The cultural aspects of taboo based on translations of Russian postmodernistic literary texts
This article deals with cultural problems of the taboo phenomenon with reference to translation of Russian postmodernism literary texts into Polish and German. An ignorance of the cultural peculiarities of the taboo phenomenon within the intercultural communication causes a breakdown in communication, which has a direct effect on the translation. The specific issue of the Russian cacophemism is the so-called “mat,” which has its origin in heathen cults. The author draws our attention to the semiotic taboo process, which is said to be a combination of cultural (social) prohibitions and personal precepts. These personal precepts are the elements determining the origin of the taboo phenomenon. The choice of a certain communication strategy and the usage of various means of avoidance (euphemistic strategies) are not less important when talking about a taboo subject in the intercultural communication. The semiotic aspects of the euphemism process are explained by the taboo-euphemism-cycle, which consists of the changes of a taboo by euphemisms and of a euphemism by taboo. The author shows the polemics about the discrepancy in the definition of the taboo phenomenon from the view-point of semiotics in the linguistic literature.