Non-English versions of The Simpsons

The animated TV show The Simpsons is an American English language animated sitcom which has been broadcast in the United States since 1989 on FOX. In other countries, the TV show started broadcasting later than 1989 either in its original version or in a dubbed version.

Contents

By language

Arabic

The show was first broadcast in the area in its original language with Arabic subtitles on networks like Showtime Arabia and Dubai's One TV, where it received a following in the area.

The show was finally given an Arabic translation in September 2005, under a title that transliterates as "Al-Shamshoon" ("The House of Shamshoon," In Arabic, آل شمشون) In addition to being dubbed in Arabic (with subtitles provided for shots including written English, such as the chalkboards), references to alcohol (Duff Beer & Moe's Tavern), pork (bacon & hot dogs), and numerous other themes have been deleted or significantly modified. For instance, Homer drinks soda-pop instead of beer, eats beef sausages as opposed to pork, eats ka'ak instead of donuts, and all references to Moe's Tavern were cut.[1] The references to Rabbi Krustofsky, Krusty the Clown's father, were not present. According to Richard Poplak of the CBC, an ex-Disney employee in Lebanon told him that, in Poplak's words, "if a TV station can help it, they’ll excise references to Judaism from shows meant for the pan-Arab market."[2] Badih Fattouh, MBC 1's acquisitions and drama commissioner head, said "You must understand that we did not simply dub, but we Arabized the concept, and we toned it down a bit. We toned [down] the language — we Arabized it in the cultural sense."[2]

MBC 1, a company owned by Saudi Arabian sheiks, created the Arabic adaptation. Amr Hosny, a scriptwriter who frequently adapts works for the Arab world, served as the writer. The creative personalities behind Al-Shamshoun were Egyptian. The producers decided to adapt the "classic" episodes, beginning with Season 4, rather than starting with the original episodes. The characters were also given typical Arabic names such as Omar, Mona and Badr for Homer, Marge and Bart respectively as part of the retooling, while voices were provided by leading actors including Egyptian film star Mohamed Henedi as "Omar", and their hometown "Springfield" was called "Rabeea" (Arabic for Spring) and made it look like an American town with a major Arab population. Poplak said "Although Fattouh and MBC will give no figures, the licence fees from 20th Century Fox could not have been cheap."[2]

About the original series, Hosny said "I loved it. I take off my chapeau: they are very good artists. And the writers are unbelievable. I loved the character of Homer. There is something very strange about this character. It’s very close to the Egyptian point of view. He’s a very simple and kind person; from some points of view you feel that he’s incredibly stupid, and from some points of view you feel he is wise. Sometimes I felt I was talking about an Egyptian person. Nothing is certain and taken for granted — it’s not ipso facto — and this makes good art."[2] Hosny said that the sheiks who owned MBC interfered in the creative process, making the show more edited and less comprehensible. For instance, Hosny wanted to make a "Little Arab Town" where it would be explained why there were many Arab people living in the middle of the United States. The sheiks rejected Hosny's suggestions. Poplak said "Instead, Springfield remained, and there was no coherent explanation given as to why a full Arab community exists within the middle of Middle America."[2] Hosny wanted Homer to drink she'er, a non-alcoholic malt drink, so dubbing would be easy. The sheiks insisted that Homer drink juice. Hosny also stated that he tried to underemphasize Waylon Smithers's homosexual attraction for Mr. Burns. Poplak said "Through a steady process of cross-cultural attrition — no bacon sandwiches, no Moe’s Tavern, church becomes masjid (mosque) — The Simpsons was whittled down to a shadow of itself."[2]

The show debuted after al-Iftar on October 4, 2005, the first night of Ramadan. The show overall had a poor reception. Fattouh said "The show was not a big success. Otherwise, of course, we would have continued to do another season. I would say it was fairly received, but average. This made us reconsider."[2] Poplak said "That’s putting it mildly. MBC’s core viewers were baffled. From most accounts, the show was incoherent."[2] The MBC show had a poor reception in the Saudi Arabian market, described by Poplak as "all-important."[2] Cartoons in Saudi Arabia are perceived as being for children, and adults, puzzled at why cartoons were airing during the post-Iftar time, chose to watch other channels. Arabs who were fans of The Simpsons also had a negative reaction.[2] As'ad AbuKhalil, a professor at California State University, Stanislaus and a blogger who operates the "The Angry Arab News Service," (Arabic: وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب‎) said that after he saw a promotional segment, "This is just beyond the pale[.]" and "It was just painful. ... The guy who played Homer Simpson was one of the most unfunny people I ever watched. Just drop the project, and air reruns of Tony Danza's show instead."[1] Fattouh added "You see, culturally, it didn’t cross very well. Maybe the sense of humour is too North American. Comedy is especially a culturally sensitive matter. What you can define as funny is an outcome of learnings, habits, doings, local behaviour — it is the sum of so many factors. Drama is one thing, but with comedy, it is black and white. Deep inside, either you laugh or you say, ‘No, this is not funny.’ They did not think this was funny."[2] As a result, only 34 of the 52 adapted episodes aired.[2]

Poplak said "It is a lesson in cross-cultural adaptation, and a warning of how delicate a powerful piece of television art like The Simpsons actually is."[2]

The show in its unedited form currently airs on Fox Series with Arabic subtitles.

French

The Simpsons has been dubbed into the French language twice, once in the Canadian province of Quebec and again in France. In both versions, the show is named Les Simpson, as last names are not pluralized in French. The French audio on the Region 1 DVDs is the Quebec dub.

It is one of only a handful of American television shows that have wholly separate versions in Quebec and France, and a number of studies have been made comparing them. In France all the characters speak standard French, with the exception of the ethnic minorities: Apu is given the Indian accent, while Carl, who has no accent in the American version, also speaks inflected French. Kirk Van Houten is given a stereotypical Belgian accent.[3] In the Quebec version only the town élite, such as Principal Skinner and Reverend Lovejoy, speak International French. The Simpson family and most of the townsfolk speak Quebec French with strong Québécois accents. In the Quebec version the ethnic minorities also have accents. Apu speaks in a creole while Carl has the accent of a Black immigrant from Africa or the Caribbean.[4]

Local idioms are occasionally adopted in place of direct translation. American cultural and political jokes are occasionally replaced with local references. For instance, a reference to Newt Gingrich in Quebec is generally replaced with one to Mike Harris. Most of the recurring characters keep their English names in each French version. Two exceptions are Sideshow Bob and Sideshow Mel, who are known as Tahiti Bob and Tahiti Mel in France, as the word sideshow has no direct translation. In Quebec, the title sideshow is kept as an Anglicism. Another exception is made for the Simpsons family's dog, Santa's Little Helper, who is called "Le p'tit renne au nez rouge" (the French name for the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which literally means "Little Red-Nosed Reindeer") in the Quebec version and "Petit Papa Noël" (name of a French Christmas song that literally means "Little Father Christmas") in the French one.

In addition, although the location and setting of the show are not changed in the Quebec dub (still takes place in the United States), many references to the characters watching American TV shows, movies, etc. are changed to references to Québécois ones. For example, a reference to Homer watching CSI: Miami in the original was changed to Fortier, a similar Québécois show. Although these changed references would be familiar to the French-Canadian viewer, in real life these would be awkward because almost all Québécois media is unknown in the USA- however, this may be a common practice in many foreign dubs of many TV shows. In addition, most instances of the word "English" are changed to "French". Due to this, in one episode where Homer visits Canada, the roles of anglophones and francophones are completely reversed, resulting in a stereotypical English Canadian speaking French and a stereotypical French Canadian speaking English. In another episode, English-Canadians were given stereotypical American accents speaking French, even when the main characters from the U.S.A. were not. The same practice is done in the Quebec dub of King of the Hill, done by the same company and many of the same actors, but to a greater extent: instead of taking place in Arlen, Texas, the show takes place in "Ste-Irène", a Québécois town, and many of the characters' names are changed. However, American flags and pictures of Texas state (such as on the side of police cars) are not edited.

The episodes are dubbed by a team of voice actors, similar to the one that does the original. The team does about two episodes per day. In general these voice actors also do the characters who were voiced by celebrities in the American version. In the French version, on occasion, official dubbers are brought in. For instance for the episode where Mulder and Scully from The X-Files appear the voice actors who do their voices on the French version of the X-Files guest starred.

Up to a certain point, the animation of the show was not changed, and what is written in English appears in English, either subtitled in French or pronounced by a character in French, in the two French versions. One important exception is the blackboard joke at the beginning of each episode. The Quebec and France versions share these French language blackboard scenes. However, for later episodes of the Quebec version, other text was changed as well, such as movie titles ("Cosmic Wars" became "La guerre de l'espace" [Space War] in the episode "Co-Dependent's Day").

Phillippe Peythieu, France's voice of Homer, and Véronique Augereau, France's voice of Marge, first met on the dubbing of the series and are now married, just like their animated counterparts. On April 8, 2007, Peythieu and Augereau hosted "in character" a special prime-time compilation of their favorite Simpsons episodes on French cable channel W9.[5]

Most Québécois who know about the version produced in France are not too fond of it; the humor is completely different. Télétoon, which broadcasts the Quebec Simpsons dub, also once broadcast dubs from France of Futurama (also created by Matt Groening) and Family Guy, two shows similar to The Simpsons whose French dubs were also similar to The Simpsons' Parisian dub. Although The Simpsons has been on Télétoon for a much longer period than the other two shows, Futurama and Family Guy are no longer shown on the network, while The Simpsons continues to be aired.

Catchphrases

In July 2007 Matt Groening said in an interview on Late Night with Conan O'Brien that the actor (Phillippe Peythieu) who does the voice of France French Homer says "T'oh!" instead of Homer's trademark "D'oh!". This comes from the actor misreading the line the first time he did Homer's voice and has been that way ever since. In the Parisian version of the show, many other catch phrases are also translated: Bart's "Eat my shorts" becomes "Va te faire shampouiner" ("Go shampoo yourself", similar to "go to hell"). When Homer tries to throttle Bart, his phrase "Why you little..." becomes "espèce de sale petit..." (literally "you dirty lil'..."). The France French version has also its popular catchphrases, to translate some terms that in the original versions are not catchphrases. Thereby, instead of "Oh my god!", Homer says "Ouh pinaise!", a deformation of "Oh punaise!" (Oh darn!), a watered-down form of the expletive "Oh putain!" (Oh damn!).[6] "Oh pinaise!" is in French as much essential to characterize Homer as "D'oh" is in English. Homer is also unable to pronounce some terms like "bibliothèque" (library) and says "bibiliothèque".[6]

In the Québécois version of the show, "D'oh!" was a simple "Oh!" in the first few seasons, but became the standard "D'oh!" later on, Bart's "Eat my shorts" becomes "Mange de la crotte" (loosely, a less offensive form of "Eat shit"), Bart's "I didn't do it!" becomes "J'ai rien fait" (I did nothing). When Homer tries to throttle Bart, he says "Oh, Mon p'tit verrat" (a Quebec expression, literally "Oh my lil' brat") instead of "Why you little...".

France

The French voice actors are:

Character Voice actor
Homer Simpson, Abraham Simpson, Otto Mann Philippe Peythieu
Marge Simpson, Selma Bouvier, Patty Bouvier, Jacqueline Bouvier Véronique Augereau
Bart Simpson, Jimbo Jones (since season 7) Joëlle Guigui
Lisa Simpson, Milhouse Van Houten, Maggie Simpson Aurélia Bruno
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Waylon Smithers, Carl, Barney Gumble, Lou, Troy McClure, Rainier Wolfcastle, Comic Book Guy, Snake, Lionel Hutz, Chalmers, Duffman, Herbert Powell (voice 1), Guibole, Roger Meyers (voice 4) Patrick Guillemin (seasons 1-9) Pierre Laurent (since season 10)
Moe Szyslak, Lenny, Willie, Cletus, Eddie, Arnie Pie, Louie, Database, Lance Murdock, Scratchy (voice 1), John Frink, Disco Stu, Murphy Gencives Sanglantes (voice 2) Roger Meyers (Voice 3) Roland Timsit (seasons 1-4) Gilbert Levy (since season 5)
Montgomery Burns, Krusty, Clancy Wiggum, principal Skinner, Dr Hibbert, Marvin Monroe, Kent Brockman, Joe Quimby, Tahiti Bob, captain McCallister, Hans Taupeman, Gil, Jasper, Kirk Van Houten, Snyder, Larry, Kang, Nick Riviera, Dewey Largo, Fat Tony (voice 2), Scratchy (voice 2), Herbert Powell (voice 2), Roger Meyers (voice 2), Marge's father (voice 2). Michel Modo† (seasons 1-19) Gérard Rinaldi (since season 19)
Edna Krapabelle (since season 7), Elizabeth Hoover, Sarah Wiggum, Maude Flanders, Agnes Skinner, Doris, Helen Lovejoy, Luann Van Houten, Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon, Bernice Hibbert, Mona Olsen, Itchy, Nelson, Jimbo Jones (seasons 2-6), Kearney, Dolph, Rod Flanders, Martin Prince, Wendell Borton, Lewis, Uter, Janey Powell, Sherri and Terri, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders (since season 2) Régine Teyssot
  • The dialogue is adapted by Juliette Vigouroux and Alain Cassard until season 19, the dialogue was done by Regine Teyssot now.
  • Artistic direction by Christian Dura

There are two important changes in Simpson French dub. First, the departure of Patrick Guillemin at the end of season 9 and secondly the French adapters and Michel Modo (who died recently) during season 19.

Quebec

The Quebec voices are:

Character Voice actor
Homer Simpson Hubert Gagnon
Abraham Simpson1
Marge Simpson Béatrice Picard
Bart Simpson Johanne Léveillée
Lisa Simpson Lisette Dufour

1 Formerly voiced by Jean-Louis Millette

  • It is adapted by Benoit Rousseau with the help of Johanne Léveillée .

The speech of Homer, Lenny, Carl, and other lower-class characters in the Quebec version occasionally resembles joual, the working-class speech.

German

The Simpsons has been dubbed into one single German language version and is broadcast by ProSieben in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland; ORF1 in Austria; and SF 2 in Switzerland. The show is named Die Simpsons and the episodes appear uncut and dubbed, with written or sung English subtitled in German. The animation of the show is not changed. In the blackboard scene, Bart reads the phrase translated, before laughing when the bell rings and jumps on his skateboard (as seen in any other version). Homer's alveolar catch phrase "D'oh!" has been translated to "Nein!" (meaning "No!") rather than leaving it as the meaningless interjection that is his annoyed grunt. The language in general is a bit harsher and more swear words are used; Bart and Homer often say "Arsch" ("ass") instead of 'butt'. Also, when Homer tries to throttle Bart he says "Du mieser Kleiner..." ("You miserable little...") instead of "Why you little...". In the earlier seasons signposts etc. were translated with a subtitle, but this is later replaced with a voiceover as in the Brazilian version. The show's twenty-first season is aired at Tuesdays, 8:15 pm, but they air two reruns every day at 6:10 pm.

While things always get "lost in translation" during any dubbing process, the German version of The Simpsons is infamous for countless mistakes as a result of poor translation. In most cases, the translator of the German dialogue simply is not familiar with certain aspects of American pop culture or the meaning of phrases. However, this is not only a problem of the German version of The Simpsons.

A second general problem is the content of political jokes which can only be understood by people who know the facts and persons (i. e. jokes about several former American presidents).

Before moving to commercial Pro Sieben, the show was initially shown on public broadcaster ZDF, before moving to Swiss pay-TV channel Teleclub and then Premiere, another pay-TV service. The team responsible for bringing the show to Germany clearly had a hard time imagining that an animated show was aimed primarily at a teenage and adult audience and early episodes from these seasons are "toned down" to make them more appropriate for children.

Characters

Nearly all of the characters carry their American names; there are only just a few characters which are translated, especially animals. For example Reverend Lovejoy is still Reverend Lovejoy. Lovejoy's name seems to be the only one ever (partially) translated into German for some episodes (Reverend Gottlieb). Gottlieb is a real German first name - albeit outdated - meaning "to love God".

In earlier episodes, Homer's name was pronounced Hoo-muh, because the German translators didn't know how to pronounce his name correctly. The same thing happened with Apu's surname; he became "Apu Nahasapeemapetilan" temporarily. Also in some episodes, Troy McClure became Kevin McClure.

The voice of Homer is very different to the original version, because the voice actor Norbert Gastell wanted Homer to have a funnier voice. Marge's voice is not as rough as in the original. This difference is very obvious when the characters start to sing, because the songs are not translated (but subtitled) due to the rhymes.

Translated characters:

  • Sideshow Bob: Tingeltangel Bob (literally "Honkytonk Bob"), Sideshow Bob
In early episodes solely translated as Tingeltangel Bob, afterwards taken over the original.
Reverend Gottlieb was used just a very few times, afterwards generally the original.
  • Üter: Uter
In the German version he is always a stereotypical Swiss in order to avoid confusion.
  • Hans Moleman: Hans Maulwurf
  • Bleeding Gums Murphy: Zahnfleischbluter Murphy
  • Bumblebee Man: Bienenmann
  • Comic Book Guy: Comicbuchverkäufer (literally Comicbook Salesman)
  • Santa's Little Helper: Knecht Ruprecht
  • Snowball: Schneeball in some episodes, but generally the original is used.

The German voice actors are:

Character Voice actors
Homer Simpson Norbert Gastell
Marge Simpson Elisabeth Volkmann † (season 1 - HABF04)
Anke Engelke (HABF05 - *)
Bart Simpson Sandra Schwittau
Lisa Simpson Sabine Bohlmann
Maggie Simpson Sabine Bohlmann
Abraham Simpson 1. Walter Reichelt
2. Ulrich Bernsdorff
3. Horst Raspe
4. Michael Rüth
Patty Bouvier 1. Gudrun Vaupel
2. Elisabeth Volkmann
3. Angelika Bender
Selma Bouvier 1. Ursula Mellin
2. Elisabeth Volkmann
3. Angelika Bender
Ned Flanders Ulrich Frank
Maude Flanders Manuela Renard
Seymour Skinner 1. Fred Klaus
2. Klaus Guth
Agnes Skinner 1. Margit Weinert
2. Eva Maria Lahl
Edna Krabappel 1. Gudrun Vaupel
2. Inge Solbrig
Elizabeth Hoover Manuela Renard
Moe Szyslak Bernd Simon
Barney Gumble 1. Gernot Duda
2. Michael Rüth
Lenny Leonard Ulf-Jürgen Wagner
Carl Carlson Peter Musäus
Charles Montgomery Burns Reinhard Brock
Waylon Smithers Hans-Georg Panczak
Krusty Hans-Rainer Müller
Itchy & Scratchy Inge Solbrig
Milhouse Van Houten Michaela Amler
Martin Prince Michèle Tichawsky
Ralph Wiggum Beate Pfeiffer
Chief Clancy Wiggum Thomas Rau
Apu Tobias Lelle
Kent Brockman Donald Arthur
Narrator/Voice-over
used for English text passages
Butz Combrinck

Link with photos and sound samples:

List of English and German voice actors including all seasons:

Catchphrases

Character English German Translation
Homer Simpson D'oh! Nein! No!
Bart Simpson Eat my shorts! Friss meine Shorts! Eat my shorts!*
Mr. Burns Excellent! Ausgezeichnet! Excellent!
  • Note, "friss" (from "fressen") translates to "eat" but is usually used in reference to animals. Used in reference to humans, it is pejorative.

Portuguese

Brazilian version

  • Homer Simpson: Waldyr Sant'anna (seasons 1-7, and 15-17); Julio Cesar (seasons 8-14); Carlos Alberto (since season 18)
  • Marge Simpson: Selma Lopes (seasons 1-7, and since season 14); Mariângela Cantú (season 8); Nelly Amaral (season 9 -13)
  • Bart Simpson: Peterson Adriano (seasons 1-7); Rodrigo Antas (since season 8)
  • Lisa Simpson: Nair Amorim (seasons 1-7); Priscila Amorim (season 8-14); Flávia Saddy (since season 15)

Translated character names:

All of these being literal translations of their names.

Portugal

In Portugal the series itself is not dubbed but subtitled. The Simpsons Movie, however, did receive a dubbed version, in which José Jorge Duarte, Cláudia Cadima, Carla de Sá, and Manuela Couto provided the voice of Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa respectively.

Spanish

The Simpsons is dubbed into the Spanish language twice, once in Latin America and again in Spain. In both versions, the show is named Los Simpson, as last names are not pluralized in Spanish (although is not uncommon that many people write it as "Los Simpsons"). There are many differences between the two versions, as there are differences between the Spanish spoken in Spain and that spoken in Latin America. In Latin America Homer is translated as Homero, but in Spain it isn't translated. Other translations in Latin America but not in Spain are: Barney Gumble as Barney Gómez, Chief Wiggum as Jefe Gorgory, Ralph Wiggum as Ralf/Rafa Gorgory, Reverend Lovejoy as Reverendo Alegría, Sideshow Bob as Bob Patiño and Mayor "Diamond" Joe Quimby as Alcalde Diamante. Itchy and Scratchy are translated in the two versions: Tommy y Daly for Latin America, and Rasca y Pica for Spain (however, "Rasca" and "Pica" literally translate as "It itches" and "It scratches" so it is the most accurate translation).

The animation of the show is not changed, and what is written in English remains in English in the Spanish versions. In the blackboard scene, we hear Bart reading the phrase translated. After the introduction, in the Latin American version we hear the Spanish name of the episode said by Homer, while in the Spanish version, it appears subtitled (the same happens in Futurama). The region 1 DVDs include the Latin American audio.

Latin American version

The Latin American Spanish version is dubbed in Mexico by Grabaciones y Doblajes Internacionales (also known as New Art Dub) since season 15. Defunct dubbing studio Audiomaster 3000 dubbed the first 14 seasons. The DVD commentary for season 3's Like Father, Like Clown states that writer Wallace Wolodarsky went to several countries, including Mexico and Germany, to cast the foreign versions. The most memorable cast dubbed from seasons 1 through 9 and was:

  • Homer: Humberto Vélez (seasons 1-15)/ Otto Balbuena (season 16, onwards).
  • Marge: Nancy McKenzie (seasons 1-15)/ Marina Huerta (season 16, onwards).
  • Bart: Marina Huerta (seasons 1-9, 16 onwards)/ Claudia Motta (seasons 9-15).
  • Lisa: Patricia Acevedo (seasons 1-15)/ Alexia Solís (season 16, onwards).
  • Mr. Burns: Gabriel Chavez (seasons 1-15)/ Miguel Ángel Botello (season 16, onwards)

Translated character names:

During season 9, Huerta quit playing Bart over a pay dispute, and was replaced by Claudia Motta. Before season 16, the main cast had a legal issue with Grabaciones y Doblajes because it wanted the actors not to be in the National Association of Actors, and they were in that association, so as a result, the whole cast was fired. Beginning at season 16, they were replaced by new actors, and Huerta returned to do both Bart's and Marge's voice, as well as directing the dub during seasons 16-18 and the movie. The movie used the post Season 15 voice actors, despite an attempt to boycott the movie by the original voice actors, done because the National Association of Actors had promised that the original actors would dub the movie. The boycott attempt failed, and since then several of the actors have declared that they would not be returning to the series, even if Fox itself asks them to return. The current voice actors have been criticized by some viewers.

Spanish version

The principal cast is the following:[7]

  • Homer Simpson: Carlos Revilla (Seasons 1-11, died)/Carlos Ysbert (Season 12 onwards)
  • Marge Simpson and her sisters: Amparo Soto (replaced at 4th season by Begoña Hernando due to voice problems with her character; in the 6th season Hernando was replaced by Margarita de Francia due to the same problem)
  • Lisa Simpson: Isacha Mengíbar
  • Bart Simpson: Sara Vivas

Many fans of the series and the rest of the Spanish cast were very sad after the death of Carlos Revilla due to his excellent work,[8][9][10] and Antena 3 had to find a substitute for Revilla's voice (as opposed to Dan Castellaneta's).[11] Carlos Revilla also dubbed the appearance of KITT in the episode The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace, like he did in Knight Rider. There are other characters that conserve their frequent voice in Spain: like Mulder and Scully from The X-Files, or Sideshow Bob and his brother Cecil. They are dubbed by the same actors who dub Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce in Frasier.

The Spanish version of the Simpsons also distinguishes itself by using more literal translations of what the characters are saying. The Spanish translation would most likely seem very salacious to a Latin American audience, and viceversa. In both versions the guest stars are always voiced by that actor's particular Spanish voice counterpart. In this way if the Spanish public is expecting to hear Glenn Close they actually hear the voice they usually equate to that actress.

Korean

Korean was broadcasted at Korean cartoon broadcasting center Tooniverse. Started at August 2010, with season 10. But Marge Simpson's voice is not very clear like English. Many fans in South Korea were interested in the Korean version, but it did not make a lot of new fans.

By country

Bulgaria

In mid September 2005 dubbed in Bulgarian versions of the first four seasons of The Simpsons started airing on the Bulgarian branch of the cable television Fox Life. The show was named "Семейство Симпсън" (literally "Simpson Family"). There were rarely any mistranslations in the scripts, only the untranslatable word puns were changed to such in Bulgarian, albeit not nearly as creative as the originals. In mid 2006 dubbed versions of seasons 5 through 7 started running on the Bulgarian Fox Life after numerous reruns of the previous seasons. The dub quality was a little lower than the one of the first four seasons and almost the entire voice cast had been replaced. Minor mistranslations occurred from time to time, but they were not anything significant. In early May 2007 dubbed versions of the 8th and 9th season started airing on the Bulgarian Fox Life with the same voice cast as in the previous three seasons. On September 18, 2007 a dubbed version of the 10th season started running on the Bulgarian Fox Life. On September 15, 2008 started the 11th season and right after it the 12th, 13th and 14th. On September 15, 2009 started the 15th season and after it the 16th and 17th.

China

In 2006, The Simpsons, along with other shows such as Pokémon, SpongeBob SquarePants and Mickey Mouse cartoons, were banned from being aired during primetime (5:00 to 8:00 PM) in China. This was done so that Chinese cartoons, which were having a hard time competing with foreign cartoons, would gain more viewers. The government had previously tried several things, such as ordering that networks cut down on the number of foreign animated series being aired in 2000 and in 2004, passed a rule that would ensure that 60 percent of cartoon content came from Chinese studios.[12] The move was heavily criticized by Chinese media.[13] The Simpsons Movie, however, has been dubbed into Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese.

Czech Republic

The Simpsons has been dubbed into the Czech language and the show is named Simpsonovi. Directed by Zdeněk Štěpán. The movie is named Simpsonovi ve filmu. The Czech version is also broadcast in Slovakia since there, there is no own Slovak dubbed version.

The Czech voice actors are:

Character Voice actors
Homer Simpson: Vlastimil Bedrna (from 1st season)
Vlastimil Zavřel (from 13th season)
Marge Simpson: Jiří Lábus
Bart Simpson: Martin Dejdar
Lisa Simpson: Helena Štáchová
Maggie Simpson: Helena Štáchová / Jiří Lábus
Comic Book Guy: Stanislav Lehký
Kent Brockman: Vladimír Fišer
Barney: Miroslav Saic
Montgomery Burns: Bedřich Šetena
Patty Bouvier: Zdeněk Štěpán
Selma Bouvier: Jaroslava Kretschmerová
Jacqueline Bouvier: Jiří Lábus
Carl Carlson: Jaroslav Horák
Cletus: Ivo Novák
Dr. Julius Hibbert: Bohuslav Kalva
Ned Flanders: Jiří Havel
Edna Krabappel: Blanka Zdichyncová
Moe Szyslak: Jan Vondráček
Krusty the Clown: Jiří Bruder (from 1st season)
Stanislav Lehký (from 16th season)
Snake Jailbird: Stanislav Lehký

Translated character names:

Czech Republic is a country with long and rich tradition of dubbing. Almost all films are dubbed. Czech viewers are therefore very demanding about quality and creativity of translations and voice acting.

Czech version in Simpsons is very popular in Czech Republic, often it is considered to be better than English original. It is mainly because of casting of voice actors: Martin Dejdar (Bart), Helena Štáchová (Lisa) and Jiří Lábus (Marge - note that Marge is dubbed by male voice actor) belong to the most popular Czech actors and their voice acting style is very distinctive, very different from English version. Even minor characters usually have their own voice actor. Kent Brockman is dubbed by Vladimír Fišer, one of the best known Czech newsreaders. Except voice actors of Homer Simpson (Vlastimil Bedrna had to stop acting because of health problems), Krusty the Clown and some minor characters, cast remains almost unchanged.

Quality of translation varies - earlier series were usually translated by several translators who did not collaborate, it led to serious inconsistency in translation, even in catchphrases. "D'oh" is sometimes rendered as "sakra" - "damn", "excelent" is translated both "výtečně", both "výborně"; "why you little" becomes "ty jeden mrňavej" - mrňavej is a pejorative word for something little, eat my shorts is translated in many ways, most often rhyming, as: "polib si elipsy" - "kiss your ovals"). It is because catchphrases are not employed in Czech cinema and Czech viewers were not familiar with this phenomenon. Guest stars are also quite rare in Czech version.

Sometimes translator did not know the rest of series very well, for instance in I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot references to Armin Tamzarian are mistranslated, because translator did not know the context. Other mistranslations are caused by poor English of early translators; in first series, it is very often mistaken kostel (church as building) and církev (church as organization) for English church. However, translation of puns and verbal humour was always very creative and well-praised. Later series are usually translated by one translator, Vojtěch Kostiha.

In early series, there were attempts to use references of Czech culture instead of American if possible (for instance name of Duffman was in early series translated as "Pivoj" in reference to a Czech mythological figure, Bivoj; pivo is Czech for beer, Czech actors are often mentioned instead of American), but later translators usually use original references to US culture, but not always (for instance in The Bob Next Door other appearances of Sideshow Bob's voice actor Kelsey Grammer are mentioned; in Czech version, there are quoted Hercule Poirot and John Coffey from The Green Mile, other dubbing appearances of Bob's Czech voice actor Jaromír Meduna). Also all school-related references usually exploit Czech school system and its specific terminology and tradition.

Songs are sometimes replaced with Czech songs, sometimes English version with subtitles is used. Sometimes the same song is sang in Czech in one episode and translated in subtitles in the other one. English signs are usually read by voiceover, sometimes even by one of appearing characters (if mouth is not shown - chalkboard gag is always read by Bart himself), only rarely translated in subtitles (usually if they appear in same moment as spoken dialogue and voiceover would be impossible).

Dialects and accents are not changed (in Czech language local accent is not as important as in English), except Uter, who remains stereotypical German. Willy sometimes speaks in Moravian dialect, sometimes in common spoken Czech.

Denmark

In Denmark,the show is not dubbed and is still by its original name (Many people are just referring to the show as "Simpsons"). However,The Simpsons Movie got dubbed in Danish and is still known by its original name.

Character Voice actors
Homer Simpson: Niels Ellegaard
Marge Simpson: Helle Dolleris
Bart Simpson: Mille H. Lehfeldt
Lisa Simpson: Pauline Rehné
Grampa Simpson: Nis Bank-Mikkelsen
President Schwarzenegger: Amin Jensen
Tom Hanks: Preben Kristensen
Krusty: Jens Jacob Tychsen
Comic Book Guy: Henrik Koefoed
Mr.Burns: Søren Ulrichs
Moe Szyslak: Michael Elo
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon: Søren Ulrichs
Chief Wiggum: Peter Zhelder/Peter Røschke (in one scene)
Timothy Lovejoy: Peter Zhelder
Lenny Leonard: Jens Jacob Tychsen
Russ Cargill: Peter Aude
Crazy Cat Lady: Tress MacNeille
Milhouse Van Houten: Sasia Mølgaard
Thousand eye squirrel: Dan Castellaneta
Plopper: Tress MacNeille
Santa's Little Helper: Dan Castellaneta/Thomas Mørk

Finland

In Finland, the actual series is subtitled, but The Simpsons Movie was released both dubbed and subtitled. The show is called Simpsonit (literally The Simpsons).

The Finnish voice actors of The Simpsons Movie are:

  • Homer: Markku Toikka
  • Marge: Eija Vilpas
  • Bart: Rinna Paatso
  • Lisa: Kiti Kokkonen

Translated character names:

Hungary

The Simpsons has been dubbed into the Hungarian language and the show is named A Simpson család, it means The Simpson family.

The Hungarian voice actors are:

Character Voice actors
Homer Simpson: József Székhelyi, Imre Csuja
Marge Simpson: Zsuzsa Pálos
Bart Simpson: Balázs Simonyi
Lisa Simpson: Titanilla Bogdányi, Bea Vadász

Translated character names:

India

In India and the Philippines, The Simpsons is broadcast by Star World, and is shown in its original English form. It is, however, available in Hindi on several DTH networks.

Italy

The Simpsons has been dubbed in Italian since the very beginning of its broadcast run by Canale 5 (in the early 90s); now Italia 1 and Fox broadcast it. The show is named I Simpson - as foreign names are usually not pluralised in Italian. The animation of the show is slightly changed; whenever something written in English appears on screen, usually by blurring the original text and superimposition the translated Italian one, very much done in the same way as with the German version of South Park. This was accomplished with a freeze frame effect and stock fonts in earlier seasons, delivering a rather crude result. Recent seasons show a definite improvement, with the translated text made to appear almost identical in style and design to the original.

The initial blackboard scene is not however graphically modified with a translation; Bart simply reads the phrase translated into Italian.

Another difference is that the ubiquitous "Woohoo!" exclaimed by Homer in the original version is replaced by the word "mitico" (with a long lasting pronunciation: Meeeeeee teeeeee cooow!), which literally means mythical.

Characters

Many secondary characters had their names translated or simply changed altogether.

  • Santa's Little Helper: Piccolo aiutante di Babbo Natale (literal translation);
  • Snowball: Palla di neve (literal translation);
  • Moe Szyslak: Boe Szyslak (his tavern's sign Moe has always superimposed Boe)
  • Fat Tony: Tony Ciccione (literal translation);
  • Clancy Wiggum: Clancy Winchester (in just one episode, Homer alone, his last name is left Wiggum)
  • Edna Krabappel: Edna Caprapall
  • "Bleeding gums" Murphy: "Gengive sanguinanti" Murphy (literal translation);
  • Itchy and Scratchy: Grattachecca e Fichetto (in one episode they are translated as Grattino e Pruritino)
  • Hans Moleman: Hans Uomo Talpa (literal translation);
  • Otto Mann: Otto Disc
  • Comic Book Guy: l'uomo fumetto (literal translation)
  • Sideshow Bob (Mel): Telespalla Bob (Mel) (literal translation)
  • Jimbo, Kearney, Dolph: Secco, Patata, Spada (literal translations: Slim, Potato, Sword)

Many characters are dubbed with strong local accents: Wiggum, Lou and Marvin Monroe speak with a Naples accent, Eddie talks like someone from Bari, Carl with a Venice accent, Reverend Lovejoy is a Calabrian, Otto Mann is from Milan, Fat Tony - obviously - a Sicilian, Willie is a Sardinian. Every reference to Willie's homeland is diverted to Sardinia.

The Italian voices:

Character Voice actors
Homer Simpson: Tonino Accolla
Marge Simpson: Liù Bosisio
Bart Simpson: Ilaria Stagni
Lisa Simpson: Monica Ward

Catchphrases

Many catchphrases are also translated: while Homer's "D'oh" remains the same in Italian, Bart's "Ay caramba" becomes "E che cacchio" (meaning "What the hell", where "cacchio" is actually a euphemism for "dick") and "Eat my shorts" becomes "Ciucciati il calzino" (lit. "Suck your sock"). When Homer tries to throttle Bart, his phrase "Why you little..." becomes "Brutto bacarospo...". "Brutto" means "ugly", while "bagarospo"(literally, toadroach) is a non-existent word, a portmanteau of "bagarozzo", which is a Romanesco word for "scarafaggio" (Eng: "cockroach"), and Italian "rospo" which means "toad".

Guest stars

The Italian version hosts many guest stars as occasional dubbers.
Among these personalities there are the Italian Minister of Defence Ignazio La Russa, other Italian politicians like Alessandra Mussolini and Vittorio Sgarbi, the Re del Quiz (Quiz King) Mike Bongiorno, anchor men and journalists like Emilio Fede and Paolo Liguori, soccer players like Gennaro Gattuso, Francesco Totti and Marco Materazzi, singers like Giorgia and Jovanotti, showmen like Fiorello and Corrado Guzzanti, plus various other TV and Cinema actresses and actors.

Japan

In Japan, The show is named ザ・シンプソンズ and has been dubbed into Japanese and were first broadcast by WOWOW until 2002 and later on the Fox Channel onwards. The film recast every part with more well known celebrities. However because of fan criticism, the normal voices returned to redub their roles for the DVD release. The movie is named ザ・シンプソンズ MOVIE and was released in theaters on December 15, 2007.

Recurring characters

Character Voice actor
Homer Simpson Tōru Ōhira
George Tokoro (film)
Marge Simpson Miyuki Ichijō
Akiko Wada (film)
Bart Simpson Junko Hori
Atsushi Tamura (film)
Lisa Simpson Chie Kōjiro
Becky (film)

Latvia

The show in Latvia is named Simpsoni. The show is broadcast as "lectored" version, which means that only one person reads the whole translated text while the original sound can be heard in the background in a lowered loudness. The text was spoken by Artūrs Skrastiņš. Airs on TV3 Latvia, TV6 Latvia[14]

Lithuania

The show in Lithuania is named Simpsonai. The show is broadcast as "lectored" version, which means that only one person reads the whole translated text while the original sound can be heard in the background in a lowered loudness. The text was translated and spoken by Kristijonas Karinauskas and Džiugas Siaurusaitis and the sound director is Andrius Meškėla. It was done at TV3 Lithuania.

Malaysia

The Malay version of the Simpsons can be found on Astro, Fox Channel Asia, Channel 710 by pressing the I - II button on the remote.

Poland

The show in Poland is named Simpsonowie. It has been dubbed into Polish and was broadcast by TV Puls since September 1, 2008. Written and sung English remain subtitled. Since Season 3, the show's logo at the beginning of each episode was replaced by a logo saying the show's Polish name, but in Season 1 style.

Since the fall of Communism in Poland, dubbing has been used almost exclusively in movies and shows produced for children. Canal+ Poland was also broadcasting the show in "lectored" version just like TVP and Fox Kids Polska did in late 1990s.

The Simpsons Movie in Polish is known as Simpsonowie: Wersja kinowa. Much of the Polish fan community considered dubbing of the movie to be a sacrilege so that most of the post-premiere reviews found the localized version worse than the original one.

The recent TV Puls dubbing of the show itself initially received almost exclusively bad reviews amongst fans of the Simpsons - most of the reviewers point out the poor, frequently changing, and not matching their characters actors, technical faults, etc. Ironically, the bad reception of series' dubbed version caused massive change of opinion about movie's dub, now commonly referred to as "quite good".

After Rupert Murdoch sold his interests in TV Puls, the dubbing has stopped, as all the staff had signed contracts with Fox instead of TV Puls. For two weeks reruns were aired instead of new episodes; a few final Season 3 episodes, despite being dubbed (according to Homer's VA, Mikołaj Klimek), never aired. Currently TV Puls have no plans of getting the show back.

Despite the initial bad opinion, the show was one of most popular shows on TV Puls. Now this show is available on Fox Polska and begins from season 6. This version was subtitled by Master Film.

The Polish voice actors are:

Character Voice actors
Homer Simpson Andrzej Snarski (season 1)
Paweł Burczyk (season 2)
Mikołaj Klimek (season 3)
Miłogost Reczek (movie)
Marge Simpson Dorota Liliental (season 2 and 3)
Barbara Zielińska (movie)
Bart Simpson Gabriela Czyżewska
Joanna Wizmur (movie)
Lisa Simpson Gabriela Czyżewska
Dominika Kluźniak (movie)

Russia

In Russia, the show has been solely translated via voice-over, where the dialogues are voiced by two (sometimes more) actors, with a male actor usually voicing all the male parts and a female actress voicing all the female ones; the original English dialogues remain audible in the background. The quality of the Russian translation is considered good as far as actors are concerned, but rather average in terms of dialogue translation, mostly because of severe dialogue simplification and abbreviation.

Most episodes were voiced by Irina Savina and Boris Bystrov. For Season 17, the voicing actors were changed to Lyudmila Gnilova and Oleg Forostenko; for Season 18, they were changed once again to Nina Lunyova and Alexander Kotov. As the change of the actors resulted in protests among Russian fans who were used to the established voice actors, Savina and Bystrov were brought back after Season 18.

Contrary to the series, a full dub was created for The Simpsons Movie.

Slovakia

There is no own Slovak version of the Simpsons. Instead of that, Slovak television stations use the Czech dubbed version.[15]

Sweden

The Simpsons appeared for the first time on Swedish television on November 29, 1990.[16] The series was originally broadcast on TV3 in English with Swedish subtitles.[16] However, in 1993, the network decided to start dub The Simpsons to increase ratings,[16] and the show was moved to a more child-friendly time.[17] After a public outrage the dubbing was dropped after only six episodes and the show was moved to a more adult time.[17][18] Bart was voiced by Annica Smedius and Homer by Per Sandborgh.[19] A dub of the movie was released with The Simpsons Movie DVD, with Annica Smedius providing the voice for Bart once again.[20]

Ukraine

In Ukraine, the first 17 seasons of The Simpsons had been broadcast by M1 dubbed into Ukrainian, in 2004-2008. However previously the show was available to Ukrainian audience on Russian TV channels that had licence to broadcast in Ukraine. The public tend to appreciate dubbing and translation. As for now, The Simpsons is now broadcast on Ukrainian TV channel 2+2, however, the FOX programming pack is bought by 1+1 group (1+1, 2+2, City) which includes The Simpsons.[21] In 2011 2+2 aired seasons from 18 to 20.
Ukrainian version of "The Simpsons" is recognized by the creators as the most approximate to the original material. Almost all character names remained intact. Only names of animals were translated literally. Marge's voice is similar to original one, although Homer's voice is considerably different: he grumbles much less than in the original and speaks quicker. All references to American realities, politics and celebrities are replaced with local references. Word play jokes are also substituted with similar Ukrainian jokes (sometimes very different from the original).

Voice actors

The Ukrainian voice actors are:

Character Voice actor
Homer Simpson Yevhen Malukha (series)
Mykola Lutsenko (film)
Marge Simpson Iryna Doroshenko
Bart Simpson Hanna Levchenko
Lisa Simpson Iryna Doroshenko (series)
Kateryna Kachan (film)

Yuriy Kovalenko does Abraham Simpson, Moe Szyslak, Cletus Spuckler and Kent Brockman both in the series and film. In the series, he and other three actors do all other characters. Valeriy Legin appeared just in Season 1-2 (doing a number of characters including Montgomery Burns and Reverend Lovejoy), and in film (doing Krusty the Clown, Mayor Quimby, Fat Tony and Montgomery Burns).

References

  1. ^ a b "D'oh! Arabized Simpsons not getting many laughs". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 14 October 2005. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05287/588741.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Richard Poplak (25 July 2007). "Homer’s odyssey - Why The Simpsons flopped in the Middle East". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. http://www.cbc.ca/arts/tv/dubai.html. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  3. ^ Actually, the Brussels accent generally associated with Belgium by the french public. "Van Houten" is a name which can be assumed to be Belgian.
  4. ^ Posted by Adam on September 17, 2000 5:46 PM (2000-09-17). "The Simpson clan lives in". randomWalks. http://www.randomwalks.com/2000/09/the_simpson_clan_lives_in.html. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  5. ^ French dubbers host Simpsons Prime-time night (French)
  6. ^ a b "Les voix des Simpson : "On n'a pas l'étiquette de Marge et Homer" (vidéo)". Ozap.com. 27 November 2009. http://www.ozap.com/actu/interview-peythieu-augereau-voix-francaise-simpson/313088. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  7. ^ "Spanish dub cast list". Eldoblaje.com. http://www.eldoblaje.com/datos/FichaPelicula.asp?id=32. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  8. ^ "Spanish Carlos Revilla memorial". Web.archive.org. 2006-09-08. http://web.archive.org/web/20060908221541/http://simpsons.metropoliglobal.com/informacion/carlosrevilla.htm. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  9. ^ "Spanish Carlos Revilla memorial 2". Web.archive.org. 2006-04-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20060427082144/http://simpsons.metropoliglobal.com/articulos/humildad.htm. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  10. ^ "Spanish Carlos Revilla memorial 3". Web.archive.org. 2006-05-21. http://web.archive.org/web/20060521181708/http://simpsons.metropoliglobal.com/articulos/carlosrevilla.htm. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  11. ^ "Elsemanal.tv article about Revilla's substitute". Web.archive.org. 2007-09-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20070927220453/http://www.elsemanal.tv/serie_noticia.php?id=53&rid=3029. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  12. ^ joe MacDonald (13 August 2006). "China Bans 'Simpsons' From Prime-Time TV". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/13/AR2006081300242_pf.html. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  13. ^ Josh Grossberg (14 August 2006). "D'oh! China Bans Bart from Prime Time". E! News. http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=3d26e6c4-6b5e-4964-89f3-fb70dc4130aa. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  14. ^ "TV3 rādīs jaunākās "Simpsonu" sērijas" (in Latvian). Apollo. 21 August 2005. http://www.apollo.lv/portal/fun/articles/54128. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Simpsonovi - Wikipedie" (in (Czech)). Cs.wikipedia.org. http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpsonovi#Dabing. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  16. ^ a b c TT Spektra (2009-12-04). "Tidernas serie fyller 20" (in Swedish). Landskrona Posten: p. C6. 
  17. ^ a b Peterson, Jens (2007-07-27). "Simpsons – en familj med färg". Aftonbladet. http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/article11160457.ab. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  18. ^ Sources from http://www.presstext.se/, a non-free online database of Swedish newspaper articles. Articles from Expressen and Dagens Nyheter, autumn 1993.
  19. ^ "Dubbningshemsidan - Gästbok". Dubbningshemsidan.se. http://www.dubbningshemsidan.se/cgi-bin/gastbok.cgi?start_number=340. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  20. ^ "DVD Komedi, Simpsons/Filmen (2 versioner/dts/87++) hittar du på Ginza Musik - CD, DVD, Filmer, Spel". Ginza.se. http://www.ginza.se/index.aspx?utm_source=djuplank&utm_medium=besokare&artnr=310088. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  21. ^ ""1+1" придбав пакет фільмів 20th Century Fox". Telekritika.ua. http://telekritika.ua/news/2009-08-19/47418. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 

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