5 Baffling Foreign Language Versions of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Theme
By Arika Okrent
Most of the time, when an American TV show is sold to other language markets, the opening theme song stays as is. But sometimes, especially if the theme song contains crucial background details, the song will be translated and re-recorded. The '90s hit The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was also a hit in various dubbed versions all over the world. People wanted to know what that intro, which obviously tells a story, was all about. Here are five foreign language versions of the opening theme song that really put their own twist on the famous origin story.
Show title: Kaliforniába Jöttem (I Came to California)
Best part: The first line's deep, philosophical summary of what happened.
This is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down.
Hát íme egy sztori arról a napról, mikor körülötted hirtelen semmi sem passzol.
Well, here's a story about that day when suddenly nothing around you fits.
Show title: Willy, Il Principe di Bel-Air (Willy, the Prince of Bel-Air)
Best part: How the lyrics stick to such a literal description of what’s going on in the video.
When a couple of guys that were up to no good started making trouble in my neighborhood. I got in one little fight, and my mom got scared, and said, “You’re moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air!”
Poi la mia palla, lanciata un po’ più su, andò proprio sulla testa di quei vichinghi laggiù. Il più duro s'imballò, fece una trottola di me, e la mamma preoccupata disse: “Vattene a Bel Air!”
Then my ball, launched a little farther, went right on the heads of those Vikings down there. The hardest one revved up and made a spinning top of me, and my worried mama said, “Go to Bel Air!”
I’m guessing “Viking” is some kind of slang for “tough guy.”
3. Spanish (Spain)
Show title: El Principe de Bel-Air (The Prince of Bel-Air)
Best part: How out of sync with the rhythm it is. Hear it start to go horrendously off the rails at the 40 second mark.
I whistled for a cab, and when it came near, the license plate said “FRESH,” and it had dice in the mirror.
Llamé a un taxi, cuando se acercó, su molonga matrícula me fascinó
I called a taxi, and when he approached, his license plate fascinated me.
4. Spanish (Latin America)
Show title: El Principe del Rap (The Prince of Rap)
Best part: How the voice makes the laid-back Will Smith sound so neurotic and high-strung.
I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8, and I yelled to the cabbie, “Yo homes, smell ya later!”
Al fin llegue a una mansión de lo más elegante, y le dije al taxista “Ponte desodorante!”
Finally arrived at a really elegant mansion, and I said to the taxi driver, “Put on deodorant!”
Show title: Bajer z Bel-Air (The "Charming Cool Dude" of Bel-Air)
Best part: The slightly bored, matter-of-fact voiceover translation. They don’t even bother making it a song.
I looked at my kingdom, I was finally there, to sit on my throne, as the Prince of Bel-Air.
Oto me królestwo, oto dokąd daze. Tu panować będę jak Bel-Air książe.
Here is my kingdom, here is where I strive. Here I will reign as Prince of Bel-Air.