Let’s just say that you’re subbing a drama and it’s an intense scene, right? Are we able to use swear words (once in a while) to EMPHASIZE the sentence?
I’ve seen a couple swear words now and then in K-dramas and I’m always taken aback because I thought it was not allowed.
I’m probably not going to do it anyways because I don’t want to have a bad image (I do use “b*astard” once in a while), but I’m just wondering if I would be allowed to swear just to emphasize the sentence. I mean like literally swear, not the mild ones… (Ex - the ‘S’ word)
I don’t ever remember seeing any rules against it, and I think it’s usually a subber / editor choice whether they censor or not.
I have kind of the opposite reaction. When I see swears censored, I’m a bit surprised. If they swore, then they swore. And the subtitle should reflect that. I mean, even when you censor the word, everyone knows exactly what the word is… So what’s the point?
I censor the stronger swear words. But I don’t consider the word “bastard” to be a strong swear word because on Viki it often overlaps with “punk” (jjashi).
What I’m thinking is that, particularly in English which has the widest audience, different people have different personal/religious/age-related/world views on the matter, so it’s best to stay mild. You don’t offend anybody like that and it costs you nothing.
I know that some countries are strict with swear words but at least when I translate into German I never censor them since swear words aren’t censored in German television.
What’s funny though is that sometimes content from the US get’s censored because we get so used to these dumb censors that make no sense because everyone knows that behind the censor is a swear word and most often they also know exactly which word was censored…
I try to subtitle as closely to the original as possible. If a character swears, I’ll write that translation… If the editor has an issue with it or wants to add a censor, that is his or her discretion. I am here to translate, not censor content!
I think it depends on what the swear word is. Here in The Netherlands is confusing, sometimes they bleep things and sometimes they don’t. I think that’s due personal taste. For some swear words I think it’s ok but for others it’s best to sensor a little because there might be young people watching.
But then I think of my dad who was watching a gangster series last week and if they would have used sensor in there they could bleep whole dialogues. It was pretty hilarious like geez can’t they use normal works?! Why do the swear all the time?! Ohh there he goes again…
I think it’s not the subbers’ duty (or right) to change the scenario.
If the writer makes the heroes swear, they swear and it gets translated.
Also, when the viewer recognises the missing words, starts wondering whether there are more censored/missing lines.
Actually, I’ve taken to writing them wholeheartedly. It’s just viki has its own G-rated sensor so even words like idit are pending viki approval. -.-
I write’em as I see 'em. I use stars. Some of the worst Korean words when translated don’t look bad at all.
I do it to capture the feeling so as much as possible is transmitted faithfully to OL.
One of the worst Korean cursewords is foaming at the mouth and wishing typhoid fever upon your enemies. The most common are variants of body fluid exchanging activities that happen in the bedroom.
What’s annoying to translate are the 씨’s, the 짓, the 인간 the condescension in the speech, the polite/impolite feeling when English has no supeformal speech etc.
The audience for sh** is different from the audience for shit, in my opinion.
I think we should choose carefully what we watch. If we can’t stand swear words, maybe we shouldn’t be watching something that contains them.
Swear words in rom-coms are different from those in gangster movies.
Therefore, a person who watches gangster movies should be able to take the uncensored version. Otherwise, they would be watching cutsey rom-coms.
Yeah. Most korean dramas are ages 14 and up, says so at the beginning of every drama! It gives an age and some of the dramas w/ profanities has a clear “19” (mature, or 19 and up) rating on the corner of the video lol
The teams I’ve worked with that have sailor-level cursing characters without any debate decided viki censors won’t let us post the uncensored version so we’ve been using these kinds of curse words like: s***
Even the word btch, uncensored doesn’t get shown in the TD. srsly so many of our comments/segs went to auto-mod because of the viki censor. Even idiot. So still whatever is actually shown is quite G-rated. I think I wrote F-word for yeot. But it made total sense! Never checked if the editor let it through censored as F** off.
I have a list of alternative insults for my subtitlers to use. We hear those swear words all the time in real life, we don’t want to promote them in subtitles, because the spoken word is over quickly and does not have such an impact as the written on the subtitle, which remains to be seen for 4-6 seconds and thus registers more forcefully.
Moreover, there are young teenagers watching, they may know them or even use them, but why condone its use? I don’t use asterisks and such, I just put something milder.
It also helps educate viewers about the great variety of insults and exclamations, when nowadays everybody uses the same 3-4 words all the time (Gordon Ramsay, do you hear me?).
But of course, this is just personal opinion. When I am not moderator but subtitler, I ask my moderator about her guidelines on this.
Good question. One I’ve always wanted to ask. Although I thought it would probably not be a question of ‘allowed or not’, but rather ‘appropriate or not’, and more importantly, ‘accurate or not’.
Agree. It depends on the genre of the drama. Yet, in non-gangster genre, I’d still prefer better choice of (alternate) words, and do appreciate the asterisking of vulgar words if used because seeing some of the awful vulgar words on screen is such a turn off for me, personally, and particularly when the genre doesn’t call for its usage.
I actually do appreciate this auto-censor mechanism on Viki. While I wholeheartedly agree with translating it as it is spoken/scripted, I do believe some level of restraint would serve a good overall purpose. Not that it is necessary a need to withhold vulgarity from the younger than 14 age group, since with the vibrant internet and its ease of accessibility, there really is no way to ‘censor’ to be ‘protective’. That lies squarely on the shoulders of parents. Still, a little restraint is a good thing. Besides, I think it is also a reflection of quality work or good taste.
Without any intent to offend or single out any specific site, I do cringe whenever vulgar words are used in subbing, esp when inappropriately used, or there are other options of words to use that can also reflect the spoken/scripted line. For instances, in the currently airing Drinking Solo drama, I thought these instances of vulgarity were pretty tasteless and not appropriate. I’ve noticed such ‘vulgar’ usage on this channel happens often, which is one reason why I thought Viki’s volunteer community churns out more classy/accurate subs and would be my first choice of site for any drama. No doubt, it’s also thanks to the auto-censor mechanism.
Choice of translation for the scripted 개 쓰레기 gae sseulegi (lit. dog crap/trash or SOB, 狗 屎/废物) , I thought it was better to be literally subbed as dog crap or alternately as SOB (개자식 lit. son of a bitch, 母犬子) than the vulgar word ‘a**hole’. The word ‘crap’ though also vulgar, doesn’t sound as bad. Even then, I thought if using such a vulgar word is inevitable, inserting asterisks would be less tasteless. Also, it has nothing to do with East vs West influence or conservative vs liberal leaning. IMO, it’s a matter of appropriateness and quality.
Again, instances posted are just for sake of discussion and happen to be timely too. (I’ve seen worse instances in the past). Absolutely nil intent to denigrate any site or any translation.
I agree with you, although the asterisks look a bit ridiculous to me. I vastly prefer alternate words.
Just out of curiosity, since you know Korean.
You say that 개 쓰레기 gae sseulegi lit. means dog crap, so it is translated trash or SOB.
I knew that
새끼 is a generic offensive word, often translated as crazy bastard/jerk/punk/brat/son of a bitch/bastard, (not literally bastard in the sense of illegitimate son). It can be easily combined to form other words such as 씨발새끼! (f*g bastard) and 개새끼!(son of a bitch)
개새끼 gaesaekki is Lit. ʺSon of a dogʺ Derived from개[gae] meaning ‘dog’ and 새끼.(offensive).
So my question is, what does saekki literally mean? It will help me select the right translation.