Tag Archives: pitufos

Happy birthday, Smurfs!

The Smurfs are a fictional group of small sky blue creatures who live in Smurf Village somewhere in the woods. The Belgian cartoonist Peyo introduced Smurfs to the world in a series of comic strips, making their first appearance in the Belgian comics magazine Le Journal de Spirou on October 23, 1958. The English-speaking world perhaps knows them best through the popular 1980s animated television series from Hanna-Barbera Productions, “The Smurfs.”

In 2005, an advertisement featuring The Smurfs was aired in Belgium in which the Smurf village is annihilated by warplanes. Designed as a UNICEF advertisement, and with the approval of the family of the Smurfs’ late creator Peyo, the 25-second episode was shown on the national evening news after the 9pm timeslot to avoid children seeing it. It was the keystone in a fund-raising campaign by UNICEF’s Belgian arm to raise money for the rehabilitation of former child soldiers in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo—both former Belgian colonies.

In honor of their 50th anniversary in 2008, the Smurfs began a year long tour in connection with UNICEF. The Smurfs have made appearances in various countries on the day of their 50th “Smurfday”, in the form of publicly-distributed white figurines which recipients can decorate and submit to a competition. The results of this contest are to be auctioned off in order to raise funds for UNICEF.

The Smurfs in other languages

  • Arabic: سنافر (sanafer) or singular: سنفور (sanfur)
  • Basque: pottokiak (singular: pottoki), after the Basque pony race pottoka. Early editions used pitufoak, straight from Spanish.
  • Breton: Ar Chmarfed (singular : Chmarf). Name found in the book of Dreo Koulouarn (a Breton writer) : Rimoù ha Sonioù.
  • Bulgarian: Смърфовете (Smurfovete) – The Smurfs or singular: Смърф (Smurf).
  • Catalan: Barrufets (singular: Barrufet), Catalan for little wind evil or goblin.
  • Chinese: 蓝精灵 (Simplified Chinese) /藍精靈 (Traditional Chinese) (lán jīng líng) – blue fairy spirits/elves/pixies; 藍色小精靈 (lán sè xiǎo jīng líng) – blue coloured little fairy spirits/elves/pixies
  • Croatian: Štrumpfovi (singular: Štrumpf)
  • Czech: Šmoulové (singular: Šmoula), name based on their light blue colour.
  • Danish: Smølfer(ne) (singular: smølf). Originally published as “Snøvserne” (singular: snøvs)
  • Dutch: smurfen (singular: smurf), original language to use “smurf” as translation of “schtroumpf”.
  • Estonian: smurfid (singular: smurf)
  • Finnish: smurffit (singular: smurffi) [the word “strumffit” (singular: strumffi) was used in the 1970s, but smurffit became the de-facto-standard translation during the 1980s]. When they were first published in Finland in the early 70’s, they were called Muffet (singular: Muffe). “Smurffit” is also a slang word in the Helsinki area for public transport ticket inspectors, who wear blue uniforms.[citation needed]
  • French: schtroumpfs (singular: schtroumpf)
  • German: Schlümpfe (singular: Schlumpf). The original French schtroumpf sounds very similar to the German word Strumpf meaning “sock” or “stocking“.
  • Greek: (Both plural and singular) Στρουμφ (stroumf) or Plural: Στρουμφάκια (stroumfakia) Singular: Στρουμφάκι (stroumfaki)
  • Hebrew: דרדסים (dardasim) or singular: דרדס (dardas). Dardak is a small child. The somewhat rare Hebrew word “dardas” has a totally unrelated meaning (slipper or overshoe), and therefore should be treated as an invented word when referring to smurfs. It is still used in an insulting manner towards short people.
  • Hungarian: törpök (singular: törp), and also: hupikék törpikék (singular: hupikék törpike). Törp is the distorted version of the word törpe (dwarf); Tolkien’s dwarves are also called so. Please note that it is a spelling mistake to write these terms in capital letters.
  • Icelandic: strumparnir (singular: strumpur)
  • Indonesian: smurf
  • Italian: puffi (singular: puffo), the name has been reinvented from scratch because in Italian language the “schtroumpf” (or in Italian spelling ‘strumpf’) reminds speakers of the slang Italian word “stronzo”, literally meaning ‘turd’ and, by extension, ‘asshole’. The fantasy name “puffi” is derived from the word “buffi” (singular: buffo, as in opera buffa) a word meaning at same time “funny” and “strange”.
  • Japanese: スマーフ (sumāfu – a phonetic approximation)
  • Korean: 스머프 (seumeopeu – a phonetic approximation)
  • Lithuanian: smurfai (singular: smurfas)
  • Macedonian: Штрумфови (Štrumfovi) or singular: Штрумф (Štrumf)
  • Norwegian: smurfene (singular: smurf)
  • Polish: smerfy (singular: smerf; since the 1990s used as a slang word for traffic policemen due to their blue uniforms and white caps)
  • Portuguese: estrumpfes (singular: estrumpfe) in Portugal; in early editions they were called Schtroumpfs, as in the original French. Brazil knows them as smurfs, but when first introduced in the storybook format they were called “Strunfs”
  • Romanian Ştrumfi (singular: Ştrumf)
  • Russian Смурфы (Smurfy) or singular: Смурф (Smurf)
  • Serbian: Штрумпфови (Štrumpfovi) or singular: Штрумпф (Štrumpf)
  • Slovak: Šmolkovia (singular: Šmolko)
  • Slovenian: Smrkci (singular: Smrkec)
  • Spanish: Pitufos (singular: Pitufo; female: Pitufita or Pitufina). The name derives either from “Patufet“, a slightly similar looking character (short, smurfish cap wearing) of the Catalonian folklore (basically, the Catalan counterpart of British Tom Thumb), or from pituso[10] (“cute child”). The term “Pitufo” was later incorporated in Spanish slang meaning “local policeman” due to their blue uniforms. In 1974, the Smurfs appeared in TBO Magazine under the name “Tebeítos”.
  • Swedish: Smurfer(na) originally, currently more often called “smurfar(na)” (singular: smurf)
  • Turkish: Şirinler (singular: Şirin) the name means cute in Turkish.
  • Urdu: اسمرف (ismarf)
  • Vietnamese: xì trum
  • Welsh: Y Smyrffs (Singular: Smyrff)