Publication details [#60877]

Ávila-Cabrera, José Javier. 2016. The subtitling of offensive and taboo language into Spanish of Inglourious Basterds. A case study. Babel 62 (2) : 211–232.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


The transfer of offensive and taboo language in subtitling may position translators’ choices in a challenging and controversial situation, given the effect that such terms can cause on the audience (Díaz Cintas 2001a). Nowadays, it seems that dealing with this type of language starts to gain more attention in academic circles, as it belongs to colloquial language within a low register, and as such we do speak in diverse manners depending on the context we are in. This paper delves into the way offensive and taboo language has been subtitled into European Spanish. In order to conduct this study, the subtitling of the DVD version of Quentin Tarantino’s multilingual film Inglourious Basterds (2009) has been described and analyzed, resorting to a multi-strategy design (Robson 2011) which combines quantitative with qualitative data, under the umbrella of the descriptive translation studies paradigm. Accordingly, the main purpose of this analysis is to determine any regularities in the way in which offensive and taboo language has been dealt with in this particular case study, considering the technological restrictions of subtitling as well as the translational strategies employed. Thus, this study aims to shed some light on the way this type of language has been transferred on the screen.