Lost in Translation

The Los Angeles Times‘ Ashraf Khalil and Jailan Zayan explain why Al-Shamshoon, the Arabic-language version of The Simpsons, may not be the big hit its producers hoped it to be:

Omar doesn’t drink beer. That is not a misprint.

Instead, he spends time with his buddies at a local coffee shop. At home, he pops open frosty cans of Duff brand juice.

Needless to say, Simpsons fans in the Middle-East are none too pleased:

“They managed to make one of the funniest shows ever into something that is terribly unfunny, and one of the smartest shows around into something incredibly dumb,” ranted an Egyptian blogger who goes by the name Sandmonkey and who wants the show canceled. “Us Simpson lovers can’t take this abomination any longer.” (..) “What’s Homer without beer?” Sandmonkey told The Times, preferring to be identified by his blogger name. “This is a fundamental issue!”

A couple quoted in the article have found a way to enjoy the show, however. They “dissect the translations, recall the originals and debate what jokes do or do not work in Arabic.” D’oh!