Context: D also introduced me to this Spanish joke that they had learned from her childhood friends. D explained that “pollo” is chicken in Spanish, and “repollo” is cabbage in Spanish, so the joke is that people would answer chicken for the first question, and then rechicken for the second question. They told me that the joke would only make sense to people who were bilingual in both English and Spanish since it plays off of the similarities of both Spanish words and their English translations.
Analysis: After D explained the joke to me, I found it quite funny even though they thought it was silly since it was just a stupid joke they played on each other in grade school. It’s interesting how language works with jokes because they sometimes don’t work when translated. This actually reminded me of a joke that I heard from a family friend of mine that only bilingual people who speak both Mandarin and English would understand. You put up four fingers and ask the person what word you are putting up and they will usually respond with “four”. Then you bend your four fingers down and ask them again what word you are putting up and they usually get stumped, so you tell them that it’s “won-der-ful” putting emphasis on the “won” and pronouncing the “ful” similar to four. This is because the “won” sounds a lot like the mandarin word for bend is “弯”, so together it’s roughly translated to “bent four”.