Simpsons in Arabic

10.23.05

With all the attention the Arab-language version of the Simpsons is getting, the point that seems to get lost in the shuffle is that it’s just not funny:

But there’s no guarantee of success. Many Arab blogs and Internet chat sessions have become consumed with how unfunny “Al Shamshoon” is. “They’ve ruined it! Oh yes they have, sob. … Why? Why, why oh why?!!!!” wrote a blogger, “Noors,” from Oman.

Some longtime “Simpson” fans who are Arabs are incensed over the Arabized version. “This is just beyond the pale,” wrote As’ad AbuKhalil, a professor at California State University, Stanislaus, whose blog, angryarab blogspot, often touches on politics and the media. After viewing a promotional segment of “Al Shamshoon,” Prof. AbuKhalil wrote, “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.”

Few shows have more obsessed fans than “The Simpsons,” and their vast online community is worried about whether classic Simpsons dialogue can even be translated. One blogger wrote, “‘Hi-diddly-ho, neighbors!’ How the h — are they going to translate that? Or this great quote: Mr Burns: Oooh, so Mother Nature needs a favor?! Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys! Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she’s losing. Well I say, hard cheese.”

I honestly don’t know how the satire, cultural references, guest stars, or much of anything in the Simpsons could ever be translated. Never mind the beer-is-now-soda thing… without the laughs, what’s the point?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tré 10.24.05 at 8:34 PM

The Québécois version is hilarious!!!

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2 segacs 10.24.05 at 10:03 PM

Well, yeah, but that’s just cause beer-guzzling, butt-scratching, junk-food eating underachievers are real near and dear to our hearts here in La Belle Province 🙂

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3 Tre 10.27.05 at 12:41 AM

Lol. I actually tried to post something along those line, but there was a problem with haloscan. On the third try, I just typed the first line. Homer-Gratton, of course 🙂

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4 Tre 10.27.05 at 12:48 AM

On a more serious note, that stereotype, which of course, is just that, is a little annoying. In a place where the majority is Québécois, that is not surprising. Ever visit rural Nova Scotia’s, or the ROC’s, trailer parks?

I don’t make deprecating Jew or black jokes, cause I’m not Jewish or black.

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