The Challenge of Subtitling Offensive and Taboo Language into Spanish: A Theoretical and Practical Guide

Author: José Javier Ávila-Cabrera

Related Formats:
Hardback, Ebook(EPUB)
27th Jan 2023
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
234mm x 156mm

This book provides readers, students and teachers with a clear and concise guide to understanding the concepts of offensive and taboo language and how this type of language can be subtitled into Spanish used in Spain. It combines theoretical and practical approaches and covers technical matters, as well as those of censorship, (ideological) manipulation, translation strategies and techniques, the treatment of offensive and taboo language and how to conduct research in this field. It includes an array of examples from recent films and TV series to present the reader with real samples of subtitles broadcast on digital platforms today. In addition, each chapter includes exercises with which the reader can put theory into practice, as well as possible solutions in the form of answer keys. It will be of use not only to researchers and students, but also to future audiovisual translators seeking to acquire further knowledge in the transfer of offensive and taboo language.

This scholarly and fascinating book is for anyone interested in audiovisual translation in the form of interlingual and intralingual subtitles or closed captions. Extensive discussion of problems with translating swearwords and other tabooed language is matched with a comprehensive survey of various strategies and techniques for managing them. Additionally, there are helpful practical exercises with suggested solutions.

Keith Allan, Monash University, Australia

This monograph is an essential contribution to the field of audiovisual translation, since it gathers very valuable insights on the subtitling of offensive and taboo language. The skilled combination of descriptive theory, examples, and practice, especially in the second half of the book, turn it into an essential guide for any researcher or scholar interested in the field.

Noa Talaván Zanón, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain

In this rigorously researched monograph, the author successfully uncovers the many forces at play when dealing with the transfer of effing and blinding in the field of subtitling. Interdisciplinary in its approach, with examples galore, and written in an accessible and engaging prose, this is a must read for those of us fascinated with the sociocultural power of language. As some directors would say, “Hey, dude, this is a f***ing brilliant book!”

Jorge Díaz Cintas, University College London, UK

Ávila-Cabrera generates a serious and detailed discussion of theoretical approaches to offensive and taboo language and offers a wide range of translation strategies and techniques in line with the proposed taxonomies. The author masterfully combines theory and practice in each chapter. Another asset of this volume is the incorporation of complete and comprehensive explanations to the answer keys provided with the aim of enlightening the reader, regardless of whether they belong to the academic or professional world.

Pilar Gonzalez-Vera, Estudios de Traducción 13, 2023

José Javier Ávila-Cabrera is a Lecturer at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Spain. His research explores the treatment of offensive and taboo language in audiovisual translation (AVT), as well as AVT as a didactic tool.




Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Audiovisual Translation

Chapter 3. Offensive and Taboo Language

Chapter 4. Model of Analysis for Offensive/Taboo Language

Answer Key



TV Series

Web Addresses


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