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Monday, April 29th 2013, 9:55pm

Slang issues

Hi friends.

I just finished proofreading a video where slang words came up. In Federico Pistono's Why I advocate The Zeitgeist Movement, response to common criticisms
he uses slang a few times.

10:16


10:19
Fuck! I'm working 9 hours a day,every day of the week,

12:42


12:45
You should just, keep going and destroying your fucking life!

He also uses "dude" a few times but that isn´t too dificult...

My question is: How would you translate that to your language? Would you keep the slang tone and use the equivalent word in your language, dispite that fact that it might be a bit offensive or stronger than it actually is in the english language? Or would you "clean" it up a bit a keep it politically correct?

For the time being, I chose to keep the original slang tone of the expression... but I´m not too confortable with it. I would like to hear a few opinions.

Thanks.
:rose:

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Tuesday, April 30th 2013, 5:58pm

There are no bad words. :) That's my opinion.

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Tuesday, April 30th 2013, 9:30pm


There are no bad words. :) That's my opinion.
Got the message... Thanks!

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Wednesday, May 1st 2013, 9:41am

Changing someone else's way to talk is not what we are supposed to do, which is translating.
If someone swears, that's his/her way to talk even if the translator doesn't agree with.
We are not allowed to transform any expression based on ours believes, creeds, moral judgments, and so on.

I see another problem, though: not in every language there are the same swearing words.
So for example, in Italian we swear God eg. Porco Dio - or - Dio cane that I've never heard in other languages.
"Porco Dio" translates "God (is a) pig" or "Pig Dog"
"Dio cane" translates "God (is a) dog." or "Dog God"

So I guess we should write down a specific small dictionary on "bad" words.

:kewl: :diablo: :monkey: :devillaugh: :cow:

:fc-pirate: :fc-tongue:

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Wednesday, May 1st 2013, 10:01am

I also agree that there are no 'bad words', only 'our bad perception' of them. Thinking about them as pejorative words with 'evil' menings. But we can adapt and start to create a 'funny' perception/meaning about words like 'Fuck', 'Shit', ...
If in English their meaning isn't so pejorative, as it seams like in Portuguese :/ (f. ex.), we could start to practice our semantic thoughts in a more efficient way, to synchronize in 'symbiosis' with other cultures :D
I think its the faster way to avoid wasting of time about 'drawings with 'A B C..'..
Also believe that even in languages there will be happen a 'cultural shift and evolution :D
It's just my opinion :D
To make a mental re-think about semantics :D Oh i remember now, Jacque Fresco recommends a book about semantics which i suggest to take a look :D ''TYRANNY OF WORDS'' :D (http://www.thevenusproject.com/blog/?page_id=34)
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This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Andre13" (May 2nd 2013, 4:57pm)


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Wednesday, May 1st 2013, 11:29am

Great inputs here!! :)
I am sure you won't convince Arabic translators to use such words, if they have them at all. Many viewers would stop watching or create an negative idea of the content, (in Portugal too in some degree) and we don't want that. The message is not bout the bad words.

"The tyranny of words" is from Stuart Chase, but it is a recommended book from JF ;)
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Wednesday, May 1st 2013, 1:21pm

Thank you all for the inputs... Interesting issues and p.o.v.s here. :bighug:

Doesn´t seem too easy to balance our respect for what the person actually said or wrote with how it is going to be recieved by those in different cultures who will read/watch our translations. :riphair:

I belive it would be helpfull to ask ourselves a few questions (which I did when I decided what to do in this specific situation): By changing the words, are we deteriorating significantly the overall message the person is trying to spread? Will those specific words act against the intention of spreading one idea by offending those watching/reading them? ?(

Responding to those questions will have to take in account the specific text and context in which the word is used, and the cultural backgound in which these words will be read. Maybe it won´t be possible to reach one single answer to each and every case. Maybe it should be left to translatior's discretion. Maybe an important issue to discuss in the next team speak meeting. :idea:

Thanks! :rose:

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Wednesday, May 1st 2013, 3:12pm

For the time being, I chose to keep the original slang tone of the expression... but I´m not too confortable with it. I would like to hear a few opinions.


Such a nice discussion here on this thread! :) It makes me so proud to be a part of this wonderful team effort. :loveya:

I would only add that on the English Team, we transcribe slang and profanity to preserve the speaker's persona without bias, interpretation, or censorship. What a difficult task that must be for our translators who have the job of interpreting 'a speaker's persona' across cultures. You guys are my heroes. :bow:

Here's a link to our English Guidelines(Quickie Version) for reference.
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Wednesday, May 1st 2013, 6:34pm

I think what we consider "bad words" can technically used:
  1. to highlight an emotional state
  2. as padding expression
  3. to simulate a dialog as metaphor
  4. to offend
Some people/culture consider a "bad word" as offensive in all four cases above, others only when used to explicit insult someone (case four).

We should striclty follow LTI Guidelines (as reported by Di Anna).


But what if we create
  • an explicit version with bad words translated as they are
  • a sweetened version without explicit bad words?
Just to respect some cultures and/or people won't read/hear these oscene (for them) words AND spread RBE messages as well.

An example

Original> Fuck I am working...
Sweetened> Damn I am working...

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Friday, May 3rd 2013, 1:00pm

Damn interesting dilemma! I agree with what everyone has said.

However, one person's 'damn' is another person's 'fuck'. Some words that I consider much milder than 'f---', such as 'Goddam' would be sacrilegious blasphemy to people like my mother, immediately giving her a negative bias against the whole message of the video.

Another suggestion ... how about transcribing slang words as [expletive] or [profanity]. This way, the reader can put in his own interpretation of the expletive according to his sensitivity, without prejudicing the integrity of the message ... ?

Just a thought.

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