock?”

“You did indeed, sir,” replied the steward, “but then you declined it.”

Any part of speech can be verbed, up to and including entire paragraphs. “I don’t wanna go to bed!” “Oh yeah? I’ll ‘I don’t wanna go to bed’ you if you don’t get up those stairs!”

I, too, am very hung up on languages. And I have studied Hebrew, and Korean, and Serbian. They are all still “in progress.”

Fortunately, I never had to take “Bonehead English.” One of my favorite English classes was taught by Joe Boyle at Cheshire Academy. Hi, Joe! 😁
This one did double duty – it tickled my language bone and also made me laugh too hard. Sorry.
There’s nothing like a good language pun. Sandra Boynton is a mistress of the genre. This one is very obscure – you have to read “Aisle B loving ewe four heifers”
Johnny Hart was an inveterate punster.
This isn’t really a pun. It isn’t really a Mondegreen. I don’t even know what to call it, but it’s funny.
The Grammar Police are never far away.
If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium.

Ferd’nand had a similar problem. “My hovercraft is full of eels.” In passing, this is one of a very few strips where Ferd’nand actually says anything at all.
Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints become fluent in the language of their assigned countries over the course of time, but getting there can be a challenge.
This one reminds me of “The Polar Express,” for some odd reason.
The Chinese reads ” Wǒ ài nǐ. ” (I love you).
This Mafalda is one of my favorite translation-related cartoons.
It all started somewhere.
Another classic by Johnny Hart. He’s right, you know.
I’ll see your nuclear physics and raise you my prescriptive grammar.
Thanks to “Y Gwyll,” I have no problem pronouncing “Aberystwyth” and a host of other Welsh place names. Wonderful show, by the way, I’m sorry it wrapped up.
Whatever you do, don’t think about a purple aardvark skydiver.
Alien languages can be a hassle. How would you order a pizza with ham and pineapple if all you could say was things like “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra?”

Many others, there are in the world – but this will have to suffice for now.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

5 responses to “Then there were those language cartoons.

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