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Title: Challenges and strategies of subtitling humour : a case study of the American sitcom Seinfeld, with particular reference to English and Arabic
Author: Alharthi, A. A. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 1684
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2016
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The present study investigates issues in the subtitling of humour in the American sitcom, Seinfeld. The study also identifies the subtitling strategies used by Arab translators to solve the technical, linguistic and cultural problems of translating humour in Seinfeld, and it uncovers the factors that might have affected the subtitlers’ decisions. The study draws on the General Theory of Verbal Humour (GTVH; Attardo & Raskin 1991, Attardo 1994, Attardo 2001, Attardo 2002) and Pedersen’s (2005) model of subtitling cultural references. Applying the GTVH and Pedersen’s (2005) model to the subtitling of humour between English and Arabic will test their reliability (i.e., the analysis of the data using these theories will reveal their strengths and weaknesses). The findings show that different types of humour were used in the selected data (eight types). These types were rendered into Arabic using a variety of strategies which were governed by a number of parameters, including cultural and linguistc differences between the source and target languages and cultures, intersemiotic redundancy, intertextuality, media-specific constraints, viewers’ knowledge of the show, and the simplicity of the humour in the source text. The Arab subtitlers managed, in many instances, to translate humour successfully into Arabic. However, some instances of humour that contained cultural references, wordplay, and catchphrases proved to be more challenging. The study also discusses the subtitling of a wide range of types of humour, some of which have not been explored before in the Arabic context (e.g., retorts, register clash, spoonerisms, and catchphrases). This study should contribute to filling the gap in research into the subtitling of humour in the Arab world, as this field is relatively new and there is a huge shortage of research in the field of subtitling comedies. In addition, a new model of analysing and subtitling humour in sitcoms is proposed, based on the GTVH and Pedersen’s (2005) model and the findings of the current study. This new model consists of the external and internal parameters of the joke. The new proposed model of analysing and subtitling humour presented in this study contributes to the overall knowledge of the treatment of humour in AV productions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Saudi Cultural Bureau
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available