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Smurf (language)

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Smurfspeaking
Peewit in The Smurfs And The Magic Flute gets frustrated with trying to speak in Smurf.
Smurfing In Smurf
It's just not easy for humans to speak in Smurf!
What Are You Smurfing About
Don't bother asking for a translation!

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Smurf: Our village has been Smurfed by a smurf that smurfs smurf.
Homnibus: A "smurf that smurfs smurf?" I don't understand, what is he saying?
Peewit: Easy, he says that his village has been visited by a bandit who talks through his nose.
Sir Johan: Really, I suspect that he's talking about a plague that came from the sky.
King: No, no, you got it all wrong, it's a wolf that came from the forest.
Smurf: No that isn't it either.
Peewit: An elephant who blew his horn then?
King: Or a wildman who drinks blood?
- A lucky escapee Smurf in the comic book version of "The Cursed Country" trying to tell that their village had been demolished by a dragon (A Smurf) that breathes fire (that smurfs smurf).

The Smurf language is basically a variation of a human language where the word "smurf" is substituted for whatever noun, verb, adjective, or adverb is being used. It is a rather intuitive form of communication, since only Smurfs seem to know without any sense of confusion what one Smurf is really saying to another Smurf in Smurf. It mostly depends on what context the word "smurf" is being used in since it can hold any number of meanings, including sometimes profanity, as accidentally and then later deliberately invoked by Patrick Winslow in the 2011 Smurfs movie. Occasionally, though, debates do break out in the manner of the word "smurf" being used in compounded words and phrases, as one Smurf might say "corksmurf" and another Smurf might say "smurfscrew", though both are correct forms of the word. This verbal debate led to the events that took place in the cartoon special "The Smurfic Games" as well as the comic book story "Smurf Of One And Smurf A Dozen Of The Other".

In the animated version of The Smurfs And The Magic Flute, Peewit attempted to ask for a glass of water in Smurf to a fellow Smurf, only to get other things instead. Brainy tries to explain, "to speak in Smurf, the verb and noun must both agree, and adjectives make the meaning vary" -- though as usual he gets bludgeoned over the head. Peewit also mistranslated a message that was spoken by another Smurf in Smurf, which required Papa Smurf to provide the correct translation. In "The Fake Smurf", when Hogatha was masquerading as Snorty Smurf, she was confused when Vanity tried to tell her something in Smurf.

Not all Smurfs speak in Smurf. Wild in the cartoon show uses squirrel chatter and hand signals to communicate to other Smurfs. Hackus, a Naughty that was turned into a Smurf in The Smurfs 2, has speech patterns similar to Bigmouth and thus isn't likely to speak in Smurf fluently.

Real-world origin

The original term and the accompanying language came during a meal Peyo was having with his colleague and friend André Franquin in which, having momentarily forgotten the word "salt", Peyo asked him (in French) to pass the schtroumpf. Franquin replied: "Here's the Schtroumpf — when you are done schtroumpfing, schtroumpf it back" and the two spent the rest of that weekend speaking in schtroumpf language. The name was later translated into Dutch as Smurf, which was adopted in English. This origin appears in veiled form in the original French version of "The Smurfs And The Book That Tells Everything".

External Link

  • "Smurf Misunderstandings", a fan-created "non-canonical" short featuring Smurfs who also can't understand each other in Smurf. (NOTE: The nature of the video may not be appropriate for general audiences.)
  • Smurfing at TV Tropes, for examples in other media about similar types of languages.

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