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Translating Walt Disney’s Sarcastic Cultural Expressions into Standard Arabic

Ibrahem Bani Abdo


This research investigates the Walt Disney’s the Princess and the Frog movie’s weight of being culturally sarcastic into its Standard Arabic equivalents (translation). It addresses the assessment of the translation through the target readers and how the text performs in comparison of the source text. Consequently, all the 83 sarcastic cultural words, phrases, expressions, sentences are extracted from the source text’s script (The animated movie). Their compared Standard Arabic equivalents are also extracted from the translated movie. The researcher has designed and conducted a questionnaire targeting 45 respondents. The respondents are graduate English majors students of Arabic ethnicity and have enough knowledge of the English culture and language since they major in English translation or English language and literature at University of Jordan. The questionnaire is into three sections. The first two indicates information about the movie and the respondents. The third section provides the source text expressions compared to Standard Arabic equivalents. They are asked to evaluate these expressions into multiple choice answers as ‘poor’, ‘fair’, ‘satisfactory’, ‘very good’, and ‘excellent’ translation equivalents. This kind of translation’s assessment is based on Lauscher (2000); Geisinger (1994); Solano-Flores & Nelson-Barber (2001); and Hambleton, Merenda, & Spielberger (2012). The main conclusion of the study reveals that most respondents don’t find that the Standard Arabic equivalents have the same sarcasm weight as the original one. The overall responses indicate that 20% and 34% of the respondents believe that the translation was ‘Poor’ and ‘Fair’ respectively. 36% of these responses were ‘Satisfactory’. The least precentages of (8% and 2%) show that target texts are ideal somehow as Arabic equivalents. The study concludes that 90% of respondents don’t find that Standard Arabic or the translator’ choices are not suitable to translate the cultural extracts of the Princess and the Frog Walt-Disney’s movie.


Sarcasm, culture, expressions, Standard Arabic, English, Translation

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