The Rendering of Foul Language in Spanish-English Subtitling: The Case of El Vecino

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.v28n2a10

Keywords:

foul language, AVT, Spanish-English subtitling, swearwords, Netflix, Spanish comedy, offensive load

Abstract

Audiovisual translation into English is recently gaining importance as the material produced in other languages is now increasingly crossing borders thanks to the internet. This article explores foul language, deemed one of the most problematic aspects of subtitling. The aim is to elucidate how this is normally subtitled into English. Drawing on a corpus of swearwords from Netflix Spanish comedy series El Vecino (Vigalondo, 2019‒2021), this paper examines the frequency of use of different translation techniques and the reasons behind the omission of certain instances of foul language. Results show that, while omitting swearwords is the second most common scenario, the most frequent one is transferring the offensive load of the original expression, with roughly 70 % of instances making it into the target product. As for factors influencing this decision, it was observed that overall swearwords are omitted not because they are offensive, but primarily because of their low narrative value, the subtitling’s vulnerability, and the interaction between swearwords and non-verbal elements. Time and space constraints of subtitling appear to have little impact. These results suggest that the potential influence of censorship and cultural differences on foul language omissions in English subtitles is presented as a possible research avenue.

|Abstract
= 306 veces | PDF
= 161 veces|

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Noemí Barrera-Rioja, University of Valencia

PhD student and teaching fellow of the Spanish Ministry of Education

Department of English and German Studies, University of Valencia

References

Alsharhan, A. (2020). Netflix no-censorship policy in subtitling taboo language from English into Arabic. Journal of Audiovisual Translation, 3(2), 7–28. https://doi.org/10.47476/jat.v3i2.2020.127

Alves, F., & Hurtado, A. (2010). Cognitive approaches. In Y. Gambier, & L. van Doorslaer (Eds.), Handbook of translation studies (pp. 28–35). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/hts.1.cog1

Andersson, L. G., & Trudgill, P. (1990). Bad language. Basil Blackwell.

Ávila-Cabrera, J. J. (2015a). Estudio sobre la subtitulación del lenguaje ofensivo y tabú en los guiones de Tarantino. Sendebar, 26, 37–56. https://doi.org/10.30827/sendebar.v26i0.2501

Ávila-Cabrera, J. J. (2015b). Propuesta de modelo de análisis del lenguaje ofensivo y tabú en la subtitulación. Verbeia, (0), 8–27.

Ávila-Cabrera, J. J. (2020). Profanity and blasphemy in the subtitling of English into European Spanish: four case studies based on a selection of Tarantino’s films. Quaderns, Revista de Traducció, 27, 125–140.

Ávila-Cabrera, J. J., & Rodríguez-Arancón, P. (2018). The OffTaTled project: OFFensive and TAboo Exchanges SubtiTLED by online university students. Encuentro: Revista de Investigación e Innovación en la clase de idiomas, 27, 204–219. https://doi.org/10.37536/ej.2018.27.1906

Bassnett, S. (2013). Translation studies. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203488232

Battistella, E. (2005). Bad language: are some words better than others? Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172485.001.0001

Beseghi, M. (2016). WTF! Taboo language in TV series: An analysis of professional and amateur translation. Altre Modernità, 215–231. https://doi.org/10.13130/2035-7680/6859

Botella Tejera, C. (2007). Aproximación al estudio del doblaje y la subtitulación desde la perspectiva prescriptivista y la descriptivista: la traducción audiovisual. Tonos, 13(1).

Chaume, F. (2004). Cine y traducción. Cátedra.

Chen, C. (2004). On the Hong Kong Chinese Subtitling of English Swearwords. Meta, 49(1), 135-147. https://doi.org/10.7202/009029ar

Chesterman, A. (1997). Memes of translation: The spread of ideas in translation theory. John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.22

Delabastita, D. (1989/2015). Translation and mass-communication: Film and T.V. translation as evidence of cultural dynamics. Babel, 35(4), 193–218. https://doi.org/10.1075/babel.35.4.02del

Dewaele, J. M. (2004). The emotional force of swearwords and taboo words in the speech of multilinguals. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 25(2–3), 204–222. https://doi.org/10.1080/01434630408666529

Díaz Cintas, J. (2001). La traducción audiovisual: el subtitulado. Almar.

Díaz Cintas, J. (2003). Teoría y práctica de la subtitulación: inglés/español. Ariel.

Díaz-Cintas, J. & Hayes, L. (2021, May 19). Call for Proposals —Role Reversal: Audiovisual Translation into English. Íkala, Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura. https://revistas.udea.edu.co/index.php/ikala/announcement/view/906?fbclid=IwAR1WOW50Pn9QhaN2K7TN8TnXhDlFnScMy6x47jDNeOxnooYUVYdTExf5sZc

Díaz-Cintas, J., & Remael, A. (2007). Audiovisual translation: Subtitling. Routledge.

Díaz-Cintas, J., & Remael, A. (2021). Subtitling: Concepts and practices. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315674278

Fawcett, P. (2003). The manipulation of language and culture in film translation. In M. Calzada-Pérez (Ed.), Apropos of ideology: Translation studies on ideology (pp.145–164). Routledge.

Foerster, A. (2010). Towards a creative approach in subtitling: a case study. In J. Díaz-Cintas, A. Matamala, & J. Neves (Eds.), New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation And Media Accessibility: Media for all 2. Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789042031814_008

Fuentes-Luque, A. (2015). El lenguaje tabú en la traducción audiovisual: límites lingüísticos, culturales y sociales. e-AESLA, (1).

Gedik, T. A. (2020). Translation of Turkish swear words in subtitling: GORA. International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies, 8(1), 19–26.

Gottlieb, H. (1994). Subtitling: Diagonal translation. Perspectives, 2(1), 101–121. https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.1994.9961227

Greenall, A. K. (2011). The non-translation of swearing in subtitling: loss of social implicature? In A. Şerban, A. Matamala, & J. M. Lavaur (Eds.), Audiovisual translation in close-up: Practical and theoretical approaches (pp. 45–60). Peter Lang.

Grohol, J. M. (2009, March 30). Why do we swear? PsychCentral. https://psychcentral.com/blog/why-do-we-swear#2

Han, C., & Wang, K. (2014). Subtitling swearwords in reality TV series from English into Chinese: A corpus-based study of The family. Translation & Interpreting, 6(2), 1–17. http://www.trans-int.org/index.php/transint/article/view/271

Hawel, Z. S. (2019). Strategies of subtitling swear words in The wolf of Wall Street movie. Lark Journal for Philosophy, Linguistics and Social Sciences, 3(34), 423–432. https://doi.org/10.31185/lark.Vol3.Iss34.1101

Hurtado, A. (2001). Traducción y traductología. Cátedra.

Ivarsson, J., & Carroll, M. (1998). Code of good subtitling practice. European Association for Studies in Screen Translation.

Jay, T. (1992). Cursing in America. John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/z.57

Jay, T. (2009). The utility and ubiquity of taboo words. Perspectives of Psychological Science, 4(2), 153–161. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01115.x

Jdetawy, L. F. (2019). The nature, types, motives, and functions of swearwords: A sociolinguistic analysis. International Journal of Development Research, 9(4), 27048–27058.

Mattsson, J. (2006). Linguistic variation in subtitling: The subtitling of swearwords and discourse markers on public television, commercial television and DVD. In MuTra 2006 – Audiovisual Translation Scenarios: Conference Proceedings (pp. 1–10).

McEnery, A., & Xiao, Z. (2004). Swearing in modern British English: The case of fuck in the BNC. Language and Literature, 13(3), 235–268. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947004044873

Montagu, A. (1967). The anatomy of swearing. Rapp and Whiting.

Netflix. (2021, October 22). English timed text style guide. https://partnerhelp.netflixstudios.com/hc/en-us/articles/217350977-English-Timed-Text-Style-Guide

Newmark, P. (1988). A textbook of translation. Prentice Hall.

Parini, I. (2013). Taboo and translation in audiovisual works. In S. Bayó Belenguer, E. Ní Chuilleanáin, & C. Ó Cuilleanáin (Eds.), Translation right or wrong (pp.149–161). Four Courts Press.

Pavesi, M., & Zamora, P. (2021). The reception of swearing in film dubbing: A cross-cultural case study. Perspectives, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2021.1913199

Pedersen, J. (2011). Subtitling norms for television. John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.98

Perego, E. (2008). Subtitles and line-breaks. Towards improved readability. In D. Chiaro, C. Heiss, & C. Bucaria (Eds.), Between text and image (pp. 211–226). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.78.21per

Perego, E., & Pacinotti, R. (2020). Audiovisual translation through the ages. In Ł. Bogucki, & M. Deckert (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of audiovisual translation and media accessibility (pp. 33–56). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-42105-2_3

Pérez, V., Huertas, C. A., & Gómez, M. E. (2017). El lenguaje soez como reflejo de la cultura: conceptualización y taxonomía para la traducción audiovisual al español. Futhark, 12, 71–78. https://doi.org/10.12795/futhark.2017.i12.06

Pinker, S. (2007). The stuff of thought. Penguin.

Saldanha, G., & O’Brien, S. (2014). Research methodologies in translation studies. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315760100

Santaemilia, J. (2008). The translation of sex-related language: The danger(s) of self-censorship(s). TTR, 21(2), 221–252. https://doi.org/10.7202/037497ar

Scandura, G. L. (2004). Sex, lies and TV: Censorship and subtitling. Meta, 49(1), 125–134. https://doi.org/10.7202/009028ar

Stapleton, K. (2010). Swearing. In M. A. Locher, & S. L. Graham (Eds.), Interpersonal pragmatics (pp. 289–305). De Gruyter Mouton. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110214338

Toury, G. (2012). Descriptive translation studies – and beyond: Revised edition. John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.100

Tveit, J. E. (2004). Translating for television: A handbook in screen translation. JK Publishing.

Valdeón, R. (2015). The (ab)use of taboo lexis in audiovisual translation: raising awareness of pragmatic variation in English-Spanish. Intercultural Pragmatics, 12 (39), 363–385. https://doi.org/10.1515/ip-2015-0018

Valdeón, R. (2020). Swearing and the vulgarization hypothesis in Spanish audiovisual translation. Journal of Pragmatics, 155, 261–272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2019.09.005

Vingerhoets, A., Bylsma, L. M., & de Vlam, C. (2013). Swearing: A biopsychosocial perspective. Psychological Topics, 22, 287–304.

Wajnryb, R. (2005). Expletive deleted: A good look at bad language. Simon & Schuster.

Zanotti, S. (2018). Historical approaches to AVT reception: Methods, issues and perspectives. In E. Di Giovanni, & Y. Gambier (Eds.), Reception studies in audiovisual translation (pp. 133–157). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.141.08zan

Downloads

Published

2023-05-26

How to Cite

Barrera-Rioja, N. (2023). The Rendering of Foul Language in Spanish-English Subtitling: The Case of El Vecino. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 28(2), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.v28n2a10

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.