Being English as my second language, I’m constantly striving to improve my English skills. I believe, a true measure of your command of a language is how well you can understand humor and joke in that language utilizing what you already know. It’s not how much you know the grammar and words of that language, but it’s how much you can communicate in a limited foreign language to influence people. That’s why I met white guys who know only limited words in Asian language make Asian girls laugh hysterically; on the other side, I seldom met Asian guys could do the same to girls in any other races. I think that this comes down to the wit of the speaker and his ability to think on the spot. Overall, it’s communication skills that counts!
For those like me who are not naturally street smart and an ESL speaker in this white male dominated society, we can start work on being a good story teller, being funny and witty is a great way to build rapport with people. In my experience, the most practical way to learn to tell a joke is by modeling those who can do it well.
A few points to share from my experience:
– Keep the dialog down using short stories in sentences with a punch line. (prep-written conversational homework)
– Strive to speak with a clear and command language. The more concise, the more powerful. (Accent reduction. Learn to use power phrases. Preparation counts!)
– Non-verbal communication is critical, so be expressive like Bruce Lee (Youtube is your great resource. Take notes!)
– Appearance isn’t everything, but it’s hell important in communicating one’s self-image! Dress to impress accordingly to the situation. (Study fashion magazines or consult people in fashion)
I’m sure that there are more to this. I’d love to hear from every one to share their ESL experience.