"The Flintstones" In Other Languages

Since a large part of the Flintstones is using play on words, you know words that sound like rock and stone or such (Cary Granite, Perry Masonary, Gina Loadabricks, etc)

Even the name Flinstones and Rubble are play on words. When the translate the Flintstones into other languages do they use the English words or do they try to make up other names that also translate into playon words for rocks and gravel and such?

In Latin America, his name is Picapiedra, which is a rough approximation of Flintstone.

It’s been a long time since I’ve watched the Flintstones, but in Germany the show was called “Familie Feuerstein” (= family flintstone), and Barney’s last name was “Geröllheimer” (with Geröll = boulder). And there sure were other wordplays in the same vein, but I can’t remember the details.

In Brazil they kept the name of the show in English and also, IIRC, Barney’s last name (rubble, right?). It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an episode but I think there was a mixture of translated names and original English ones. I remember at least one character whose name was translated.

In French, its “Les Pierrafeu” (literally firestone). I wondered whether this was used as a surname in French as Firestone is in English, but I just plugged Pierrafeu into Canada411 for Montreal and didn’t get a single hit.

En francais,

Ils sont unique…


Ils sont les Pierrefeu!

As an American, I can’t really add to this thread other than saying I think it’s a great question, and I’m eagerly awaiting more non-English responses.

In Israel it was “Kadmoni”. The word means “ancient” or “primeaval”, and* Adam Kadmon* is Hebrew for “prehistoric man”.

All the other names were unchanged.

The Swedish name of the show is “Familjen Flinta”. I think all first names (Fred, Wilma, Barney, etc.) are kept as is, while last names are translated. The Rubbles are called “Granit”, Swedish for granite.

In English, does anyone ever actually say “Flint-stone”? As far as I can tell, it’s pronounced “Flynnstone”.

That’s English phonology (Standard American), similar to the pronunciation of words like center, fountain, denture, and concerns other languages only in as much as they would want it to resemble the original soundtrack.

But as to whether they would try to preserve the play on words with names like “Perry Masonry,” etc. first depends on whether the cultural cues would work. I haven’t seen this example, but I can’t imagine it working unless the Perry Mason show itself had been popular in the country at the time, and if the word masonry were any kind of cognate.

Probably a good 85% of the language jokes in something like the Flintstones can’t fully be achieved in translation, and so they just come up with something that either approximates the idea with entirely new words, or keep the original names that don’t have too many “challenging” phonetic characteristics and give up on the word play.

I forget what it’s called, possibly assimilation or co-articulation. But we often automatically smooth over the differences among a cluster of consonants when we try to enunciate them. People don’t know usually know they’re doing it, and the people who hear it reverse the process and know what consonants were intended also without realizing it. But it can be heard if you listen to the sounds instead of just understanding the words. As a relevant example, you will not, unless you stop to sound it out slowly, pronounce the first ‘t’ in:

West Side Story

I don’t know how universal this particular accomodation of ‘tst’ junctions is, but certainly native English speakers find it awkward to make sure the first ‘t’ is enunciated. The same goes for Flintstone. You make it ‘Flins-stone’ without even thinking.

At the end of the first syllable, my tounge is pressing against the front of the roof of my mouth as if I’m about to pronounce the t, but then I segue right to the s from there without pulling back to finish the t. The result is neither “Flint-stone” nor “Flynnstone,” but kind of somewhere in between. YMMV.

Any translation also has to synch with lip movement, so even a good translation might not all usable. I think it’s likely that a translator will keep to the stone age theme (stone, rubble, boulder etc.) and incorporate them into names that sound like something a person might possibly be called. The rest, though, is lost in translation.

I watched a lot of Flintstones on Dutch TV - and all the names were always in English. As far as I remember, the show wasn’t dubbed either. I only realized that Flintstone and Rubble were types of rock way later.

I don’t think the animation was all that sophisticated. There’s definitely no lip movement to contend with, and I’m not sure how much they worried about mouth movement. (It’s been years – perhaps decades – since I’ve seen an episode.)

The big question though is…what is YABBA DABBA DOO in other languages?

That came to my mind too. In one episode, Fred is asked to join a baseball team. Two of the characters were named Casey Strangle and Leo Ferocious, instantly recognizable to most baseball fans of a certain age as Casey Stengel and Leo Durocher. I doubt those names met with any kind of recognition outside of the U.S. or Latin America.

I just realised that while the show was named Les Pierrafeu in French, or at least Quebec French, it wasn’t actually Fred’s name: he was called Fred Caillou. Caillou is a small stone, and isn’t actually a real last name, but it later became the name of a character popularised by the infamous television production house Cinar.

Barney Rubble, on the other hand, was called Arthur Laroche, literally “The Rock” and an actual if not especially common last name. Wilma was Délima (only place I’ve ever seen this particular first name), and I couldn’t tell you about the other names since it’s been a long time since I watched the show.

That’s true. There was a lot of leeway and they probably didn’t bother to get it “perfect”, as most kids wouldn’t notice the difference anyway. Still, it had to match somewhat, or it would become jarring.