Schemata, scripts and the gay issue in contemporary dubbed sitcoms

Roberto A. Valdeón

This article examines the translational choices in the Spanish dubbed version of the American sitcom Will & Grace for the terms ‘gay’, ‘homosexual’, ‘queer’ and ‘fag’. Firstly, I introduce the main features of the programme before moving on to present research on gay-related issues within Translation Studies. Drawing on Fairclough’s approach to discourse, the next section discusses the concepts of ‘schemata’ and ‘scripts’, as used here, and relates them to the concept of identity. The evolution of the lexical items ‘gay’, ‘homosexual’, ‘queer’ and ‘fag’ is examined (Hughes 1991; Allan & Burridge 2006) before presenting data on the preferred choices in the original programme as well as in the Spanish version. Baker’s strategies for word equivalence (1992) will be used to establish whether the use of negative terms such as ‘marica’ and ‘maricón’ aptly replace the source language term, ‘gay’. The article concludes with a discussion of whether the dysphemic nature of the terms prevails and whether traditional schemata are maintained.

Table of contents

Hey, you wanna be my second choice for the movies? We can go to a family film and look for gay subtext.

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