Swearing is exploited to release strong emotions, attack the interlocutor's face and build interpersonal solidarity, both in spontaneous interactions and in film. In audiovisual translation, it tends to be toned down or omitted, with research mostly explaining neu- tralisation as censorship-driven and treating the translation of taboo language as an internally-undifferentiated, arbitrary procedure. In the present corpus-based study we move away from the external, socio-cultural motivations for loss to assess whether specific pragmatic, structural-functional and textual dimensions of swearing account for preferred translational strategies and impact the translational outcomes. All occurrences of F-words in a parallel corpus of Anglophone films and their Italian translations are examined in their bilingual concordances at the utterance level and in the wider multimodal context. The quantitative and qualitative analyses outline the interaction between structural-functional patterns and pragmatic functions with reference to the translation strategies of full translation, mitigation, de-swearing and omission. The findings unveil coherence in Italian translators' preferences for pragmatically-motivated cross-linguistically viable language patterns which foreground the heightened emotional charge and the abusive dimensions of taboo words, thus pointing to a principled approach to translational solutions which boost the conflictuality intrinsic to film.
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