The Cartoon Network will soon be offered in Arabic, in hopes of reaching up to
35 million homes in the Middle East and North Africa.
“There’s been a
great deal of demand for Arabic content in this region, and launching a 24/7
Arabic Cartoon Network channel is a further testament to our growing investment
in the region,” said Chris Groves, senior vice president of Middle East business
affairs for the network’s parent company Turner Broadcasting.
that will become available in Arabic include Ben 10, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s
Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.
Kuttab, director-general of the Community Media Network in Amman and Ramallah
said that while there are difficulties with Arabic dubbing, the channel should
still be a hit.
“I think people will watch it,” said Kuttab. “The problem
they will have is something all studios have with the classical Arabic, it
sounds as if you were speaking [English] from the sixteenth
There is not just one standard of Arabic spoken across the
Middle East and North Africa, but each country has its own dialect. Over time,
these dialects have evolved into quite separate languages, so that a person from
Morocco, for instance, can’t understand someone talking in an Iraqi dialect. To
overcome this linguistic barrier, the classical Arabic in which the Koran was
written will be used on the Cartoon Network, but this form is very different to
spoken Arabic and sounds old fashioned to today’s youth.
previously signed a deal with Lammtara Pictures, the Dubai-based studio
one of the most successful cartoon series in the region: FREEJ. The show
four grandmothers in Dubai who deal with the challenges of living in a
Under the deal, Turner will broadcast FREEJ episodes
and distribute FREEJ merchandise.
In exchange, Lammtara will produce a
new local version of the Cartoon Network’s British Skatoony show in
children compete against cartoons. The show will feature the characters
The recent collaboration is not the first time that an American
children’s TV show will be translated into Arabic.
Thirty years ago Ifath
ya Simsim, the local version of Sesame Street, was first broadcasted.