Bilingual pun

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{language, word, form}
{film, series, show}
{food, make, wine}
{son, year, death}
{water, park, boat}
{woman, child, man}
{car, race, vehicle}
{build, building, house}
{specie, animal, plant}
{school, student, university}
{service, military, aircraft}
{war, force, army}
{game, team, player}
{@card@, make, design}

A bilingual pun is a pun in which a word in one language is similar to a word in another language; this is often done by mixing languages, and is a form of macaronic language. Typically, use of bilingual puns results in in-jokes, since there is often a small overlap between speakers of the two languages.

A general technique in bilingual punning is homophonic translation, which consists of translating a passage in a source language into a homophonic (but likely nonsensical) passage in a target language. This requires the listener or reader to understand both the surface, nonsensical translated text, as well as the source text – the surface text then sounds like source text spoken in a foreign accent. An example, Luis van Rooten's English-French Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames (1967), translates "Humpty Dumpty" beginning:[1][2]

The original reads:

while the translation literally means:




From the motion picture Clue: the Movie:

English speakers frequently respond jokingly to the French expressions "C'est moi", "C'est la vie" and "C'est la guerre" ("It's me", "That's life" and "It's war", respectively) with "Moi", "La vie" or "La guerre." (The last example was used in the 1952 film Road to Bali.)


A Wayne and Shuster routine depicts a young Mozart appearing before an Emperor who offers him items from a plate of food and asks how many he would like:

  • Nein, sir.
  • Very well then, give him nine… musicians are like actors - they eat like pigs!

It's nice to be a Preiss but it's higher to be a Bayer. This is an bilingual pun because Preiss (pronounced price) is Bavarian slang for prussian and Bayer (pronounced buyer) means Bavarian. In English, there is the price/buyer pun so you really have to understand both languages to get this.


The theme song to the anime series His and Her Circumstances contains the following pun;

"You may" sounds like yume, the Japanese word for "dream".


Following General Sir Charles James Napier's 1843 conquest of Sindh in India, the satirical magazine Punch published a cartoon in which the despatch to his commanders was "Peccavi", meaning, in Latin "I have sinned" (I have Sindh). (The joke was the pun; but the cartoon was about the sin: the slaughter of some 26,000 Indians[dubious ] for no particular purpose, and even against direct orders not to take Sindh.)

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