Here’s the second half of what I started yesterday, a list of the names of cartoon characters in Spanish. As you can see, many of the names are either identical or very similar. If you’re feeling up for a challenge, pop over to Youtube and watch a short episode of your favorite childhood show in Spanish. Eventually, we’ll have to work our way to native Spanish shows and comics– Condorito, Mafalda, Kalimán, even El chavo del ocho.
And now for a bit of cartoon language trivia for you. One beautiful day out in the Colombian countryside with a group of friends, I once got totally lost in a conversation when they started joking about a dog being named Firulais. I was like, ¿que qué? Unbeknownst to me, it was the dog Spike’s name on the show Rugrats (Aventuras en pañales), one of my favorites way back when, and works like Rover, Spot, Fido, et al., a stock name for dogs in stories or TV shows. Firulais— stick that in your back pocket, and whip it out at just the right moment. You’ll blow minds, I promise.
Donald Duck = Pato Donald, Daisy = Daisy
The rest of the Disney characters are the same– Mickey (Ratón Mickey), Minnie, and Pluto.
Scooby-Doo = Scooby-Doo
Alvin and the Chipmunks = Alvin y las ardillas (Look, I know a squirrel’s different from a chipmunk and that you’re crying foul because your dictionary says ardilla listada for chipmunk. But, chipmunks aren’t found in Latin America, for one. Secondly, “Alvin and the striped squirrels” just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Let’s not get all in a huff and be too legalistic about… these squeaky creatures.)
The Pink Panther = La pantera rosa (Click here to listen to an incredible salsa version of the show’s famous theme song from La 33, a salsa orchestra from Bogotá)
Popeye = Popeye, but the pronunciation is Hispanicized. Three syllables.
Casper the Friendly Ghost = Gasparín el fantasma amistoso
Anything I missed? Check out this awesome web page to learn more– my list can’t hold a candle to it. But, mine had pictures, so we’re tied, right? Right.
Oh, and hey– did anyone catch the mistake in the last post? Not my mistake, mind you. Look at what Fred Flintstone says; one letter is off and it completely changes what he said. A very common mistake among natives, I’m sad to say! (Confusing “s” and “z”)
_________________________________________________ Non-natives, what’s your experience with these cartoons in Spanish? Had you heard or seen them before? How have you heard them used? Where? If you’re a native Spanish speaker, anything to correct, clarify, comment on or concur with?