AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 8, Number 2 May 2024 Pp.211-226

Translating and Subtitling Cultural-Bound Expressions Based on Friends Series into Arabic

Department of Foreign Languages, College of Arts and Humanities,
Jazan University, Saudi Arabia


The fast pace of technology and the great revolution in the media industry have increased the demand for subtitling services to contribute to the dissemination of knowledge around the globe. This necessity for subtitling audiovisual products from English into Arabic has become daunting for Arab translators. Hence, the primary purpose of the present study is to identify the challenges of subtitling cultural-bond expression and investigate the impact of applying the Pederson Model in overcoming difficulties associated with subtitling in the Arabic Language. These difficulties are attributed to the fact that various modes of media embrace an abundance of cultural-bound expressions. The main question addressed in the study was how the Pederson Model contributes to translating and subtitling cultural-bound expressions into Arabic. Therefore, to reveal the myth of the potential challenges of subtitling cultural-bound expression, the study adopted a corpus-based approach based on the Pedersen model (2005). Excerpts from Friends, the famous American sitcom, were used in the study as a corpus to investigate difficulties associated with subtitling cultural-bound expressions, including pop culture, idioms, and phrases. In addition, the Pedersen taxonomy of subtitling strategies is applied in the study to examine the techniques used to subtitle cultural-bound expressions from English into Arabic. The corpus analysis based on Pedersen’s model has revealed the nature of subtitling difficulties associated with cultural-bound expressions. Moreover, Pedersen’s taxonomy of subtitling strategies has a critical and significant role in overcoming subtitling difficulties associated with culturally-bound expressions.

Cite as:

Mudawe. O. M. N. (2024). Translating and Subtitling Cultural-Bound Expressions Based on Friends Series into Arabic. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 8 (1), 211-226


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Dr. Osama Mudawe Nurain Mudawe is an assistant professor at Jazan University in the Department of Foreign Languages. He teaches postgraduate and graduate courses related to applied linguistics and linguistics. His interests include Using technology to enhance language development, Technology and Second language Acquisition, and Technology-Aided Translation (CAT).   ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7008-1019