The BBC has asked for swearing in the subtitles of series two of hit Danish import The Killing to be re-written to tone them down.
That followed a single complaint from a viewer that, in series one, softer expletives were translated as ‘fuck’.
In a memo, the BBC asked the outside translation firm to err on the side of caution and use the less strong word. Programme acquisitions editor Simon Chilcott said the memo was
a reminder to keep it consistent with the character and within the context of the original script.
If there are suddenly lots more uses of the f-word in one episode, we have to check it’s consistent with the script and the rest of the series.
Chilcott said the translators’ task is not just a straight translation – it’s a rewrite.