Problems in Subtitling Cultural-Bound Expressions in “Theeb” Movie: A Case Study


  • Mohammad I. Mehawesh Zarqa University
  • Shadi S. Neimneh The Hashemite University



Translation Studies, Subtitling, Cultural Expressions, Arabic/English, “Theeb” Movie


Subtitling is a challenging task making subtitlers use precise strategies to improve the quality of the subtitles. This paper aims at identifying the subtitling strategies employed in subtitling the culture-bound terms in the Jordanian movie entitled “Theeb” and assessing the translation of such culture-bound terms. The dialect used in this movie is the Bedouin Jordanian Arabic. So, the translator faced two dilemmas: (1) Understanding the Bedouin Jordanian-Arabic dialect and understanding the dimensions and features of this distinguished culture. (2) Translating this work, which is loaded with cultural expressions, into English. Furthermore, the study deals with the issue of overcoming the difficulties faced by translation of Arabic-language audiovisual dialogues into English. To achieve the purpose of this study, the data was collected from the movie "Theeb" and then analyzed. The results show that not all the subtitling strategies were used. Those left unused were dislocation, condensation, decimation, and resignation strategies. Hence, this article critically evaluates this subtitling, exposing pitfalls and offering more efficient renderings in a practical context.


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