The Simpsons has been broadcast in the United States since 1987 on FOX. In other countries, the TV show also started to be broadcast few times later 1987, either in its original version or in a dubbed version.
In addition to these non-English versions, The Simpsons Movie has also been dubbed in languages for which there is no TV series dubbed version. This is a list over the voice cast of all the different languages.
- 1 By Language
- 2 By country
- 3 References
- 4 External links
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" (In Arabic, الشمشون) 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 and eats beef sausages as opposed to pork and all references to Moe's Tavern were cut. The characters were also given typical Arabic names such as "Omar", "Mona" and "Abar" 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 Hanan Tork as Lisa, and their hometown "Springfield" was called "Rabeea" (Arabic for Spring) and made it look like an American town with a major Arab population. Another major modification was that the Simpsons attended mosque instead of church to reflect an Islamic theme of the show. The series did not fare very well in the Middle East nations and only 34 of the 52 adapted episodes aired.
When the show first aired on TVE (in the early 90s), it aired in both Catalan and Spanish for the audience in Catalonia. Later, when Antena 3 bought the rights for the show, it also aired some episodes in both Catalan and Spanish for a brief period (within 1995) in Catalonia. Not long after, the Catalan dub fell into oblivion.
The TV show is currently broadcast by Comedy Central undubbed, and formerly on SBS 6, with subtitles, which is usual for foreign language TV shows and movies in The Netherlands. Accompanying the original movie version however, was a localised version in Dutch. Another version was recorded for Belgium, featuring Flemish actors. Names of the characters remain unchanged.
The Dutch movie voice actors are:
The Flemish movie voice actors are:
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. Matt Groening has stated that the Quebec version of the series is the best translation of the show in another language in the world. 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 a strong Parisian accent, with the exception of the ethnic minorities: Apu is given the Portuguese accent common to French shop keepers while Carl, who has no accent in the American version, also speaks inflected French. Kirk Van Houten is given a stereotypical Belgian accent. In the Quebec version only the town elite, 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.
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 Simpsons family's dog, Santa's Little Helper, who is called "Le p'tit renne au nez rouge" (Little Red-Nosed Reindeer) in the Quebec version and "Petit Papa Noël" (Little Santa) in the French one.
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.
The animation of the show is not changed, and what is in writing in English appears in English, subtitled 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.
In July 2007 Matt Groening said in an interview on Late Night with Conan O'Brien that the actor (Philippe Peythieu) who does the voice of France French Homer says "Toe!" 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.
Philippe Peythieu, the France French voice of Homer, and Véronique Augereau, the France French 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.
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 (the same is done in the Quebec dub of King of the Hill, done by the same company). 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. 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.
Most Québécois who know about the France version are not too fond of it; the humor is completely different. Télétoon, which broadcasts the Quebec Simpsons dub, also once broadcasted France dubs 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 long before the other two shows, Futurama and Family Guy are no longer shown on the network, while The Simpsons continues to be aired. Although this could have been done because there were no more French episodes of Futurama and Family Guy to air (reruns were repeatedly aired), it could as well have been because of a lack of popularity- Télétoon airs many other shows that only repeatedly show reruns.
In France version of the show, many catchphrases are also translated: Homer's "D'oh" becomes "T'oh", Bart's "Eat my shorts" becomes "Va te faire shampouiner" (no direct translation, like "go to hell"). When Homer tries to throttle Bart, his phrase "Why you little..." becomes "espèce de sale petit...", literally "kind of dirty lil'...".
In Quebec version of the show, "D'oh!" stays "D'oh!", Bart's "Eat my shorts" becomes "Mange de la crotte" (we could translate it by "Eat some shit" but in a censored way), Bart's "I didn't do it!" becomes "J'ai rien fait". When Homer tries to throttle Bart, he says "Oh, Mon p'tit verrat" (a Quebec expression) instead of "Why you little...".
The French voice actors are:
- 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 now the French adapters and Michel Modo (who died recently) during season 19. The presence of Gerard Rinaldi is not ensured yet for the upcoming seasons.
The Quebec voices are:
The Simpsons has been dubbed into one single German language and are broadcasted by ProSieben in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and ORF1 in Austria. 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. 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.
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 single 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 the earlier episodes, Homer is called 'Humor', because the German translators didn't know how to spell it.
- Sideshow Bob: Tingeltangel Bob, Sideshow Bob
- In prior episodes solely translated as Tingeltangel Bob, afterwards taken over the original.
- Reverend Lovejoy: Reverend Gottlieb, Reverend Lovejoy
- Reverend Gottlieb was used just a very few times, afterwards generally the original.
- Üter: Uter
- In the German version always a stereotypical Swiss, because they wouldn't make fun of themselves.
- Hans Moleman: Hans Maulwurf
- Bleeding Gums Murphy: Zahnfleischbluter Murphy
- Santa's Little Helper: Knecht Ruprecht
- Snowball: Schneeball in some episodes, but generally the original is used.
The German voice actors are:
Link with photos and sound samples:
- 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 (seasons 8-10); Nelly Amaral (season 11-13)
- 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)
In Portugal the series itself is not dubbed in order to provide an unbiased instance of the show to the general audience.
The Simpsons Movie, however, did receive a dubbed version, in which José Jorge Duarte, Cláudia Cadima, Carla de Sá, and Manuela Couto provide the voice of Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa, respectively.
The Simpsons is also being 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. Between the two versions are many differences. 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.
The animation of the show is not changed, and what is in writing in English appears 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 Homer saying the name of the episode, while this does not happen in the Spanish version. The region 1 DVDs include the Latin American audio.
Latin American Version
The Latin American Version is dubbed in Mexico by Audiomaster 3000 (seasons 1-14) and New Art Dub (season 15, onwards). 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)/ Víctor Manuel Espinoza (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)/ Nallely Solís (season 16, onwards).
- Mr. Burns: Gabriel Chávez (seasons 1-15)/ Miguel Angel Botello (season 16, onwards).
- Abraham Simpson: Carlos Petrel (season 1-11, died)/ Roberto Reséndiz (season 12)/ Humberto Vélez (season 13)/ Arturo Mercado (a couple of episodes)/ Sebastián Llapur (season 14, onwards).
- Seymour Skinner: Agustín Sauret (season 1-4)/ José Luis Castañeda (season 5-9)/ Gabriel Pingarrón (season 9-15)/ Gerardo Vásquez, onwards).
- Ned Flanders: Agustín Sauret (seasons 1-15)/ Oscar Gómez (season 16, onwards).
- Waylon Smithers, Jr.: Octavio Rojas (seasons 1-15)/ Eduardo Fonseca (season 16, onwards).
- Patty: Nelly Horseman (season 1-15)/ Erika Mireles (season 16, onwards)
- Selma: Nelly Salvar (seasons 1-15)/ Erika Mireles (season 16, onwards)
- Edna Krabappel: Loretta Santini (seasons 1-15)/ Gabriela Gómez (season 16, onwards)
- Nelson: Sergio Bonilla (seasons 1-12)/ Carlos Amador (seasons 13-15)/ Eduardo Garza (a couple of episodes)/ Edson Matus (season 16-17)/ Hugo Núñez (season 17, onwards).
- Moe: César Izaguirre (season 1-4)/ Jorge Ornelas(season 5, onwards).
During season 9, Huerta quit playing Bart for not being well paid by the company, and was replaced by Claudia Motta. Before season 16, the main cast had a legal issue with Grabaciones y Doblajes (today, New Art Dub) because it wanted the actors to be in the National Actors Association of Mexico, and they were not in that association, so as a result, the whole cast was fired. Beginning at season 16, they were replaced by new actors (in fact, they "copy" the old actors's character voice so the change is not so drastic for the viewers) and Huerta returned to do Bart's voice and replaced Nancy McKenzie to make Marge's voice.
The principal cast is the following:
- Homer Simpson: Carlos Revilla (Seasons 1-11, died)/Carlos Ysbert (Season 12 ownards)
- Marge Simpson and her sisters: Amparo Soto (replaced at 4th season by Begoña Hernando due to voice problems with his 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
- Seymour Skinner: José Padilla
- Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and Waylon Smithers, Jr.: : Javier García
- Ned Flanders: Oscar Gómez
- Rod Flanders: Laura Palacios
- Todd Flanders: Elena Palacios
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, and Antena 3 had to find a substitute for Revilla's voice (as opposed to Dan Castellaneta's). 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. Another large difference between the two versions is that in the Spanish version 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.
In 2006, The Simpsons, along with other shows such as Pokémon, SpongeBob SquarePants and Mickey Mouse cartoons, were barred 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. The move was heavily criticized by Chinese media.
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. The dubbing, much like everythig else dubbed for Bulgarian television, was crude and the original voices could be heard in the background. 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. The quality of the dub had however greatly declined - the voice direction had become very poor and all the lines were read in pretty much the same fashion; the secondary characters' voices were very inconsistent; the scripts were poorly translated and most of the spoken humor was lost (not only the untranslatable word puns). In late September 2007 a dubbed version of the 10th season started running on the Bulgarian FOX Life. The dub quality was as worse as the previous two seasons'.
The Czech voice actors are:
Translated character names:
- Santa's Little Helper: Spasitel
- Snowball: Snowhite or Sněhulka in some episodes, the unusual Czech word has similar meaning as snowflake.
- Sideshow Bob: Levák Bob; word "levak" means left-handed person and also has certain negative significance
- Moe: Vočko Szyslak
- Julius Hibbert: Dr. Julius Dlaha
- Bleeding Gums Murphy: Murphy Krvavá Dáseň
- Comic Book Guy: Komiksák
- Krusty the Clown: Klaun Šáša (sometimes Krusty)
The Finnish voice actors of The Simpsons Movie are:
Translated character names:
- Itchy and Scratchy: Tikku ja Takku (literally Stick and Shag). The name is a word play referring to Tiku ja Taku, Finnish for Chip 'n' Dale.
- Krusty the Clown: Hassu-klovni (literally Funny-Clown)
- Santa's Little Helper: Pukin Pikku Apuri
- Snowball: Lumipallo
- Bleeding Gums Murphy: Veri-ien Murphy
- Comic Book Guy: Sarjakuvahemmo
The Simpsons has been dubbed into the Hungarian language and the show is named A Simpson család.
The Hungarian voice actors are:
Translated character names:
- Itchy and Scratchy: "Frinci és Franci"
- Krusty the Clown: "Ropi a bohóc"
- Santa's Little Helper: "Télapó Kiskrampusza"
- Snowball: "Hógolyó I, II, III, IV, ..."
- Comic Book Guy: Képregényes fickó
- Seymour Skinner: "Seymour Sintér"
The Simpsons has been dubbed in Italian since the very beginning of the broadcasting by Italia 1, as subtitled shows are not common in Italy. The show is named I Simpson - as last names are not pluralized in Italian. The animation of the show is changed: whenever something written in English appears on screen, the Italian version superimposes the translated phrase. In the initial blackboard scene, Bart reads the phrase translated but the blackboard itself still shows the English words.
Main characters carry their American names; many of the side characters, however, have their names translated:
- Santa's Little Helper: Piccolo aiutante di Babbo Natale;
- Snowball: Palla di neve;
- Moe Szyslak: Boe Szyslak (his tavern's sign Moe has always superimposed Boe)
- Fat Tony: Tony Ciccione;
- 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
- Itchy and Scratchy: Grattachecca e Fichetto (in one episode they are translated as Grattino e Pruritino)
- Hans Moleman: Hans Uomo Talpa
- Otto Mann: Otto Disc
- Sideshow Bob (Mel): Telespalla Bob (Mel)
- Jimbo, Kearney, Dolph: Secco, Patata, Spada (literal translations: Slim, Potato, Sword)
Many characters are dubbed with strong local accents: Wiggum, Lou and Marvin Monroe talk like men from Naples, Eddie talks like someone from Bari, Carl with a Venice accent, Reverend Lovejoy is a Calabrian, Otto Mann a Milanese, Fat Tony - obviously - a Sicilian, and Willie is a Sardinian.
The Italian voices:
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 "bacarospo" is a non-existent word, a portmanteau of "bacarozzo", which is a Romanesco word for "scarafaggio" (Eng: "cockroach") and Italian "rospo" which means "toad".
In Japan, The Simpsons has been dubbed into Japanese and were first broadcasted by WOWOW until 2002 and later on the Fox Channel onwards.
Although in Poland The Simpsons (Simpsonowie) were lectored (by Janusz Szydłowski in Canal+) and dubbed (only in version for PULS television), the movie was dubbed in Polish (as Simpsonowie: Wersja Kinowa).
The Polish voice actors of the movie are:
When TV3 started broadcasting The Simpsons the show was not dubbed. However, in 1993, the network decided to start dubbing The Simpsons and moved the show to a more child friendly time at 6:00 p.m. After a public outrage the dubbing was dropped after only six episodes and the show was moved to a more adult time. Bart was voiced by Annica Smedius and Homer by Per Sandborgh. A dub of the movie was released with the The Simpsons Movie DVD.
In Ukraine, The Simpsons has been dubbed in Ukrainian since 2004. However, on Ukrainian television it possibly appeared before with Russian voiceover. Dubbing and translation is liked by public.
It was first broadcast by M1 then 2+2 and presently QTV.
The Ukrainian voice actors are:
- Richard Poplak. "Homer's odyssey - Why The Simpsons flopped in the Middle East", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,. Retrieved on 2008-01-19.
- Danish Wikipedia - "The Simpsons Movie"
- Dutch Wikipedia - "The Simpsons Movie"
- Actually, the Brussels accent generally associated with Belgium by the French public. "Van Houten" is a name which can be assumed to be Belgian.
- randomWalks: The Simpson clan lives in
- http://www.simpsonsweb.com/recherche-actualite-prime-p7 French dubbers host Simpsons Prime-time night
- Spanish dub cast list
- Spanish Carlos Revilla memorial
- Spanish Carlos Revilla memorial 2
- Spanish Carlos Revilla memorial 3
- Elsemanal.tv article about Revilla's substitute
- joe MacDonald. "China Bans 'Simpsons' From Prime-Time TV", Washington Post,. Retrieved on 2008-02-10.
- Josh Grossberg. "D'oh! China Bans Bart from Prime Time", E! News,. Retrieved on 2008-02-10.
- Sources from http://www.presstext.se/, a non-free online database of Swedish newspaper articles. Articles from Expressen and Dagens Nyheter, autumn 1993.
- DVD Komedi, Simpsons/Filmen (2 versioner/dts/87++) hittar du på Ginza Musik - CD, DVD, Filmer, Spel
- France dubs The Simpsons into French. So does Quebec. – article on the differences between the French and French Canadian broadcasts.
- D'oh! Arabized Simpsons not getting many laughs.– An article about the negative response the Arabic adaptation received among longtime Simpsons fans in the Arabic regions.
- Homer's odyssey: Why The Simpsons flopped in the Middle East an article from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation regarding the failure of the Arabised version of the show.