Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2352-1805
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1813
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This paper explores how racial slurs are dealt with in Anglo-American films and rendered in films dubbed in Italian. It focuses on the racist epithets ‘nigger’, ‘gook’ and ‘zipper head’ with a view to unveiling the linguistic choices made by Italian audiovisual translators. Furthermore, it supports the claim that taboo topics vary from culture to culture and sheds some light on self-censorship, which has allegedly shifted from sexual and religious topics to ethnic slurs ( Allan and Burridge 2006 ; Hughes 2006 ). In some cases the analysis reveals a wide spectrum of translation choices accompanied by subtle linguistic manipulations. In other cases translation choices tend to be fixed owing to the limited range of corresponding slurs in Italian. Also, the paper discusses self-censorship in contemporary Anglo-American films. In this regard, it is observed that ‘the n-word’ has characterized the majority of Anglo-American films since 2000 and has hallmarked a shift in self-censorship. The final question that this paper addresses is whether Italian culture is ready or not for this change.


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