They come over here and take our punchlines… Hang on, let’s not get all right-wing-press about the foreign stand-ups appearing at the Fringe. This particular short-term swarm of migrant workers are a key element in what makes Edinburgh so great throughout August, bringing an international dimension to the laughter process. Those Americans and Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders, Irish and South Africans have (the majority of them at least) the advantage of English as their first language, but what of the others whose comedy risks losing something in translation?

To be fair, there aren’t as many stand-ups trying out routines in non-native English as there are international theatre and dance companies in the Fringe programme. But seek them out because there are a few and, even if they pick on some of the same topics as their UK peers, they often come at them from a different angle laden down with interesting national baggage.

Tobias Persson is a case in point. His show The Drivel Rights Movement (The Stand, three stars) gains something from the very fact that he is Swedish. Here is a representative of one of the supposedly most liberal societies in Europe, dissecting the way the world has moved on from the fight for civil rights to, as he saw on a poster back home, the “right” to own a luxury kitchen – a particularly Scandinavian aspiration, he argues.

Persson’s insights are sharp, his analysis is intelligent and his everyday dilemmas over how to be a good human being come from the heart. He’s perhaps a little too mild when pushing the audience into more dangerous waters, and he hasn’t quite worked out how to introduce an offensive idea then completely pull the carpet from beneath it, but it’s clear he’s got it in him to become one of Europe’s top political comedians.

Claus Reiss aims lower but has a unique selling point of his own – Return Of The Danish Bagpipe Comedian (Laughing Horse at Espionage, three stars) throws its juxtaposition into its title and gets on with it. Of course there’s a gimmick to him playing snippets of Nena or Celine Dion or Lady Gaga on the pipes, and he often flirts with stereotypes for his gags. But somehow we know that he knows that we know that he’s joking around with the obvious, and that in itself is laugh-out-loud funny. IN any case, he’s quite brilliant at handling the audience: if there’s a more amiable comedian on this year’s Fringe, I’ve yet to see him.

There’s another unique approach to comedy at play in The Wonderful World of Lieven Scheire (Gilded Balloon, three stars). Over the course of an hour, with two flipcharts at his side, the Belgian physicist explains to us special relativity theory and how, on paper, he can make us understand how to fit a 12m rocket into a 10m barn with doors closed. Scheire is engaging and funny when he’s off-subject but it’s hard not to see his routine as a well-above-average conference presentation.

Finland’s Ismo Leikola admits he’s on familiar territory with the title of Observing The Obvious (Gilded Balloon, three stars), and while there’s nothing radical about most of his topics, his slightly absurdist, happy gnome persona gets good laughter returns through the pauses in his delivery as well as the follow-up joke that inevitably comes after the initial gag. He’s another good example of how a foreign perspective (on, say, silent letters in the English language) can itself create a comic scenario that would be beyond the reach of a UK native.

Right now, across the Fringe we're getting a reasonable exchange rate for our comedy sterling.