RuPaul’s Drag Race has started appearing on Netflix in other countries, and, unsurprisingly, it is very hard to translate.
Twitter user @phi_lipi posted a screenshot of the subtitles for when RuPaul says “Sashay away.”
— phil (@phi_lipi) July 11, 2017
If you can’t love yourself, well, that’s expected since no one loves you anyway.
I imagine RuPaul’s Drag Race, with its slang, puns, and colorful descriptions of everything is a particular challenge to translators.
“Sashay away” literally just means “leave,” but it also implies femininity, is a reference to drag culture, and it rhymes. Those two words are doing a lot of work, and there probably isn’t another language that has two words that can do all of those specific jobs.
So the translator focused on what was important: finding a way to say “leave” that rhymes and is memorable. And here we are.
Netflix France also has RuPaul’s Drag Race with subtitles. “Sashay away” got translated as “défile jusqu’à la sortie,” which literally means “Parade to the exit.” The French translator was not as concerned with rhyming as the Portuguese translator was.