78 - I accept your joke and deem it laughable.

If someone writes something funny online, you can write (笑), pronounced わら, which is Japanese "LOL" or "haha."

But what about in face-to-face conversations?

How do you say, "That's hilarious!"

Or, "That's ridiculous!"

Or, "That's so funny!"


Any ideas?



Anyways, see you next lesson.


No, I'm just kidding.

Let's learn some stuff.

Specifically, these two words:

strange; odd; amusing; funny

受ける / ウケる
to receive; to get; to undergo

Strange = Funny?

I first learned that the word for something being "funny" in Japanese was おかしい.

This made a lot of sense to me, because おかしい, first and foremost, "means strange."

Similarly, in English we sometimes say the word "funny" for things that are strange.

For example, you could say:

My computer's acting funny [strange].
Literally: "something (like) + PC + strange."

Sometimes this "strange" can also take on a nuance of suspicion:

きょう ニコ の ようす おかしくない?
Niko seems to be acting a little strange today.
Literally: "Today + Niko + の + appearance / state + not strange?"

We can also use おかしい (quite rudely) in the sense that someone is "not right:"

あたま おかしい ん じゃない?
Have you lost your mind?
Literally: "head + strange + ん + is not?"
Note: Rei told me that she could, for example, say this to me if I suddenly bought a luxury sports car with money we don't have.

But yes, it can also mean "funny" in the comic sense:

Hahaha, that's funny!
Literally: "hahaha + strange!"


おかしい はなし きかせて あげる。
I'll tell you a funny story.
Literally: "strange + talk/story + let you listen + give."
Note: I think the phrase 聞かせてあげる is so cool. We have the causative of 聞く, "make/let (you) listen) combining with "give," so it's like saying, "I'll give you the gift of letting you listen (to my funny story)."

Do people really say おかしい?

This is actually a question that I had.

I can distinctly remember one of the only times I've heard someone say おかしい about something that was funny:

Milhouse said it in a dubbed version of an episode of The Simpsons when he was laughing.

After that, I thought it was pretty common to use it... but years later, I've noticed that no one I know seems to say it. Ever.

I asked Rei, and she said that maybe (just maybe) it's not as popular with the younger generation.

That episode of The Simpsons probably aired (and was translated) back in the late 90's or early 2000's, so maybe that somewhat explains my confusion? I don't know.

(Note: I know you're wondering if I can hook it up with these dubbed episodes. Sadly, I no longer have them in my possession. *Cries* Not that I can share copyrighted materials like that anyways.)

So what do people say, then?

One option is to just say 面白い(おもしろい), which seems to mean just about everything--from "interesting," to "fun," to "funny:"

Hahaha, that's funny!
Literally: "hahaha + interesting!"

But that's not the one that I hear most often for things that are truly funny.

Rather, the word I always hear is ウケる.

Examples, please:

Hahaha, that's hilarious.
Literally: "hahaha + receive!"


ニコ の はなし ウケた ね!
Niko's story was funny, huh?
Literally: "Niko + の + talk + received / accepted + ね!"

I... receive your joke?

Some of you are likely aware of this already, but 受ける(うける)is an extremely common word that has about a million uses in Japan. Just look at all of these dictionary entries:

(01) to receive; to get
(02) to catch (e.g. a ball)
(03) to be struck by (wind, waves, sunlight, etc.)
(04) to sustain (damage); to incur (a loss); to suffer (an injury); to feel(influence)
(05) to undergo (e.g. surgery); to take (a test); to accept (a challenge)
(06) to be given (e.g. life, talent)
(07) to follow; to succeed; to be descended from
(08) to face (south, etc.)
(09) to be modified by
(10) to obtain (a pawned item, etc.) by paying a fee
(11) to be well-received; to become popular; to go down well

The basic meaning is "to receive" or "to accept" something.

So I guess it kind of makes sense to say "I receive (the funny thing)" when we say ウケる.

(Note: Notice how the first two characters are in katakana for this version.)

We can even think of it as saying, in a non-sarcastic way, "I get it; I get what's funny."

This also connects nicely with our next lesson topic: The many (other) ways to use the word 受ける(うける).

Get excited.

Bonus Phrases

なにそれ (わら)
What is that? LOL. // What is that supposed to mean?LOL.
Literal:what + that

Complete and Continue