Home German Language Jokes in German: Your Information to Understanding German Humor, From Puns to State Official Jokes

Jokes in German: Your Information to Understanding German Humor, From Puns to State Official Jokes

Jokes in German: Your Information to Understanding German Humor, From Puns to State Official Jokes


german puns

In German, Witze  (jokes) can go a protracted approach to lighten the temper.

Some German jokes are primarily based on sentence development, whereas others depend on wordplay or on the best way that sure areas pronounce phrases.

All in all, studying German jokes is a enjoyable(ny) approach to get perception into language and tradition.

You’ll additionally decide up some new, memorable vocabulary alongside the best way!


One basic kind of German joke is the Bauernregeln Witze.

At first, these jokes appear to be pithy sayings about farming or the climate, however then they devolve into punchlines or innuendo. They’re jokes disguised as proverbs.

Listed below are two examples of Bauernregeln Witze, taken from this checklist on an Austrian information website:

Wenn der Hahn kräht auf dem Mist, dann ändert sich das Wetter, oder es bleibt wie es ist.
If the rooster crows on the dung heap, then the climate will shift—or keep the identical.

Herrscht am Abend Sonnenschein, wird er nicht von Dauer sein.
If there’s sunshine within the night, it shan’t final lengthy. 

Regardless of these jokes being a bit old style, lots of people nonetheless write their very own variations and share them on-line.

Beamtenwitze (Jokes About State Officers)

Most cultures have jokes that make enjoyable of “the person,” and German tradition is not any exception.

In German, there are many jokes regarding enterprise and paperwork. These jokes typically consult with Beamte (state officers). You may get began with this checklist of 25 jokes, and much more may be discovered by trying to find “Beamtenwitze” on Google.

Right here’s an instance from Witze.web, a joke aggregator:

Drei in einem Büro und einer arbeitet? Zwei Beamte und ein Ventilator!
Three within the workplace, and one is working? Two state officers and a fan!

German has a rotating staple of inventory joke characters which seem often. Apart from the Beamte, there’s additionally the Manta driver, the butt of so-called Mantawitze.

A Manta is a sort of German automotive, and the Manta house owners in these jokes are infamous for being dumb and obnoxious. Should you seek for “Mantawitze on YouTube, you may see this joke character in motion.

An instance of a Mantawitze may be discovered on WitzCharts.de:

Ein Mantafahrer hat auf seinem Beifahrersitz einen Papagei sitzen und das Fenster offen. Er hält an der roten Ampel neben einem Mercedes. Der Fahrer des Mercedes kurbelt sein Fenster ebenfalls runter und fragt: “Kann der auch sprechen?” Darauf der Papagei: “Weiß ich doch nicht!” 

A Manta driver has a parrot within the passenger’s seat and his window open. He stops at a pink gentle subsequent to a Mercedes. The motive force of the Mercedes lowers his window and asks, “Can that factor discuss?” The parrot solutions: “I don’t know!”

In German, puns are referred to as Wortspiele, roughly translated as “wordplay.”

German phrases may be punned in many alternative methods. For instance, puns may be created through the use of the differing meanings of compound verbs. Sound-alike puns are additionally well-liked in ads, similar to within the States.

For a enjoyable checklist of German puns, take a look at this checklist of “Schlechte Wortspiele” on Bild.de, which incorporates this nice instance:

Egal wie viele CDs du hast, Carl Benz hat Mercedes.
Not matter what number of CDs you have got, Carl Benz has extra CDs/Carl Benz has Mercedes; Mercedes sounds the identical as mehr CDs (extra CDs).

German punning is sort of much like typical English punning. Nevertheless, merely translating a pun that works in English into German could not work on account of German’s personal grammar constraints and phrase meanings.

Really, Germans have a particular phrase for particularly dangerous jokes and puns: Kalauer . This phrase is for the notably face-palming forms of wordplay.

Listed below are some examples of German puns on your leisure!

Native German Puns

1. Wenn es Häute regnet, wird das Leder billig.

Translation: When it rains skins, leather-based turns into low-cost.

Punny impact: Häute  vs. heute

Ignoring the horrific picture, this phrase is a play on the very similar-sounding phrases heute (as we speak) and Häute (pores and skin).

With out the clarification, you’d suppose the primary half of the phrase interprets to “When it rains as we speak,” an innocuous begin that makes the second half bemusing.

2. Warum sind Seeräuber so schlecht in Mathe? Weil sie Pi raten.

Translation: Why had been the pirates so dangerous at math? As a result of they guess pi.

Punny impact: Pi raten  vs. Piraten

Whereas Seeräuber , which accurately interprets to “sea raiders” or “sea robbers,” equates to pirates, it seems that they may also be known as Piraten in German. That results in this pun.

Raten means “to guess,” which isn’t actually the factor to do if you wish to achieve arithmetic.

3. Bärlin

Punny impact: Ber- from Berlin vs. Bär  (bear)

Metropolis names are additionally generally pun-nified, although some may be extra becoming than others. Bärlin can act as a pun for the German capital metropolis of Berlin, and it really works very properly as a result of Berlin’s flag includes a black bear.

Bärlin, nevertheless, doesn’t really translate to something. As you’d count on, this pun is well-liked; there are many German companies, merchandise and ads that make use of it.

4. Zwei Deutschlehrer treffen sich am Strand. Sagt der eine “Genitiv ins Wasser!” Sagt der andere, “Ist es da tief?” 

Translation: Two German academics meet on the seashore. Says one, “Genitive within the water!” Stated the opposite, “Is it deep there?”

Punny impact: Geh nie tief Genitiv , da tief  Dativ

You most likely already know concerning the 4 German instances, genitive and dative being two of them. This can be a pun primarily based on comparable pronunciation. One could initially hear “Geh nie tief ins Wasser” (“By no means go deep into the water”) making “Ist es da tief?”  (“Is it deep there?”) a wise response.

However the pun-ster could as easily exchange Geh nie tief with Genitiv (genitive) and da tief with Dativ (dative). The pun is a formidable one which will take just a few seconds to get, and it’ll strike any German instructor’s humorous bone.

5. Treffen sich zwei Jäger. Beide tot.

Translation: Two hunters meet. Each lifeless.

Punny impact: Sich treffen  

Treffen is a verb that may both imply “to satisfy” or “to hit,” and you’ll think about the way it can result in amusing phrases like this pun.

You could be involved that you just’d run into this double-meaning situation when talking German, however don’t fear an excessive amount of about it. As you may see from puns, context issues quite a bit. 

6. Du hast / Du hasst

Translation: You could have / You hate

Any followers of the German rock band Rammstein would know their iconic hit “Du Hast” by coronary heart.

In addition to being a track you need to jam to, “Du Hast” is well-known for being an intentional wordplay of two German conjugated verbs: hast  (have) from haben , and hasst  (hate) from hassen . So, with none written context, one can hear Du hast (You could have) or Du hasst (You hate).

It additionally helps that a lot of the track’s lyrics are merely “Du, du hast, du hast mich.” The clarification comes later with the road “Du hast mich gefragt”  (“you requested me”), however the darkish temper of the track makes both Du hast or Du hasst fairly viable. Give it a pay attention and don’t resist the urge to rock out!

7. Wie nennt man eine Gruppe von Wolfen? Wolfgang.

Translation: What do you name a gaggle of wolves? Wolfgang.

Punny impact: Wolfgang  (Wolf  + Gang ) vs. Wolfgang  (basic identify)

The phrase for “gang” is identical in German (die Gang ). Wolfgang is a standard German identify that followers of Mozart are absolutely aware of.

The identify Wolfgang seems to be a mixture of Wolf (wolf) and gang (journey / path), so the identify itself would imply one thing like “touring wolf.”

So, this can be a easy pun that may get a smile or an eye-roll out of any German speaker.

8. Arme haben Beine. Beine haben keine Arme; arme Beine!

Translation: Arms have legs. Legs haven’t any arms; poor legs!

Punny impact: die Arme  vs. arme  

The phrase is nonsensical in that means (arms don’t have legs) however its repetitive nature makes it fairly enjoyable to say.

Arme means “arms” however as an adjective, it means “poor” or “pitiful.” With out understanding that, you’d suppose the speaker was talking some form of magic spell about “arms legs.”

If something, this phrase is an efficient reminder to watch out with German homonyms.

9. Egal wie dicht du bist, Goethe struggle Dichter.

Translation: Regardless of how thick you’re, Goethe was a poet.

Punny impact: dichter  vs. der Dichter  

There’s a slew of German puns that comply with this Egal wie  (“Regardless of how…”) construction.

Seems, there are a selection of comparative types of German verbs that sound like utterly unrelated phrases. Like in English, many comparative types of German verbs tackle an –er ending. The harmless souls would assume that dichter (thicker), the comparative type of dicht (thick), was being mentioned on this pun, however (der) Dichter interprets to “poet,” which Johann Wolfgang von Goethe definitely was.

Bilingual German-English Puns

German-English puns are plentiful, helped by the truth that there are many cognates between the 2 languages.

Many punny German ads are literally English-German bilingual puns and incorporate some form of English textual content. That’s as a result of many German natives have good information of English.

There are too many bilingual puns to depend, so in an act of mercy, we’ll solely current 5.

1. “Kau, Boy!” 

That is from a German-based McDonald’s that featured a Western sauce burger.

Kau means “chew” in German. After all, the entire phrase sounds just like the English phrase “cowboy”!

2. “We kehr for you.” 

That is from Berlin’s waste administration firm, and it performs on the English phrase “care” and the German verb kehren  (to comb).

This intelligent pun expresses how the corporate seems out for residents, in addition to their precise obligation of cleansing up the streets.

3. “Regardless of how variety you’re, German youngsters are at all times kinder.”

Kinder is German for “youngsters,” so sure, they definitely are at all times Okinder!

To really say somebody is variety in German, you should use the adjectives nett  or gütig .

4. “The Apfel doesn’t abfällt too removed from the tree.”

This can be a play on the well-known saying “The apple doesn’t fall too removed from the tree.” Apfel  (apple) sounds fairly like abfällt  (previous participle of the verb abfallen , to fall).

In German, the entire phrase can be Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm ab .

5. “A German constructed a rest room round his desk. Unhealthy um Tisch.”

That is primarily based on the onomatopoeia for the drum sting: ba dum tss, well-known because the ending sound for a very dangerous joke.

In German, (das) Unhealthy  is “toilet,” (der) Tisch  means “desk,” and um  means “round.” So, Unhealthy um Tisch suggests one thing like “toilet round desk.”

Comedian Humor

Studying comics is one other entertaining approach to be taught German, and humorous comics can particularly add that additional pizzazz to language examine.

Whilst you can seek for comics to order on Amazon.de, there are many German webcomic artists on-line who create “humorous papers.” These comics typically characteristic punchlines and one-liners which can be jokes.

Listed below are just a few webcomics value trying out:

  • NICHTLUSTIG – Translated as “not humorous,” it’s a lot funnier than its identify would counsel.
  • Katz & Goldt – This options longer comics with deadpan humor.

In search of extra? Try Webcomic-Verzeichnis, a German webcomic aggregator!

Memes and Humor Lists

BuzzFeed has an enormous presence on-line–not solely in English-speaking international locations, but additionally in German. 

Even past English articles translated into German, Buzzfeed has Germany-themed lists with jokes about German tradition.

Should you haven’t had sufficient of memes, simply search for memes on Buzzfeed Germany, and it’ll carry up many, many picture lists. 

After all, if BuzzFeed’s not your fashion, then you may at all times take a look at these different locations to search out German-language memes.

Attending to Know German Humor

Now that we’ve gone by several types of German jokes, you most likely perceive German humor a bit higher! 

Years in the past, a comic urged in The Guardian that German jokes appear impenetrable to English audio system due to the construction of the German language.

That opinion piece was later referred to as out in a Language Log submit. They urged that the cultural context and the foibles of wordplay as a substitute dictate the issue of translating German jokes.

Fortunately, whether or not it’s a matter of German sentence construction, wordplay or tradition, jokes in German may be understood by college students of the language.

All of those difficulties may be overcome.

At its core, quite a lot of German humor isn’t all that completely different from the humor of different international locations and languages.

Germans prefer to snort at foolish errors, and self-depreciation is well-liked.

In Germany, there are satirical jokes, jokes that make jibes at particular folks and even Dadaist jokes which can be humorous for his or her lack of humor (a la the English basic “No Cleaning soap Radio”). There’s quite a bit to find in German humor.

If one explicit kind of joke doesn’t tickle your humorous bone, you may transfer on to the following.

On the very least, even when it’s not your fashion of humor, you’ll get what’s happening when a German speaker tries to crack a joke throughout dialog.

The place to Discover Extra German Jokes

You could find a large number of jokes simply by trying to find the identify of the kind of joke you’re in search of ion Google. Should you kind “Bauernregeln Witze” into Google, for instance, you’ll see web sites dedicated to lists of those jokes—although be aware that some websites may simply supply climate recommendation!

When you’ve exhausted your choices on Google, don’t overlook to go looking on different channels. “Witz,” “lustig” and different comedy-related phrases may be searched on YouTube and TikTok, as properly.

Even looking out in English for “German comedy” can carry up sensible joke exhibits, clips from German TV and even jokester YouTubers.

One other useful resource is FluentU. It’s a language studying program that teaches German utilizing genuine movies that includes native audio system, like commercials, information clips and music movies. This will allow you to hear a variety of German vocabulary utilization, together with actual jokes and puns.

Plus, FluentU’s interactive subtitles in German and English translate the phrases used, together with slang, to make these movies accessible for learners in any respect ranges.  

Try this checklist of humorous on-line assets for extra humorous German hotspots.

Easy methods to Study German with Jokes

So, German jokes are humorous, however how are they useful for language learners?

They are often helpful in a number of methods:

1. Translate German jokes into English.

Firstly, is the literal translation humorous?

Understanding why the joke is perhaps humorous to a different tradition is a activity in and of itself. If you wish to take issues additional, you may attempt to localize the joke—change it till it turns into one thing humorous in English. Bonus factors if a non-German speaker chuckles at your translation.

For instance, Bauernregeln Witze at all times rhymes—are you able to mimic this fashion together with your translation and nonetheless retain the joke’s that means?

2. Pay attention to sound-alike phrases when studying vocabulary.

Typically these are false mates, phrases that appear to be mortgage phrases however are as a substitute wholly unrelated. Strive utilizing these to make up bilingual jokes. Right here’s one well-known German-English joke:

What would Freud say comes between worry and intercourse? Fünf!

3. Create your individual jokes. 

Whereas writing a German knock-knock joke has its personal attraction, attempt creating jokes throughout the bounds of typical German jokes. Perhaps you may create your individual Bauernregeln Witz concerning the futility of scholar loans or pun your approach with a finely-crafted Wortspiel.


The German humor by no means has to finish!

Maintain laughing your approach by German, and also you’ll by no means get bored with your examine routine.