Research Article

Subtitling Research in the Arab World: Review Article


  • Yasser Al Tamimi Associate Professor of Linguistics, English Department, College of Science and General Studies, Alfaisal University, Riyadh- Saudi Arabia
  • Mohammad Mansi Lecturer of translation and linguistics, Specialized Translation Program, English Department, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University; English Instructor at Al-Azhar English Training Center, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt


This article outlines the most important trends in subtitling research in the Arab World. Despite its importance, immediacy of reception and the broad audience subtitles reach, academia has lagged for decades and failed to cope with the growing subtitling industry, missing great opportunities for research, practice as well as the teaching of subtitling in institutions of higher education. However, a good number of subtitling practitioners and academics have realized this wide gap in the research and started to carry out serious projects to investigate this area. This article reviews the current body of literature that spans the past twenty years and highlights the major areas of research as well as the gaps that still exist. This review has found out that the major areas that have been covered so far include technical aspects of subtitling; linguistic difficulties (lexical, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, etc.); rhetorical aspects (such as euphemism, humor and word play); and cultural appropriateness (in relation to censorship to hide swearwords and obscenities as well as religious connotations, taboos, idioms, etc.). Many of these studies have suggested translation strategies to address these challenges (e.g., omissions, paraphrase, modulation, adaptation and transcreation). However, the article also points out some gaps in the research such as the relevenace of subtitling to some translation theories and linguistic models like the Interpretive Theory of Translation (ITT), Relevance Theory, Accommodation Theory, Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS), Grice’s Cooperative Principle and Brondeel’s Model. There is also a huge gap in accessibility studies which aim to make audiovisual material accessible to people with sensory (visual or aural) disabilities. Additionally, the usefulness of subtitling to foreign language teaching and learning has not been adequately researched in Arab universities. Therefore, these areas merit the attention of researchers in the future.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

6 (1)





How to Cite

Al Tamimi, Y., & Mansy, M. (2023). Subtitling Research in the Arab World: Review Article. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 6(1), 01–09.



Subtitling, Audiovisual translation, screen translation, the Functional Approach, Translation theory.