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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    A joke difficult to understand

    Please be so kind to explain me this joke from The Last Man Standing s08e11

    A girl and a man from her exchange family are having a meal and talking:

    The girl: So what does baloney have to do with fighting the man?
    The man: I think it's the nitrates. Rumor has it, when Napoleon admitted defeat to the Russians, he turned to his generals and he said, "Oh, mon dieu! No baloney".

  2. VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: A joke difficult to understand

    Not every joke in a sitcom is good.

  3. Junior Member
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    #3

    Re: A joke difficult to understand

    And nevertheless I have to translate each and every one of them.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A joke difficult to understand

    Quote Originally Posted by Talagrim View Post
    And nevertheless I have to translate each and every one of them.
    Why?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. VIP Member
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    #5

    Re: A joke difficult to understand

    The "joke" is that Napolean lost a war because he didn't have bologna. Which is unlikely.

    Couple that with some mocking of a French accent, and you have a bad sitcom laugh line.

  6. Junior Member
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    #6

    Re: A joke difficult to understand

    Professional duty

  7. Moderator
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    #7

    Re: A joke difficult to understand

    You'll just have to translate it literally. I don't understand it in English, so your readers don't need to understand your translation.

  8. Moderator
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    #8

    Re: A joke difficult to understand

    The show's director may have added a laugh track after that line, but no audience would have laughed there. You can translate the line with something that isn't funny and maintain your integrity as a translator.

    I've often sympathized with translators when watching subtitled movies. I speak French, so I've been able to see the lengths some translators go to to retain the sense of a dialog in French movies. In the film Le Dīner de cons ("The Dinner Game"), a character is watching a soccer ("football") match. He's a devoted fan of his home team and shouts at the TV, "Allez Auxerres !" ("Go Auxerres!") The subtitle reads "Go Marseilles!" The translator must have reasoned that an American audience wouldn't know that Auxerres is a town, so they wouldn't have understood what the character was doing.
    I am not a teacher.

  9. Senior Member
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    #9

    Re: A joke difficult to understand

    I'm a native speaker and I don't understand that "joke" either.
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  10. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #10

    Re: A joke difficult to understand

    Most people don't know the origins of the word baloney. I do, but I struggle to see the connection being made. It is a terrible joke. If there's something funny in the next lines, jump over this quickly to get there.

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