Volume 63, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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This article draws on three American movies to illustrate censorship in English-Arabic subtitling. The paper argues that in translating languages of little cultural affinity, censorship serves as a remedy that can narrow the potential cultural gap. However, the paper shows that the films have been exposed to excessive censorship in the Arabic subtitles, although not in the original film. Therefore, the subtitles, usually viewed as a verbal-visual channel, work to restrict the flow of communication, depriving the target audience of much information existing in the Source Language (SL) dialogue. The fact that the shots help us understand what is being said is not fully taken into consideration by the satellite channels. The study finally reveals that two major strategies are employed in the translation, namely the omission of obscene utterances in the SL and the rendition of the SL obscenity into a less offensive equivalent in the Target Language (TL).


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