Humor and jokes often get lost in translation. But VOA Ukrainian journalist Tatiana Koprowicz navigated language barriers like a pro on the hit Ukrainian TV show “Anektody po-Ukrainsky” (Jokes: Ukrainian Style), which features public figures trying their hand at comedy.
As a columnist for a popular women’s magazine, author of two books, and anchor and producer for VOA’s Chas-Time, Koprowicz fits the bill as a media personality in Ukraine, well-known under her maiden and now pen name Tatiana Vorozhko.
During a visit to Kyiv in August, producers asked her to appear on the program – one of the country’s longest-running TV shows – which airs on one of the biggest TV networks in the country, ICTV.
Koprowicz says she took her appearance on the light-hearted program seriously, hoping her humor would not fall flat. “I went through hundreds of jokes trying to find the right ones that audiences in Ukraine would like, would understand, and of course, ones that would not be offensive,” Koprowicz says.
Her part was filmed in a makeup studio in downtown Kyiv, with Koprowicz alone at a table delivering joke after joke for the cameras. So far she’s appeared in two of the weekly episodes, with potential for more to come.
“The jokes I chose are ones that everyone in the U.S. knows – now people in Ukraine know them, too!” she said. “It’s a different but important process of cultural communication and understanding.”