#768 – Elbow

I remember back in French class people excitedly talking about a magical moment some day in the future when they would have their first dream in French. I never quite got that far. I always wondered what it was like to be fluent in another language. It would open up a whole new world of music and literature that was previously hidden behind weak translation. All those bad puns that can only be enjoyed in their original language.


35 thoughts on “#768 – Elbow”

  1. BigJoeMex says:

    Is it me or Biff is more buff in this one?

  2. mr toast says:

    muscle from the ends of his arms seems to have been transferred to his upper arms…maybe you don’t need strong muscles to be a bilingual sign language translator…

  3. Shelly says:

    I had a dream in Japanese once. With subtitles.

    I don’t speak Japanese.

    French dreams were interesting…but I haven’t had one in a while.

  4. SEA says:

    Mine are mostly silent :p

  5. Fishy says:

    I’m trilingual, Dutch, English and French, and I’ve never had a dream in French though :p

  6. Nilly says:

    I’m bilingual. Speaking English and signing American Sign Language. XD I can’t learn other speaking languages to save my life.

  7. Cuzn Jimmy says:

    I had a weird dream in French one time. I was laying in bed with a beautiful woman by my side, and she leaned close to me and wispered softly into my ear, “Je suis un grande pomme de terre.”
    and then I woke up in my French class.

  8. Ray A. says:

    Me, I’m just wondering how many captions he can mine out of this one illustration …

  9. MaskedMan says:

    I speak enough Farsi to get in serious trouble, enough German to get in *and* out of trouble, and enough Spanish to actually get along.

    Oh, and American English. :p

  10. Ricotez says:

    I speak English nearly fluent. It’s great.

    …of course, that makes no sense if I don’t explain the language I usually speak is Dutch.

  11. Dude says:

    Heck… most Americans don’t even speak English correctifiedly.

  12. The Scarf says:

    His lower arms are definitely more buff than in the previous ones.
    I’ve had dreams where people will say things in jibberish that sounds like other languages, but I don’t think they were actually saying much…

  13. linuxxorcist says:

    @cuzn jimmy:
    “I am a big potato”?, what?

    Here in canada we do not have to take French, however many Canadian universities still require a second language up to grade 12

  14. Drakey says:

    Sometimes I dream in French.


  15. Dude says:

    I think I’ve figured it out. All the same picture conclusions… it’s a hoax! We’re looking at Biff from, what I’ll assume will be, 5 different dimensions!

  16. fluffy says:

    There have been some minor changes in the artwork over the course of the week. I averaged together the four comics so far, and you can see them at http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2010nrp&s=5 – his eyebrows, eyes, and mouth have changed, and in the most recent one the lower arms have bulged a little.

    You can also see them animated at http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2w708ci&s=5

  17. Space Butler says:

    Thanks for those! However, I don’t think the world can handle Biff the animated series.

  18. Radical Edward says:

    I speakread Japanese and German, but not enough to be a professional translator.

    Some of the best bad puns in Japanese are ones like koi (can either mean love or the carp) and nashi (can either mean pear or to not exist)

  19. William Syler says:

    @ fluffy
    That was awesome. i hope we see more of this “similar image” week so you can do this again!

  20. Talen says:

    What the crap, I thought that the comic wasn’t updating cause the picture was the same at first glance. Imagine my surprise when I took the time to actually read it today…

  21. -2! says:

    @ linuxxorcist

    Wait what?

    What province are you in. Here in ON we are required until grade 9, and university’s don’t care for it.

  22. Mophtran says:

    “Biff enjoys his new arms, except for the extra work to keep them in shape.”

  23. Ziggy Stardust says:

    Nice elbow work, Chrissikins, but I preferred the metacarpals from yesterday. Overdeveloped extra biceps raise more questions than they answer!

  24. fluffy says:

    Oh, on the topic of languages and puns, sign language is a pretty amazing beast on its own. Being a spatial language it has some interesting conventions, such as being able to define arbitrary pronouns via points in space, and since it’s based on gestures, compound words can be formed by doing multiple gestures simultaneously. Apparently it is also a language which is incredibly rich in puns and slang “expressions” which are pretty much impossible to translate literally, much less explain.

  25. -2! says:

    … and to think before the book of Biff I didn’t think i could find a single panel no text in panel no drop down comic so funny.

    Let alone making me laugh 4 days in a row with only minor “spot the difference” changes in the art.

    The art is really well done, but I now know the writing is what makes the comic.

  26. MadDavid says:

    I could be dreaming in Russian, for all I know! (And I don’t know a word of Russian)

    The first thing that I forget about my dreams is all the dialogue.

  27. Olly says:

    Biff, you sly thing! I’ve been glancing at the front page for a couple of days now, thinking you haven’t updated!

    Still, it’s been a fun 5 minutes reading back through the missed pages

  28. werp says:

    I tend to dream in French only when in France: as soon as I’m back in the UK I dream in English.

  29. Anna Tramell says:

    I just wondered if you have a twitter feed to tell your lovely devoted fans when a new comic comes out… =3

  30. Pom Rania says:

    When I was in Quebec for a month (I’m going again in July, dv), I’d dream in an odd combination of French and English. That was also the languages I wrote my journal in. I’d switch languages randomly in the middle of a sentence.

  31. YukiSnowflake says:

    I speak… (*ahemm… wait for it…*)
    @ english (*fluent, first language*)
    @ welsh (*basic, a bit advanced*)
    @ french (*only basic*)
    @ spanish (*1-6*)
    @ japanese (*not much, but some*)
    @ polish (*random stuff like english lighter*)
    @ biffish (*fluent*)

    Thats… seven, including biffish.

  32. YukiSnowflake says:

    @Radical Edward – the best one ive seen is a japanese only manga only joke, about a guy called Niida, and change the writing, so it is said the same, but meant “second place” because he was always second… |:D

  33. YukiSnowflake says:

    …crap… triple post…
    anyway, sign language is funny..
    the local high school is in prestatyn, which is half and hours walk away from this neighbouring town of meliden.
    funny, because sign language for prestatyn is basically pushing an invisible switch, (*prestatyun, press dat in*) whoever thought that up has a weird sense of humor.

  34. Voyager says:

    If I’ve got this translated correctly, its about cups full of steam keeping the ocean awake, but I’m not sure of the significance of the cups being black.

  35. Marscaleb says:

    This one also made me laugh out loud.

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