Addressing Coherence in English-Arabic Subtitling by Amateur Aficionados

Thawabteh, Mohammad Ahmad
Musallam, Sulafa
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The present article discusses coherence in terms of linguistic, cultural and polysemiotic channels. Subtitlers are often faced with major stumbling blocks to get the message across in a cohesive and coherent fashion within the scope of various semiotic modalities, typically underpinning the construction of meaning. The present study is based on the data excerpted from the famous American sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air first aired in 1990, subtitled by two amateur subtitling aficionados and one MA translation student (who will be referred to as student subtitler) enrolled on Audiovisual Translation course at Al-Quds University for the school year 2014/2015. The article employs a comparative analysis of the subtitles made by the amateur subtitlers and a trained subtitler. The article reveals that the student subtitler seems to be more aware of the specificities of subtitling and capable of rendering the accurate coherent semiotic meaning(s) of the uttered communication in the American sitcom than the other subtitlers. The article finally proposes a number of implications for the work of amateur subtitling aficionados and student subtitler and makes various recommendations that might assist in improving the translation quality.
Audiovisual Translation , semiotics , subtitling , translation , Arabic , amateur subtitlers