AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number 2. May   2021                                Pp.76-90

Tracing the Impact of Culture in the Translation of Selected Advertisements between English and Arabic

Department of Translation, Al-Ma’moun University College
Baghdad , Iraq

Department of Translation, Al-Ma’moun University College
Baghdad, Iraq 


The role of advertising across cultures can be touched upon quite differently. Therefore, translators should approach advertisements unequally in a particular culture. The translation of advertisement has gradually expanded as a result of the rise of globalization and trade intensification, and that necessitated that companies communicate with consumers of different cultures.The present study aims at investigating how sociocultural variables which play a vital role in advertisement are dealt with cross-linguistically. It first introduces a theoretical background that discusses the concept of culture and its impact on translation, as well as the major translation strategies used to deal with cultural issues. It, moreover, attempts to answer the question about how cultural variables affect the process of translation and the selection of an appropriate equivalent. To answer this question, seven ads, along with their translations, have been selected and subjected to a thorough analysis. The article comes up with some conclusions, the most important of which are: cultural domination plays a more pivotal role in translating ads than in other text types, that the translation strategies used for rendering an ad between English and Arabic range from literal translation to rewriting, with free translation to be of a higher frequency, that specific translation methods, such as transliteration, have been overused. Finally, the study has shown a growing tendency in Arabic to depart the traditional cultural aspects of writing and translating an ad and move towards those of the English-speaking culture.

Cite as:

Al-Rubaii, R. A., & Mohammed Saeed, H.N.  (2021). Tracing the Impact of Culture in the Translation of Selected Advertisements between English and Arabic. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (2) 76-90.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no2.6


Akbari, M. (2013). Strategies for Translating Idioms. Tehran: Islamic Azad University.

Al-Hassan, A. (2013):  The Importance of Culture in Translation: Should Culture be Translated?

  International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 2(2); March 2013 Australian International Academic Centre. Available at   https://www.journals.aiac.org.au/index.php/IJALEL/article/view/910

Al Agha, B. A. (2009). The translation of fast-food advertising texts from English to Arabic.

(Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation). University of South Africa, South Africa. Available


Al Tameemi,I. M., & Farhan, M. A. (2020). Phonological Problems of Translating English

Advertisements into Arabic. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 4(1), 52-69.

Al- Shehari, K.(2000): The Semiotics and translation of advertising texts: conventions ,constraints

             and translation strategies with particular reference to English and Arabic. (Unpublished

Master’s Thesis). University of Manchester: UNIST.

Bullock, A. & Trombley, S. (1999): The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought (3rd. ed.).

London: Harper Collins Publishers.

Cook, G. (2001). The Discourse of Advertising (2rd ed.). London: Routledge.

Dann, G. (1996). The Language of Tourism: A Sociolinguistic Perspective. Wallingford: CAB


Díaz-Rico, L. T., & Weed, K. Z. (2006). The cross-cultural, language, and academic development

         handbook (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Dyer. G.(1988). Advertising as Communication. London: Routledge.

Fan, H. (2017). Strategies for Translation of English Commercial Advertisements from the

Intercultural Perspective. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 5 (11), 38-45. Available at


Francesconi, S. (2007). English for Tourism Promotion: Italy in British Tourism Texts. Milano:


Garrity‏, N. (2000). Classic Middle School Literature . Good year Books. Available at https://www.amazon.com/Classic-Middle-School-Literature-2000-05-03/dp/B01FGQ0GKQ

Harper, D.(2009). “hamburger”Online Etymology Dictionary. Available at   https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Harper+2009+hamburger&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart

Hatim, B. &Mason, I.(1990): Discourse and the Translator. London: Longman.

Hatim, B. (2004). “The Translation of Style: Linguistic Markedness and Textual Evaluativeness”.

Journal of Applied Linguistics, 1(3), 229- 246.  Available at


Hickey, L.(2001). “Perlocutionary Equivalence: Marking, Exegesis and Recontextualisation”. In L. Hickey (Ed.), The Pragmatics of Translation (pp. 217-232). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Hickey, L. (2004). “Perlocutionary Pursuits: Persuading of/that/to”. In M. P. N. Errasti, R. L. Sanz & S. M. Ornat (Eds.), Pragmatics at Work: The Translation of Tourist Literature (pp. 57-79). Bern: Peter Lang.

Ho, George (2004). Translating Advertisements across Heterogeneous CulturesThe Translator, 10 (2), 221-243.

Ilyas, A. (1989). Theories of Translation. Mousil: University of Mousil.

Kagan, J. (2019). Investopedia. Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/contributors/53409/.

McQuarrie, E. F. &  Mick. D. G. (1996). Figures of Rhetoric in Advertising Language. Journal of

      Consumer Research, 2 (2), 424-438.

Newmark, P. (1976). The Theory and the Craft of Translation. Cambridge: The University Press.

Newmark, P. (1981). Approaches to Translation. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Pillar, I. (2010). Transliterated Brand Names. Available at: https://www.languageonthemove.com/transliterated-brand-names/

Reisinger, Y., & Turner, L. (1997). “Cross-Cultural Differences in Tourism: Indonesian Tourists in Australia”. Tourism Management, 18(2), 139-147. Available at


Rodriquez, R.A. & Vidal, M.C.A.(1996). Translation,Power,Subversion. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Sapir, E. (1949). Culture ,Language, and personality. California: The University Press.‏

Smith .V, & Klein,M. (1997): Advertising-A five strategy for Translation. Translation as Intercultural Communication .  Amsterdam: Philadelphia.

Smith, P. (2006). Book reviews. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 23(2), 191-193.

Available at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5885.2006.00192_1.x.

Sulaiman, M. Z. (2014). Translating the Style of Tourism Promotional Discourse: A Cross-Cultural Journey into Stylescapes. In Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 118, 503-510. Availableat www.sciencedirect.com

Sumberg, C. (2004). Brand Leadership at Stake: Selling France to British Tourists. The Translator,

10(2), 329-353. Available at


Ulric, M. (2007). The Arabian Nights in Transnational Perspective. Wayne: The State University


Venuti, L.(1995) The Translator’s Invisibility. London: Rutledge.

Wang, F. (2014). An Approach to Domestication and Foreignization from the Angle of Cultural Factors Translation. Theory and Practice in Language Studies. 4 (11), 2423-2427. Available at https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/An-Approach-to-Domestication-and-Foreignization-the-Wang/b7b1aa53b24e6d964e84326cfaf0066e2462e9d


Rafid A. Al-Rubaii, a PhD holder in translation since 2000. He worked in a number of state and private universities inside Iraq and abroad. Interested mainly in Media Translation, he wrote a number of articles in this specialization in addition to legal, religious and cultural issues in translation. Currently, he is working at Al-Ma’moun University College, Baghdad, Iraq. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9910-455X

Hadeel N. Mohammed Saeed, an MA holder in translation. Currently, she is working at a Al-Ma’moun University College. She is mainly interested in writing on cultural issues in translation. She has a number of conference participations in Iraq and abroad, and published a number of articles on translation in local and regional journals and conference proceedings. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9008-5065