Rendering Taboos in Subtitling and Dubbing: A Case Study of the Persian Translation of the American Drama Television Series the Big Little Lies

Document Type : Original Article


1 Tabaran Institute of Higher Education, Mashhad, Iran.

2 M.A. Student, English Department, Tabaran Institute of Higher Education, Mashhad, Iran.


Translating taboo words is one of the challenging tasks that translators face during subtitling and dubbing movies. The translation of taboo words should be handled carefully since they may violate the norms of the target society. In this regard, the translators use different strategies to find an equivalent in the target language. This study tried to identify the strategies used by Iranian translators in dubbing and subtitling the F*k words as taboos in American English- drama crime television series based on Davoodi’s (2009) model. Thus, this was a corpus-based study that has a quantitative method with a descriptive comparative approach. The corpus of this study was limited to F*k words found in the TV series called Big Little Lies season one. This TV series was selected as the corpus of this research because this series movie was incredibly more suggestive and popular in recent decades and targeted a wide range of audiences and adults. Thus, 80 F*k words were identified for further analysis based on Sharifi and Darchinian's (2009) model. Descriptive statistics were used to determine frequencies and percentages of the applied strategies in the Persian subtitled and dubbed of the F*k words. The findings showed that Substitution, and Euphemism were the first and second used strategies by Iranian translators for dubbing and subtitling the F*k words, respectively. Additionally, the results of the Chi-square test revealed that there was not a significant difference between Iranian translators’ strategies for subtitling and dubbing F*k words. The results of the present study can be beneficial for Iranian subtitlers, dubbers, and translation students in the subtitling and dubbing of F*k words as taboos in crime drama movies from English into Persian.