What happened to "ass"? A study of the fansubbing of Norwegian slang into English in the TV-show Skam and its effects on characterization
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This thesis examines how the Norwegian TV-show Skam has been translated from Norwegian to English by fan-translators, focusing on the translation of slang, and how this has affected the characterization, i.e. how the personalities of the characters come across in the show. The present study analyzed two subtitled versions of Skam season three, episode three, using a product-oriented and descriptive-explanatory approach. Results from the analysis of the strategies used to translate different subcategories of slang showed that the majority of the Norwegian slang in the source text (ST) had been lost in the two target texts (TT1 and TT2). The results also showed that a larger amount of slang had been lost in TT1 than in TT2. These data were presented quantitatively. Constraints regarding subtitling, in addition to lack of professional training and conscious use of strategies by the fan-translators are possible explanations for the large-scale loss of slang. Further qualitative analysis of the translations of slang used by individual characters showed that the translations affected the characterization in the show. In Skam, slang is part of how the characters construct their personalities, and thus has importance for how the characters are interpreted by the viewers. Due to the loss of slang in the translations, certain associations and implications that were present in the ST were missing, and several of the characters’ personalities did not come across the same way in the translations.