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A Study on the Characteristics of the English-Korean Translation of Tabooed Slang and Vulgar Expressions with a Focus on Shifts in Lexical Formality: Based on Translated Novels and Films

한미선 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to compare and analyze translation of tabooed slang and vulgar expressions in novels and DVD subtitles in terms of shifts in lexical formality, and identify both linguistic and extra-linguistic factors affecting such formality shifts. Tabooed slang and vulgarism, the focus of this study, refer to slang and vulgar expressions universally regarded as taboo. The reason this study pays attention to formality shifts in tabooed slang and vulgar words lies in the fact that there is a close relation between formality and emotional tone of words or expressions (Newmark 1988; 김동언 2009). This means that formality shifts are more likely to lead to the failure in preserving the emotional intensity of such expressions in translation. Therefore, in the translation of these expressions, the emotional force contained in them should be reproduced as closely as possible to the original so as to achieve the intended stylistic effect and pragmatic function. This study has the following three objectives: 1) Employing objective and empirical data, this study aims to verify the problems that may occur when tabooed words are toned down in emotional force or omitted completely regardless of their textural functions to meet the expected standards of readers in the target culture; 2) It suggests that tabooed slang and vulgarism in the source language be translated into words with the same degree of formality in the target language as a desirable way of translating such expressions; 3) This study aims to draw greater attention to slang and vulgar expressions, which have been regarded as a minor language variety and thus neglected by the academic community.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.