A quantitative analysis of racist epithets referring to Italians and their translations in movie subtitles: The case of wop, eyetie and goombah





racial slurs, translation, subtitles, English, Italian


Anglophone cultures have had extensive contact with other ethnic groups over the last 200 years and almost always from a position of dominance (Filmer, 2012). In English there are racial slurs for practically every race or ethnic group and swear words are commonly used in English TV dialogues. Translating swear words in movie subtitles pose a translation challenge, which has been studied by scholars such as Soler Pardo (2015), Ávila-Cabrera (2016), Beseghi (2016) and Díaz-Pérez (2020). This paper analyses the translation from English into Italian of wop, eyetie and goombah, three racist epithets used to refer to Italians or people of Italian origin. The data analyzed are taken from the English-Italian parallel corpus of OpenSubtitles (Lison & Tiedemann, 2016), a collection of parallel corpora made up of translated movie subtitles. English subtitles from a variety of movies including these racist epithets are retrieved, together with the corresponding Italian translations, using parallel concordance. The renditions are analyzed with the aim of identifying general trends in the use and in the translation of these racial slurs. In addition, renditions are divided according to moderating variables such as the languages spoken in the film, the film release date, the countries the film was shot in and the genres of the film, to test whether these variables have a significant impact on translation choices.


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Como Citar

Ghiselli, S. (2024). A quantitative analysis of racist epithets referring to Italians and their translations in movie subtitles: The case of wop, eyetie and goombah. Cadernos De Tradução, 44(esp. 2), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.5007/2175-7968.2024.e99464

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