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date: 18 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

If translating is always a difficult art, translating tabooed words or phrases is particularly difficult since the translator has to take into account not only the usual linguistic problems such as polysemy, false friends, ambiguity, or anachronisms. S/he also has to take into account aspects that are not, strictly speaking, linguistic, but cultural and/or political. This chapter analyses how the problems translating not only patent and explicit tabooed words, insults, invectives have been handled in different translations of a single text, but veiled allusions as well. Since the kind of words I am dealing with are susceptible to being considered offensive in the target language, while they are not—or are not with the same intensity—in the source language, it is also shown how, consciously or unconsciously, translators have often softened or censored the exact scope of the original utterances in their translations.

Keywords: translation, invectives, insults, derogations, ethnic slurs, (self)censorship, lexicalized tabooed words, occasional tabooed words

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