Abstract:Language is a product created by human beings containing the thought and culture of a nation. Taboo words, such as those used to describe sex, our bodies and their functions, or those used to insult other people, are a part of language. They cover a great many aspects based on the situation of a country. Therefore, taboo words in Chinese culture differ from those in western countries in many ways. On the other hand, as a product of human beings, similarities can also be found in these words.
The aim of this dissertation is to study and find out the rules of taboo words in Chinese and western culture, then to give the readers some suggestions on Chinese-English translation. Chapter one is a brief introduction about the dissertation. Chapter two presents the basic knowledge of taboo words. Chapter three analyzes the similarities and differences of taboo words between Chinese and western culture from three aspects: appellation, conversation topics and expressions. Chapter four examines the three reasons for the differences between Chinese and western taboo words. Chapter five concludes with some rules to avoid misusing taboo words in Chinese-English translation.
Key Words: taboo words; similarities; differences; Chinese culture; western culture