Is this a slang, and possibly derogatory term, for "lesbian"?

7

Warning: Potentially offensive terms.

I'm watching The Walking Dead on Hulu Japan with Japanese subtitles. I've noticed that the English dialogue and Japanese subtitles differ a lot. More than usual. It seems to me the quality of the translation is very low.

In one part, a character who is a vulgar racist propositions a woman, and she turns him down. In the English dialogue, he derides her by calling her a "rug muncher". Which is a derogatory term meaning "lesbian".

The Japanese subtitle for when he says this is, though, is:

菓子{かし}を盗{ぬす}みやがった

My understanding is that やがる is just a disdainful way of ending a sentence, so it means something like, "fucking candy stealer."

I googled the phrase 菓子{かし}を盗{ぬす}み, but didn't come up with anything clear. It might mean "crybaby", but that seems odd - wouldn't 盗{ぬす}み refer to the thief, not the victim?

Since the overall quality of the translations is so low, this might not have anything to do with what was said in English.

What does this phrase mean, and does it have anything to do with the original English?

Questioner

Posted 2011-11-25T18:13:32.633

Reputation: 23 440

1Did you mean 菓子を盗みやがった? If so, it might be "you stole the candy goddammit!" or something but I might interpret it as "you stupid candy muncher!". I think the translator might've taken the word "muncher" literally. – cypher – 2011-11-26T00:26:51.240

@cypher: I corrected the typo in the sentence. Thanks for pointing it out. In any case, how you translate it and how I did don't differ that much. In any case, overall, it does seem likely that the translator did not understand the meaning of "munch". There have been numerous misunderstandings of English slang so far. Whoever translated this did a really bad job. – Questioner – 2011-11-26T02:01:21.960

That's funny. The translator should have looked it up, though at the same time I appreciate the logical humor in calling someone who brushed my affections off a 'candy thief'. – jlptnone – 2011-11-26T06:29:18.443

I do not think that 菓子を盗みやがった means anything related lesbian. As you suggested, it means something along “She stole f---ing candy.” – Tsuyoshi Ito – 2011-11-27T16:06:14.013

@TsuyoshiIto: Thanks for clearing up that it is definitely not related to lesbianism. But then is it an euphasism for something? Maybe something like when a woman turns a man down? It must have some kind of metaphorical meaning... the translations are bad, but surely the translator didn't think there was any actual candy theft occuring. – Questioner – 2011-11-28T01:57:00.107

@DaveMG: I cannot think of any metaphorical meaning. – Tsuyoshi Ito – 2011-11-28T01:57:47.087

I could well have been wrong, but the way I thought it might've been interpreted was as rug muncher->someone who eats rugs, somehow becoming candy stealer->someone who hoards candy, the common theme being excessive love of food. To be honest I don't think we'll ever know exactly why, if the translator didn't understand the words in the first place it could be anything. – cypher – 2011-11-28T02:43:01.650

@cypher: Yeah, as this has gone a few days without anyone having a clue, I think at this point it's safe to say that it's just a mistake on the part of the translator that has no particular logic in its origin. Still, "this means nothing" is just a valid an answer as anything else, so if someone wants to put that forth, I'll mark it as correct. – Questioner – 2011-11-28T02:57:36.823

One other point I'd add is that やがる is a distasteful way to end a verb. That is, 盗む+やがる=盗みやがる (to fucking steal). So what you should be looking for is 菓子を盗む rather than 菓子を盗み. It's a minor point because I don't think there are any metaphorical meanings, but I thought I'd clarify that a bit. My best guess is the translator thought the expression meant someone would eat anything and, realizing it meant nothing in Japanese, thought of a different way to imply gluttony. – brymck – 2011-12-09T05:52:26.050

Answers

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I don't know why people are afraid to put forward negative answers... so I'll just do it myself.

The phrase seems to almost certainly be just some kind of mistake on the part of the translator and has nothing to do with slang for lesbianism.

Also, it is not a common phrase used in any particular way when a woman turns down a man.

It's just a really, really bad translation job.

Questioner

Posted 2011-11-25T18:13:32.633

Reputation: 23 440