AWEJ for translation & Literary Studies volume, 1 Number 1. February 2017                                    Pp.32-47

Subtitling on the Intersection of Theory and Practice: Pedagogical Research-Based Approach to Subtitler Training

Mohammad Ahmad Thawabteh

Department of English Language and Literature
Faculty of Arts
Al-Quds University, Jerusalem
Occupied Palestinian Territories


Abstract PDF

The present article investigates our proposed approach for subtitler training namely a Pedagogical Research-Based (PRB), defined as a professionally-oriented approach utilised in Audiovisual Translation (AVT) translator training to theoretically and practically strengthen the subtitling skills of trainees. The data of the present study is derived from an Egyptian television hard-edged drama entitled Firqit Naji Atallah (lit. Naji Atallah Team), Episode 1 (2012), subtitled by a sample of twenty MA translation students, ten of whom enrolled in the second semester for the academic year 2013/2014 and the rest (also totalling ten) did the same, a year later, namely for the school year 2014/2015. The article clearly reveals that before PRB approach is introduced in actual translation classroom, translator trainees (i.e. experimental group) are faced with tremendously difficult problems linguistically, culturally and technically which may hinder communication, thought to be crucial to retain for the target audience. The PRB approach is then introduced whereby the other translator trainees are equipped with some theoretical insights apropos of subtitling norms, well-envisaged in two scholarly AVT works by Karamitroglou (1998) and Schwarz (2002). Being aware of the PRB approach, the translator trainees could therefore do the translation task with minimal linguistic, cultural and technical problems. The study concludes with some pedagogical implications that will hopefully help translator trainees do translation tasks with minimal communication breakdown and maximal communicative thrust drawing on PRB.

Cite as:

Mohammad, M.A.  (2017). Subtitling on the Intersection of Theory and Practice: Pedagogical Research-Based Approach to Subtitler Training. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies, 1(1).


Dr. Mohammad Ahmad Thawabteh was Department Chair and is currently Associate Professor of Translation at the Department of English and Literature, Al-Quds University, Jerusalem. His main research interests and publications are in Audiovisual Translation/subtitling, including problems of subtitling from Arabic into English and vice versa. His research also focuses on Translation Technology, Discourse Analysis, Semiotics, Translation and Conflict and Translator Training.