The Proper Word When A Cup Is Full

The first time you feel comfortable enough to tell a joke in a foreign language and people understand you -and laugh about it- that’s the moment when you know you are now fluent enough to carry on a conversation, join a discussion, or make small talk.

Being able to go on stage and entertain an audience in English by making fun of the English language, that’s genius.

Leikola Ismo, a Finnish stand-up comedian who I found on my daily quest for my morning laughter, is brilliant, and also very likable.

Take a break from the Christmas countdown and I hope you all will enjoy the short clip as much as I did.

She sells seashells by the seashore I learned the same dumb sentence when I learned English. I suppose some things never change!

Hyvää joulua! (Merry Christmas in Finnish)


18 thoughts on “The Proper Word When A Cup Is Full

    • Amanda, I am (or was) a translator and interpretor, so I guess it came easy. Europe is so small and the next country is just a couple of hours away. In one hour we were at the border to Italy (Italian), in two hours in Germany (German) in two hours in Switzerland (French/German/Italian) and it was not far to France either. In the highest school, the gymnasium, you learn Latin in 5th grade, old Greek in 6th grade and French in 7th grade. From there is gets easier. Many people in Europe are bilingual or multilingual.


      • I so envy Europeans speaking many languages andctheur proximity to other countries. 🤢🚵‍♀️ I love languages but only had the opportunity to learn one other than English, (Japanese) until I became an older adult. Then it got way harder. The Scandi languages are pretty easy as they are similar but speaking them much harder than understanding the written side. I still work on trying to improve it and an thinking of learning Italian at a nearby University of the Third Age.


  1. Oh my goodness – “Transportation!” He is so very clever. Comedians have an uncanny knack of observing all the tiny nuances or quirks about us and drawing attention to theme silliness of them. But jokes don’t seem to directly translate into another language do they? What one country finds funny is not humorous at all in the next. So to find the humour in another language is genius. That darn tongue twister! I feel sorry for the students especially if the S sound is tricky for them.

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    • “Transportation” cracked me up too. Brilliant this guy and his timing and his demeanor is perfect.
      A lot of jokes (mostly the ones with sexual nuances) are easy to translate. As for tongue twisters, there should be a law against it 🙂


      • My son was an exchange student in Norway for a short period. We sent over a very iconic Australian movie called The Dish. His Norwegian host family watched it and laughed. What was weird was they laughed at all the things that we didn’t find funny and did not laugh at all the things we Australians cracked up over. Local idiom and slang could partly explain this but we still find it strange that humour could be so different between countries. My Norwegian penpals would sometimes send me funny memes in Norwegian, and translated they just were not funny.

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