Abed Shahooth Khalaf, Sabariah Md Rashid, Muhd Fauzi Jumingan, Muhd Suki Othman


The present study sheds light on some of the problems encountered in the process of subtitling English movies into Arabic by amateur subtitling translators. It adopted a qualitative approach in the analysis of a parallel corpus, which comprised a sample of scripts of English speaking movies and their subtitles in Arabic. This sample includes the scripts of two English celebrity movies (Jarhead, 2005 and Alpha Dog, 2006) and their amateur subtitles in Arabic. The error analysis approach formulated by Bogucki (2009) was adopted with some modifications to suit the analysis approach used in this study. The English scripts and the Arabic subtitles were juxtaposed and the content analysis method was used in the codification and categorisation of the most recurrent problems in the corpus. In the translation comparison process between the source texts and their subtitled versions, Toury's (1995) 'coupled pairs' model with the back translation technique was used. The findings indicate that the most predominant problems in Arabic amateur subtitling fall within the technical, translational and linguistic domains.




Full Text:



Antonini, R. (2005). The perception of subtitled humor in Italy. Humor, 18(2), 209-225.

Bogucki, Ł. (2009). Amateur subtitling on the Internet. Audio-visual Translation. Language Transfer on Screen, Gran Bretaña: Palgrave Macmillan, 49-57.

Chiaro, D. (2009). Issues in audio-visual translation. The Routledge companion to translation studies, 141-165.

Costales, A. F. (2012). Collaborative Translation Revisited: Exploring the Rationale and the Motivation for Volunteer Translation. Paper presented at the FORUM.

Díaz-Cintas, J. (2001). Striving for quality in subtitling: The role of a good dialogue list. BENJAMINS TRANSLATION LIBRARY, 34, 199-212.

Díaz-Cintas, J. (2005). Back to the Future in Subtitling. Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra:

Challenges of Multidimensional Translation, University of Saarland, 200.

Diaz-Cintas, J., & Remael, A. (2007). Audio-visual translation: subtitling: St. Jerome Pub.

Díaz-Cintas, J., & Sánchez, P. M. (2006). Fansubs: Audio-visual translation in an amateur Díaz‐ environment. The Journal of Specialised Translation, 6(1), 37-52.

Cintas, J. (1999). Dubbing or subtitling: The eternal dilemma. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, 7(1), 31-40.

Gamal, M. (2012). Omar Sharif as an example of changes and encounters Paper presented at the The Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities, University of Canberra, Australia.

Gottlieb, H. (2001). Texts, translation and subtitling-in theory, and in Denmark. Translators and Translations, 149-192.

Gottlieb, H. (2004). Subtitles and international anglification. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 3(1), 219-230.

Ivarsson, J., & Carroll, M. (1998). Code of good subtitling practice. Language Today, April.

Katan, D. (1999). Translating cultures: An introduction for translators, interpreters and mediators. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.

La Forge, F., & Tonin, R. (2014). In a quiet weekend of fear, an exorcist flew over the nest: A case study of the intertexual references in subtitlin and dubbing Italian and Spanish series Supernatural. InTRAlinea, 16, 1-13.

Lee, H.-K. (2011). Participatory media fandom: A case study of anime fansubbing. Media, Culture & Society, 33(8), 1131-1147.

Mazid, B. (2006). Arabic Subtitles on English Movies: Some linguistic, ideological and pedagogic issues. International Journal of Arabic-English Studies (IJAES), 7, 81-100.

Minchinton, J. (1993). Sub-titling. England: Hertforshire.

Nornes, A. M. (1999). For an abusive subtitling. Film Quarterly, 17-34.

O’Hagan, M. (2005). Multidimensional translation: A game plan for audio-visual translation in the age of GILT. Challenges of Multidimensional Translation, 76-87.

Pedersen, J. (2005) . How is culture rendered in subtitles. Challenges of Multidimensional Translation. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra: Challenges of Multidimensional Translation–Saarbrücken, 2-6.

Pérez-González, L. (2007). Intervention in new amateur subtitling cultures: a multimodal account.

Linguistica Antverpiensia, New Series–Themes in Translation Studies(6).

Pérez-González, L. (2012). Amateur subtitling and the pragmatics of spectatorial subjectivity.

Language and Intercultural Communication, 12(4), 335-352.

Sajna, M. (2013). Amateur subtitling: Selected problems and solutions. T21N-Translation in Transition, 1-17.

SHEN, G.-r. (2011). Corpus-based Approaches to Translation Studies. Cross-Cultural Communication, 6(4), 181-187.

Thawabteh, M. A. (2011a). Lexical Problems in Arabic-English Subtitling. Journal of Communication and Culture Online, 2, 207-220.

Thawabteh, M. A. (2011b). Linguistic, cultural and technical problems in English-Arabic subtitling.

Skase Journal of Translation and Interpretation, 5, 24-44.

Toury, G. (1995). Descriptive translation studies and beyond. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Tveit, J.-E. (2009). Dubbing versus subtitling: Old battleground revisited. Audio-visual Translation: Language Transfer on Screen. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 85-96.

Venuti, L. (1995). The Translator Invisibility: A history of translation. London: Routledge



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Attribution -CC BY

This journal and its content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Flag Counter