The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 10, No 4 (2022)

Stereotyping and vilifying the other behind the mask of humour – when a chicken smells of fear

Rashid Yahiaoui


Audiovisual texts are social semiotic constructions that arbitrate reality according to a set of discursive patterns and established beliefs. Therefore, it is natural for translators to re-create and manipulate audiovisual texts to overcome challenges pertaining to religion, culture, and politics, which are the three intrinsic determinants of positioning in any translation project. Leaning on Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as a methodological approach, this paper aims to investigate how stereotypes and disparagement humour about Arabs and Muslims are dealt with in translating a segment from Family Guy into Arabic. The focus of the paper is on examining ideology-related shifts, and how and to what degree the students manipulated or mitigated religio-cultural barriers, as well as on assessing the role of visuals in the decision-making process. The students’ translations denote the inextricable intertwining of their authoritative voices and the act of translation, that is, some students consciously attempted to expose the writers’ intentions, while others subverted the text as a protective and resistive measure against the anti-Islamic, racist, sexual humour of the show.


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