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Manipulation of Ideological Items in the Audiovisual Translation of Voiced-Over Documentaries in the Arab World

Authors: S. Chabbak


In a widely globalized world, the influence of audiovisual translation on the culture and identity of audiences is unmistakable. However, in the Arab World, there is a noticeable disproportion between this growing influence and the research carried out in the field. As a matter of fact, the voiced-over documentary is one of the most abundantly translated genres in the Arab World that carries lots of ideological elements which are in many cases rendered by manipulation. However, voiced-over documentaries have hardly received any focused attention from researchers in the Arab World. This paper attempts to scrutinize the process of translation of voiced-over documentaries in the Arab World, from French into Arabic in the present case study, by sub-categorizing the ideological items subject to manipulation, identifying the techniques utilized in their translation and exploring the potential extra-linguistic factors that prompt translation agents to opt for manipulative translation. The investigation is based on a corpus of 94 episodes taken from a series entitled 360° GEO Reports, produced by the French German network ARTE in French, and acquired, translated and aired by Al Jazeera Documentary Channel for Arab audiences. The results yielded 124 cases of manipulation in four sub-categories of ideological items, and the use of 10 different oblique procedures in the process of manipulative translation. The study also revealed that manipulation is in most of the instances dictated by the editorial line of the broadcasting channel, in addition to the religious, geopolitical and socio-cultural peculiarities of the target culture.

Keywords: Audiovisual translation, ideological items, manipulation, voiced-over documentaries.

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