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Thread: Need help understanding a joke

  1. #1
    Подающий надежды оратор
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    Need help understanding a joke

    Hi

    I saw this joke somewhere and I need help translating and understanding it.

    После трёх рюмок коньяку француз переходит на минеральную воду, а русский — на «ты»

    So far I have something like
    "After 3 glasses of "?" the French man goes to mineral water, while the Russian goes to «Ты»

    Is this correct?

    Also I'm having a little trouble understand this, is it because Ты sounds like "tea"?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    That's a Russian joke meant for Russians and you talk about "ты" resembling "tea". You need to let go of those cross-language comparisons when studing Russian if you want to achieve good results in the future, just saying.

    Anyway:

    After 3 shots of cognac a Frenchman switches to mineral water instead, while a Russian starts to adress people on a first name basis.

    It's hard to give an accurate translation of the last part though. Переходить на "ты" is a Russian thing. You might know that "вы" can be both a regular plural "you" and a polite singular "you". If you don't know a person well enough, you adress them with "вы" as a sign of respect to them. When you're friendly enough with someone you just adress them with a regular "ты".
    fortheether and Antonio1986 like this.
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

  3. #3
    Почтенный гражданин
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    "3 glasses of cognac" (type of brandy)
    Joke is about formal/polite vs informal talk. 'Ты' is informal 'you' and 'Вы' is polite/formal 'you'. So, 'перейти на ты' is about switching from formal/polite style of communication (Glad to meet you, mr. Johnson!) to informal one (Wazzzaup, buddy!).
    Joke is built around play of words with similar "...goes to..." related to different processes.
    fortheether and Antonio1986 like this.

  4. #4
    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashleigh View Post
    После трёх рюмок коньяку француз переходит на минеральную воду, а русский — на «ты»
    Something along the lines of: After 3 cognac shots a French man switches to mineral water, while a Russian man begins addressing him as "ты".

    После трёх рюмок коньяку француз переходит на минеральную воду, а русский — на «ты» = После трёх рюмок коньяку француз (1) переходит на минеральную воду, а русский (2) переходит на «ты»

    (1) переходит на = начинает пить/begins drinking
    (2) переходит на = начинает обращаться к кому-то как-то/begins addressing somebody as somebody

    So, it is about a play on words, not because Ты sounds like "tea".
    Thanks for correcting me.

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