Article published In:
BabelVol. 66:3 (2020) ► pp.393–419
Translating swear words from English into Galician in film subtitles
A corpus-based study
As stated by Jay and Janschewitz (2008), the primary pragmatic function
of swear words is to express emotions, such as anger and frustration. The main objective of the present paper is to analyse the
translation of the two commonest English swear words, fuck and shit (Jay 2009: 156) – together with their morphological variants – into Galician. The research instrument used
for this purpose has been the Veiga Corpus, a bilingual English-Galician corpus of subtitles. Regarding the results obtained in
this study, the most frequent solution has been pragmatic correspondence, followed by omission, softening, and de-swearing.
However, descending in the analysis, clear differences emerge between the treatment of the two words. Thus, the tendency to
sanitize the Galician subtitles by omitting, neutralizing or smoothing swearwords is much more evident in the case of
fuck. This finding may be explained by the difference in tone between the two taboo words analysed. As
shit is considered milder, translators may feel there is no need to tone it down. In addition, while
shit has a literal translation which is perfectly natural in Galician, that is not the case with
fuck. Finally, the grammatical category variable has also been found to have an effect on the choice of
- 2.Pragmatic functions of swearing
- 3.On the translation of swear words
- 4.2Description of the corpus
- 4.3Research stages
- 4.4Statistical analysis
- 5.Results and discussion
Fuck and shit in the ST sub-corpus
- 5.2Translation solutions
Swear word: Fuck vs shit
- 5.3.2Grammatical category
- 6.Concluding remarks
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Cited by 2 other publications
. Taboo Language in Non-Professional Subtitling on Bilibili.com: A Corpus-Based Study
pp. 138 ff.
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