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For instance, “fuck (noun)” is subtitled as “, when a lady discovers her boyfriend’s plane ticket, indicating that he is going to leave her secretly, she confronts him angrily with the question, “Exactly, what the fuck is this?” The swearword is subtitled as “ According to Fong (2001: 8), a few film distributors he interviewed maintained that the box office was their greatest concern.According to law, all English-speaking movies shown in Hong Kong must have Chinese [1] subtitles. In the VCD version, however, “dick” is subtitled as the formal term , when the heroine played by Jodie Foster goes to visit Dr.Moreover, subtitled VCDs and DVDs of most of the English-speaking movies shown in Hong Kong theatres become available on the market one to two months after they are shown. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in his cell in an asylum, she has to walk past a series of other grim cells.

According to a survey done by Lo Wai Yan on the attitude of the Hong Kong audience towards using Cantonese in subtitles, more than 50% of the 413 respondents consider that Cantonese, compared to standard Chinese, is better able to render the spirit of the original English vulgar expressions (2001: 126).

In fact, according to Can Zitman, a veteran Hong Kong dramatist, although swearwords can be heard everywhere in everyday life, they appear much less frequently in texts of Chinese culture which stresses the importance of the cleanliness of written language.

However, swearwords can readily be seen in Western plays and scripts.

If only one hard-core Cantonese swearword is discovered by the authorities in the dialogue or subtitles, the movie will automatically be rated Category III, which is restricted to persons of 18 years or above, and teenagers, who account for a major proportion of the movie-going public, will not be able to enter the cinema to watch the movie.

“Subtitlers and their employers, the distributors, have to be particularly careful with subtitles in order not to suffer any loss in profit.” Nonetheless, hard-core English vulgarisms are often not rendered into their Cantonese equivalents even in Category III movies.