View previous topic | View next topic

I need help to understand british humour!

Page 1 of 1

ecume
583134.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:47 am Reply with quote

The title of my topic is supposed to draw maximum of your attention.
I actually do understand and love british humour:)

But, no! in fact not all the time) I really do need your help!
I am translating now the first episode of the Series B "Blue".
Here are the 4 moments when I don't laugh as loud as the audience and I suspect I just don't see some cultural references or something....

1. Stephen: That's the modern Greeks.
Alan: Oh, the modern Greeks. We don't like them!

2. Alan: Estonians aren't stupid people, are they?
Stephen: They aren't.
Sean: They're very stumpy, though. [holds up fists sturdily]

3. Sean: "Which . . . which side does young Sir dress on?" [looks down and spreads arms in uncertainty] "Well . . . "
Sean: "There's nothing for me to worry about."
Alan: [with pipe in mouth] He should know; that's written on the toilet walls!

- No cultural references, I think. Just... in stupor. I get the hole thing about "young Sir having his own tailor"... except these last 2 phrases. Please, put them in other words!

4. Alan: I saw Richard Whiteley interviewing two Bluebell Dancers once. I thought he was going to have a coronary.
Bill: "Can I have two from the top?"

- Ok. double meaning. 1) it's a phrase from that panel game meaning...? the choice of question by a player or something like that. Is it?
2) I guess I understand what it means, just... ashamed to say it out loud! ))

I'll be exceedingly grateful for your help.

 
zomgmouse
583182.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:02 am Reply with quote

1. A reference to the fact that many factoids have been about Ancient Greeks, and not Modern Greeks.
2. Estonians were the ones who'd had this superstition of not pointing at rainbows was it? otherwise your fingers would fall off. Stumpy means they've only stumps left (presumably from pointing at rainbows).
3. "Toilet walls"=graffiti, of which much entails the size of so and so's genitalia. Not sure about "Nothing to worry about" but I have a feeling it could have something to do with sodomy.
4. I do believe he is talking about breasts.

 
swanbarly
583187.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:05 am Reply with quote

3. When a tailor is measuring a man for a pair of trousers he needs to know where the man’s organ hangs so that he can make the trousers fit properly. So, “which side do you dress” is a euphemism for “where do your testicles hang”. Therefore Sean looks at himself and what he says implies that he is well endowed. Alan then implies that other people have commented on this by writing on the walls of toilets; that is a place traditionally used for people to write things that can’t be said in polite company.
4. There is a British TV programme called Countdown. Richard Whiteley used to present it (he’s dead now). The participants have to make words from random letters they chose. But there is another part where they choose random numbers and a computer then produces a number in the hundreds. They have a choice of different levels of numbers and participants often say something like “I’ll have two from the top and three from the bottom” or something like that. The participants have to use the numbers they’ve chosen in simple arithmetic to give the number that the computer has produced. OK, that’s the background to the programme but there are other allusions. ‘Bluebell girls’ are burlesque dancers. Something like Le Moulin Rouge. The implication therefore is that such dancers are likely to get a man excited (have a coronary). Bill then implies that Whiteley would have wanted to fondle the dancers’ breasts by using the Countdown phrase, “can I have two from the top.”

I hope this helps but it’s very difficult to explain a joke this way.
Anyway, good luck!

 
ecume
583203.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:26 am Reply with quote

zomgmouse wrote:
2. Estonians were the ones who'd had this superstition of not pointing at rainbows was it? otherwise your fingers would fall off. Stumpy means they've only stumps left (presumably from pointing at rainbows).


calembour: 1) stumps instead of fingers fallen off
2) "stumpy" in a usual sense of...? коренастые, крепенькие?

Quote:
4. I do believe he is talking about breasts


Oh, thank you so much! I was too shy)))
да... это, пожалуй, перевести изящно не получится
Спасибо!

 
zomgmouse
583218.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:57 am Reply with quote

Stump = "ампутированная конечность" or "обрубок" in this context. It isn't a pun or a play on words, it just means that they've no fingers.

"Two from the top" would be, approximately, "две с верха".

 
ecume
583234.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:11 am Reply with quote

swanbarly wrote:
3. When a tailor is measuring a man for a pair of trousers he needs to know where the man’s organ hangs so that he can make the trousers fit properly. So, “which side do you dress” is a euphemism for “where do your testicles hang”. Therefore Sean looks at himself and what he says implies that he is well endowed. Alan then implies that other people have commented on this by writing on the walls of toilets; that is a place traditionally used for people to write things that can’t be said in polite company.

A lot of help, thank you very much! elaborate euphemisms are translators' nightmare.
Quote:
4. There is a British TV programme called Countdown. Richard Whiteley used to present it (he’s dead now). The participants have to make words from random letters they chose. But there is another part where they choose random numbers and a computer then produces a number in the hundreds. They have a choice of different levels of numbers and participants often say something like “I’ll have two from the top and three from the bottom” or something like that. The participants have to use the numbers they’ve chosen in simple arithmetic to give the number that the computer has produced. OK, that’s the background to the programme but there are other allusions. ‘Bluebell girls’ are burlesque dancers. Something like Le Moulin Rouge. The implication therefore is that such dancers are likely to get a man excited (have a coronary). Bill then implies that Whiteley would have wanted to fondle the dancers’ breasts by using the Countdown phrase, “can I have two from the top.”

As I thought. I knew breasts were meant! but my friend was assuring me it was about having sex with 2 dancers, and I had a doubt... Now, I will tell him that he turned out to be a bit more perverted than I am)

Quote:
I hope this helps but it’s very difficult to explain a joke this way.
Anyway, good luck!

Oh, thank you again! It helped a lot! Everything is clear now, yet almost impossible to translate wittily:)

 
Susannah Dingley
583244.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:37 am Reply with quote

ecume wrote:
4. Alan: I saw Richard Whiteley interviewing two Bluebell Dancers once. I thought he was going to have a coronary.
Bill: "Can I have two from the top?"

- Ok. double meaning. 1) it's a phrase from that panel game meaning...? the choice of question by a player or something like that. Is it?
2) I guess I understand what it means, just... ashamed to say it out loud! ))

In the numbers game on “Countdown”, The big numbers (25, 50, 75, 100) are on the top row and the small numbers (1–10) are in the other rows. “I’ll have two from the top”, meaning the contestants wants two of those multiples of 25 and four small numbers, is a common phrase on the show. Bill is using that phrase with a double meaning, referring on the one hand to “Countdown” and on the other to breasts.

Speaking of numbers game on “Countdown” …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mCgiaAFCu8.

 
PDR
583253.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:02 am Reply with quote

swanbarly wrote:
3. When a tailor is measuring a man for a pair of trousers he needs to know where the man’s organ hangs so that he can make the trousers fit properly. So, “which side do you dress” is a euphemism for “where do your testicles hang”.


Actually it's not for the fit of the resulting garment - it's so that when the tailor is measuring the customer's inside leg dimension his fingers do not make contact with the customer's trouser snake.

PDR

 
swanbarly
583283.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:33 am Reply with quote

I agree that is one reason but it's still true that a good tailor will adjust the sizes of the tops of the trouser legs slightly to accomodate which side one 'dresses'.

The following is from Savile Row Style Magazine.

"Dress to the Left or Right? The consensus is that the left is the more usual position for a man's equipment. This is taken into consideration in the make of the trousers, giving a little more width in the top of the left trouser leg."

 
PDR
583295.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:57 am Reply with quote

The top - what use is that? To give any benefit the extra width would have to continue down to at least knee level, surely?

PDR

 
Jenny
583322.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:35 am Reply with quote

Bragging again, PDR?

 
PDR
583341.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:05 am Reply with quote

...or do I just have miniscule thighs...?

PDR

 
bemahan
583369.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:54 pm Reply with quote

Or are you talking about Sir Les Patterson?

 
ecume
583375.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:59 pm Reply with quote

Not only you have all helped me a lot, but also made my evening)

 
zomgmouse
583595.  Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:51 am Reply with quote

bemahan wrote:
Or are you talking about Sir Les Patterson?

That's the Reverend Hon. Sir Les Patterson to you.

 

Page 1 of 1

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group