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Poll: Do you accept translation jobs containing explicit/vulgar language?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:14
SITE STAFF
Mar 25, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you accept translation jobs containing explicit/vulgar language?".

This poll was originally submitted by Maria Tulbure. View the poll results »



 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:14
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Why not? Mar 25, 2017

I once did a screenplay that contained a lot of vulgar language. I had to consult one of my street-wise friends and he was very helpful.

Translating this kind of language is very touchy. If it's not exactly on the money, it comes across as artificial and silly. I treat it as an interesting challenge.

P.S. KudoZ can be helpful with this kind of work. I've seen some excellent answers.

[Edited at 2017-03-25 08:40 GMT]


 

Chie. I  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 23:14
Partial member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
No, shame Mar 25, 2017

I am kind of disappointed by ProZ job posters who seek translators for such fields (not screenplay but purely erotic purpose) as well as ProZ staff who allowed them to.
I believe this harms good reputation and I always block such agencies, no matter what.


 

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:14
Member
German to English
+ ...
Yes Mar 25, 2017

I quite enjoy the creativity of vulgarity. It also forces me to overcome my inner British prudishness which wants me to write 'oh bother' and 'fiddlesticks' and other such Victorianisms!

 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:14
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Occasionally Mar 25, 2017

I've occasionally taken jobs which include "bad language", for example a witness's statement about a crime, taken down verbatim in a police station and presented as evidence in criminal proceedings, or a film script.
As Muriel says, it can be quite challenging to avoid sounding stilted or out of date.
I've never been offered anything pornographic and wouldn't accept such jobs.


 

Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 16:14
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Absoeffinglutely Mar 25, 2017

Translating swearing and vulgarity can actually be quite a challenge in my language combination (EN>DE), since the English language has much more to offer in this respect.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:14
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Mar 25, 2017

It doesn’t happen often, but I do. One case that stuck with me was a very ugly divorce (a Belgian man and a Portuguese woman) that I translated some 30 years ago. The couple had exchanged a series of letters and the names they called each other and what they said about each other was extremely pejorative: I learned a lot of insults and bad words in French!

More recently, I have been translating a long text on racism, xenophobia and homophobia and this is filled with court cases and some have a very colorful language…


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Mar 25, 2017

Why wouldn't I? I can swear like a trooper at the drop of a hat, in at least a couple of languages and/or dialects. In fact, sometimes when posting online I have to add [expletive deleted] or similar to express the depth of vehemence or conviction I'm feeling at the time. At school, my generation were taught that swearing was a (lower class) symptom of poor vocabulary skills... a claim which I've never felt entirely happy with.

[Edited at 2017-03-25 10:10 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nobody's twisting your arm Mar 25, 2017

Chie. I wrote:

I am kind of disappointed by ProZ job posters who seek translators for such fields (not screenplay but purely erotic purpose) as well as ProZ staff who allowed them to.
I believe this harms good reputation and I always block such agencies, no matter what.


None of us is obliged to respond to these adverts, but I think it's fair that the forum should be open for those who are willing to do so, especially if they are paying a membership fee for the privilege.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 23:14
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Mar 25, 2017

But I would love to.
I translate only technical stuff which is, unfortunately, full of boring terms such as screws (lots of screwing in and out, in fact), male and female mating parts, lubrication, hardness gauges, probes, sliding surfaces, and grease nipples. Not very scintillating, is it? icon_smile.gif


 

Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 16:14
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
swear words are a part of any language Mar 25, 2017

neilmac wrote:

Chie. I wrote:

I am kind of disappointed by ProZ job posters who seek translators for such fields (not screenplay but purely erotic purpose) as well as ProZ staff who allowed them to.
I believe this harms good reputation and I always block such agencies, no matter what.


None of us is obliged to respond to these adverts, but I think it's fair that the forum should be open for those who are willing to do so, especially if they are paying a membership fee for the privilege.


Few years ago I received via ProZ.com a challenging job: it was a text of an international dating website, consisting of different parts which require totally different skills: Christian dating (full of Bible verses), dating if you have children, extra partnership if you are married, one-night-stand seekers and the last was, to be honest, hardcore porn. It was challenging. Being twice married, I learned a lot. The name of some sex toys was told by my adult children (we had a lot of funicon_smile.gif and even I was escorted by one of them to a sextoy store where the staff thought that he is my partner, hahahaicon_biggrin.gif

Words as those for me are tools. Translating any text brings expands your passive vocabulary and will enrich your knowledge.
Just think about: what if a gynecologist would refuse to examine a female patient with STD? This is a part of our activities and ... no big deal. Another day another text will come.

regarding Japanese, if I would be not invited for this job I would maybe never know what the word bukkake means.

But the most explicit and shocking I translated ever was a text of a court case (divorce) where a family scene and the subsequent abuse was described literally, word-by-word. beieve me, it was a lot worse than the porn text.

[Edited at 2017-03-25 10:59 GMT]


 

sunshotpalace  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 22:44
English to Korean
+ ...
Interesting Mar 25, 2017

It was very hard for me to list 100 Korean swearing and cursing words and translate them into English as requested and paid by a global software enterprise.
This task was to block or screen those words on their web services. I played a role as one of the terminologists for the company. I thought that I was familiar with them and now, get more interested in the dark side of everyday life so as to be versatile in translation and localization.


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:14
Member (2008)
English to Italian
Yes Mar 25, 2017

Julian Holmes wrote:

But I would love to.
I translate only technical stuff which is, unfortunately, full of boring terms such as screws (lots of screwing in and out, in fact), male and female mating parts, lubrication, hardness gauges, probes, sliding surfaces, and grease nipples. Not very scintillating, is it? icon_smile.gif


It has happened only 5/6 times, and i have accepted the jobs without any problems.
Like Julian, I translate technical stuff and the terms he mentioned are those I usually find in my translations....Well not very vulgar or somehow sexually explicit...


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:14
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
No, Mar 25, 2017

it puts me in a bad mood.

That is one of the reasons I prefer medicine, law and business over

subtitling movies and TV series.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:14
Member (2007)
English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


They're just words. It's the writer's intention that counts. Mar 25, 2017

If a novel has a character that uses the F word every sentence, that doesn't necessarily worry me at all. Some people speak like that and we hear them in the street. I've worked on sex material too. What's wrong with sex - even including toys and fun - between consenting adults? It happens; it's natural. It will be a sad day for humanity if it gets banned. And just because I don't partake doesn't mean I can't translate.icon_wink.gif.

There are far more important things to get upset about. If a hate campaign or a pedophile magazine uses long words and medical terms, does that make it OK to translate? Not in my book.


 
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