Updated: Nov 6, 2020
If you are reading this, you are probably business-minded, and business can be pretty serious, especially right now when there is so much uncertainty in the world.
Even without all of the serious matters at hand today, I can be pretty serious by nature. So, recently I made a point to try to memorize a joke. I thought it would help lighten my mood and and also be a good exercise in memorization. I’ll tell you the joke in just a moment.
The important thing is that I discovered that memorizing and then telling a joke to a friend is a fantastic way to practice a language in a brain-friendly way. In addition, it helps you practice something called timing.
Wikipedia explains it like this: “Comic timing is the use of rhythm, tempo, and pausing to enhance comedy and humor. The pacing of the delivery of a joke can have a strong impact on its comedic effect.”
One simple example of timing is when you pause before delivering the punch line. But that is just the beginning. If you're really curious, here’s a great audio clip of comedian George Carlin describing the concepts of timing and delivery in his own words.
When you take into account the timing, delivery, and memorization, telling a joke in your native language can be challenging enough! There can be a lot of pressure to get it right. So, why practice telling jokes in your target language?
For the fun and challenge of it, I say! Plus, even if you mess it up, you will probably get a laugh anyway, just for your effort. I recommend starting with shorter jokes and building up to longer ones. Or, simply choose one joke and master it over time.