Arabic-English Subtitling of Collocations: The Case of the World Government Summit Held in the UAE

Alya Abdullah Alsaadi, Ghaleb Rababah


This paper reports the findings of a study that investigates the difficulties the subtitlers of the World Government Summit face, and the strategies they use to solve these problems in translating Arabic collocations into English. The corpus consisted of 321 collocations collected from the Arabic speeches of the World Government Summit speeches held between 2016 and 2017. The Arabic collocations were selected from eight Arabic speeches and checked for their accuracy and frequency by using Sketch Engine tool. The results of the study showed that the subtitlers encountered some problems while translating the Arabic collocations into English. These problems include the lack of equivalence in the target language, the tendency of Arabic language to repeat and amplify, the ability to render the meaning of idiomatic collocations, marked collocations in the source text, and religious and culture-specific collocations. In addition, the results revealed that the subtitlers used several translation strategies in translating the Arabic collocations into English and the most frequent strategy used by the subtitlers was equivalence and the least frequent strategy was generalization. The study concludes with some implications for translators, subtitlers, and translation students.

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