The Simpsons Translated into Thai

Mr. Sparkle box
Actual: Lisa: What the heck is that? Bart: Maybe it's a box from the future.
Translation: Lisa: What's that? Bart: Maybe it's a box from the future.

Here are some screen captures from a favorite Simpsons subplot--Homer finding a Mr. Sparkle box from the episode In Marge We Trust.

Homer perturbed
Actual: Wha -- why am I on a Japanese box?
Translation: Why does my picture appear on a Japanese box?


Notice the network logo that always appears in the upper right-hand corner. When this episode was broadcast, the name of the network was IBC. It has since merged with its only competitor and become UBC. The network is commercial-free, so there are no interruptions during the show.

Nobody's watching us...
Actual: That's ridiculous. Nobody is watching us right now.
Translation: That's nonsense. Nobody's watching us.


Each Simpsons season starts immediately after the first run of all the season's episodes in the States. We usually get all the episodes, but occasionally one is not shown. For example, Thailand never got The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular.

The translation is usually accurate, but like most Thai subtitling, occasionally the numbers or cultural references are wrong.

Oh, the color scheme...
Actual: Oh, the color scheme and the rabbit ears! And the two point three children. I mean, where's the Hi-C?
Translation: The color scheme and the rabbit ears (V-antenna is the literal Thai equivalent) and a few children (or and 2 or 3 children).
Where is the Hi-C?
From Homer's Phobia


Considering the complex cultural references in the Simpsons, it is surprising that it is translatable at all.


Actual: Bart: I didn't think it was physically possible, but this both sucks and blows.
Translation: Bart: I never thought it possible it could be so terrible.

Terrible here is represented by tunghoi-tungseo--a slang expression meaning very bad and very dumb. It is a pretty good approximation of sucks and blows.

From Marge in: "Screaming Yellow Honkers"

401K
Actual: You cashed in your 401K to buy that stupid Canyonero. Why don't you drive it?
Translation: You spent more than four thousand for a crazy Canyonero. Why don't you drive it?
From Marge in: "Screaming Yellow Honkers"


It was interesting to see the translation for Simpsons Bible Stories to see if Thais who probably knew little of Bible tales would be able to translate the deliciously sacrilegious jokes. Simpsons Bible Stories was finally shown in Thailand on July 24, 1999.


Actual: Lisa: Ahh, ahh. More or less. Hey, is that manna?
Translation: It's like that (meaning, I assume, yes). Is that a miracle?
From Simpsons Bible Stories



Actual: Wiggum: Ok, next up: Jesus Christ vs. Checker Chariot.
Translation: The next case: Jesus Christ with Mr.Checker's Chariot.
This is a tough one and I'm still not sure I have it. The Thai word that should be chariot is coon rot suk--rot suk is chariot.
Literally war car--it can also mean tank. Coon (from tycoon) is a title for a knight, so I think the translator thought Checker was the name of person and not a company.
From Simpsons Bible Stories

Comedy, thy name is Krusty...

Actual: Krusty: I'm not saying Jezebel's easy, but before she moved to Sodom, it was known for its pottery!
Translation: I'm not saying Jezebel's easy (easy here meaning a pushover or one who speaks quickly without thinking), but before she moved to Sodom, the city was famous for its pottery.
From Simpsons Bible Stories



Actual: Homer: Chesty La Rue! Marge: Chesty La Rue?
Translation: Marge: What is it going to be? Homer: Chesty (big breast) La Rue!
(The translators have added big breast in parenthesis for clarity.)
From Homer to the Max

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