Saturday 03rd of December 2022


How Chinese Fansubbers Handle Swearing: The Chinese Non-professional Subtitling of the First Season of Gomorra – La serie

Serena Zuccheri, Università di Bologna pdf_icon_30x30




Abstract: Enthusiastically compared by international critics to the best contemporary crime TV series and auteur films, the first season of Gomorra - La serie is the best-selling Italian TV product abroad (Napoli and Tirino, 2016). Despite its success, the People’s Republic of China has opted not to obtain its broadcasting rights. This is not surprising due to the regulations issued in recent years by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), the agency in charge of managing and supervising the exchange activities between Chinese and foreign television broadcasters. Disapproving of the crime TV products due to its violent and bloody content (Ying Zhu et al, 2018), SAPPRFT has limited Gomorra - La serie’s broadcasting within television programming, denying the Chinese audience the opportunity to watch it. However, the online growth of non-professional subtitling, known as fansubbing, has allowed Chinese audiences to watch Gomorra - La serie and understand its contents by using the subtitles provided by local fansubbers. Gomorra - La serie is linguistically characterized by a widespread use of jargon, coarseness and swearing. The Chinese fansubbers, directly translating from Italian, have tried to accurately reproduce using equivalents in their mother tongue, or bowdlerizing them by subjecting some of the most vulgar and irreverent expressions to linguistic interdiction. Inspired by the studies conducted by Galli de' Paratesi (1969), Cardona (1976) and Li Junhua (2010), and by the analysis of their methodologies, and the possible strategies adopted to overcome the linguistic taboo, this work presents a preliminary linguistic analysis of the Chinese subtitles of the first season of Gomorra - La serie.



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