You’re Having A Laugh …

You’re Having A Laugh …

Although it exports quite well, with versions of TV shows from the UK shown all around the world, the British sense of humour isn’t always fully understood or appreciated overseas.

Sarcasm and self-deprecation don’t always translate well; indeed, in some countries, if you say the opposite of what you actually mean, you run the risk of being taken literally.

An example I find hard to forget was when a waiter in Turkey asked if I’d enjoyed a meal and I looked at my completely empty plate significantly and told him it was horrible.

The poor man looked horrified and was already asking if he could offer a drink on the house to compensate before I’d even had chance to explain it was just a joke.

You’re Having A Laugh …

Culture shock

But, if you’re UK resident and already have your sights set on a new home in Portugal, you may be relieved to know there may not be such a huge difference in cultures.

Indeed, you may find the sense of humour isn’t all that different to “home”. Many Portuguese understand the British love of “banter” and are even happy to instigate a little themselves.

Ask for a small salad for lunch, for example, and you may find yourself staring at a lettuce leaf … If you order a beer, another waiters’ favourite is to tell you with a deadpan face that they’re very sorry but it’s all gone – only to smile at your consternation and admit there’s actually plenty.

The Portuguese are often quite happy to poke gentle fun at themselves too – although it’s probably best to enjoy rather than participate yourself and risk causing offence.

Many Portuguese are also completely used to being confused with the Spanish – but won’t always be pleased with being mistaken for a Brazilian. They may speak the same language as the latter but, since the colonisation of South America, a rivalry has developed between the two nations – not dissimilar to the relationship between the British and the Australians.

You’re Having A Laugh …

Feeling At Home

In short, if you’ve enjoyed holidays in Portugal before – enough to choose it as a potential home in retirement or even for the family – we’d expect you to feel at home perhaps a little quicker than in some other countries, particularly if you can make an effort to learn some of the language and other etiquette.

But, if you want the Portuguese sense of humour summed up in a few minutes we’d thoroughly recommend a quick watch of the YouTube video, which inspired this blog in the first place. Hopefully, it will bring a smile to your face and a little more understanding of what you can expect. Enjoy!

In the meantime, don’t forget we have a good selection of villas and apartments for sale in Portugal and we’d be delighted to help with both the paperwork and some of the logistics in moving to another country.

Feel free to browse here, drop us a line or give us a call. We’d be delighted to help if we can.

If you are non EU citizen and you are interested in the Golden Visa scheme or Portugal, Spain or Greece we can also assist you with that.

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