Subtitling films into Arabic often involves linguistic censorship, as full-frontal English is veiled for local viewing. Case-in-point is a famously ripe scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 Vietnam War film, Full Metal Jacket, broadcast on Fox Movies Arabia, a free-to-air satellite channel watched across the Arab region. The new recruits are “welcomed” to barracks by their sergeant; on the left is a transcript of the original English dialogue; on the right, an English translation of the film’s Arabic subtitles.


English Original
SERGEANT HARTMAN I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your Senior Drill Instructor. From now on, you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthysewers will be “Sir!”Do you maggots understand that? I am a sergeant attached to weapon training. Hartman. And I am the person most responsible for your training.You will talk only when it is allowed for you. The first and last word coming out of your dirty mouths will be “Sir!” Do you understand, you dirty?
RECRUITS (in unison) Sir, yes, sir! Understood, sir!
HARTMAN Bullshit! I can’t hear you. Sound off like you got a pair. I can’t hear you. I want to hear the voices of men who are rough.
RECRUITS (louder) Sir, yes, sir! Understood, sir!


HARTMAN Who said that? Who the fuck said that? Who’s the slimy little communist shit twinkle-toed cocksucker down here,who just signed his own death warrant? Nobody, huh?!The fairy fucking godmother said it!Out-fucking-standing! I will P.T. you all until you fucking die! I’ll P.T. you until your assholes are sucking buttermilk. Who said that? Who in the name of hell said that? Who is the lowly communist here? The one who signed his death certificate now? Nobody. Is that right?It seems that a beautiful genie is the one who said that!Something very surprising!You are going to do physical exercise until you perish! I am going to make you pour with heavy sweat from the excessive exercising.


JOKER (a recruit) Sir, I said it, sir! I am the one who said that, sir.
(steps up to JOKER)
Well … no shit. What have we got here, a fucking comedian? Private Joker? I admire your honesty. Hell, I like you.You can come over to my house and fuck my sister. Really? And who are you, a dirty clown? A soldier clown? I admire your truth. I admire you.Why don’t you come to my house and play with my sister?


HARTMAN Where in hell are you from anyway, Private? From where did you come in the name of heaven?
(another recruit)
Sir, Texas, sir! Texas, sir!
HARTMAN Holy dogshit! Texas! Only steers and queers come from Texas, Private Cowboy! And you don’t look much like a steer to me, so that kinda narrows it down!Do you suck dicks? Curse! From Texas! We get only cattle from Texas and perverts, you Cowboy Soldier! You don’t look like cattle, so that improves your position a bit.Are you deviant?
COWBOY Sir, no, sir! No, sir!
HARTMAN Are you a peter-puffer? Are you a hermaphrodite?
COWBOY Sir, no, sir! No, sir!
HARTMAN I’ll bet you’re the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddam courtesy to give him a reach-around!I’ll be watching you! You look as if you have a sexual deviancy. You look low and mean in the way you treat others.Be careful, I am keeping you under constant observation!