Fun or Funny?

No, I don’t think there’s anything inherently amusing about a diet free of animal products, and to be fair I don’t think the publishers of this Italian magazine do either. This is a common translation error I’ve experienced when teaching and translating both in Italy and Belgium, where people often don’t grasp the subtle distinction between “fun” and “funny”; between something which is enjoyable and something which makes you laugh. It’s not that they don’t understand the difference, and they do have words in their own languages to describe the two separate concepts, but when it comes to saying it in English they’ll often use “funny” when they should say “fun” (although, interestingly, not the other way around: jokes aren’t described as “fun”).

Have you seen this mistake in any languages you speak?



One thought on “Fun or Funny?

  1. Erik R. April 28, 2014 / 11:48 am

    Yup, it’s common among hispanophones learning English.


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