July 5, 2007


From Mary Haas' Thai Reader (1954), three 50-year-old jokes that actually translate into English (so I translated them). Whether they're actually funny or not, you can decide.

Sawai: “Suang, how old is your younger sister?”
Suang: “She is seven years old.”
Sawai: “But why did she tell me she was only four years old?”
Suang: “Because she learned to count at age three!”

Teacher: “What color is the sea?”
Student: “Black.”
Teacher: “Why do you think it's black?”
Student: “Because there are so many squid!”

Teacher: “Who can tell me what a fisherman's net is made of?”
Student: “It’s made of many, many small holes tied together with rope!”

And here are a few well-known jokes that don't translate:

#4: มีคนไทยอยู่สองร้อยคน คนไหนเป็นคนอีสาน

#5: มีแก้วสิบใบเต็มไปด้วยน้ำ แก้วใบไหนมีน้ำน้อยที่สุด

#6: เดือนแรกมีบ้าน เดือนที่สองมีรถ เดือนที่สามมีอะไร

#7: มีสิบคนยืนบนหน้าผา คนที่เท่าไรตกหน้าผาตาย

I'll post the answers next time, along with a new batch of jokes. If you have a Thai joke, post it in the comments. :)


  1. The jokes are funny. Especially #1 and #3. Thanks for the laugh.

  2. Ok Rikker it has been about an hour since I posted my first comment. #2 is funny too. It just took me longer to get it. LOL!

  3. I agree with Janet, #3 is funny

  4. *I don't know of any common translation for ปิ่นโต.

    It's quite simply 'pinto' - has been in use since colonial times.