Subtitling in the Streaming Era: A Comparative Analysis of Strategies Used to Translate Cultural References into Arabic

Abeer Alfaify


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent frequent lockdowns, streaming platforms have become an essential part of people’s media consumption. Translation has played a key role in the rapid growth of these streaming services by allowing global access to different translated versions of their content. While the impact of these streaming services on the reconstruction of media production has been a reoccurring topic in media studies, their impact on translation is still relatively underresearched. With that in mind, this article aims to identify current translation tendencies by examining the translation strategies commonly used in subtitling cultural references (CRs) into Arabic on three of the primary streaming platforms (Netflix, OSN+ and Prime Video) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This is particularly significant not only because most studies on cultural references focus on European languages and contexts, but also because the few studies examining Arabic subtitles are mainly focused on subtitles available on DVDs (Alfaify, 2020), fansubbing websites (Abdelaal, 2019) and satellite television (Thawabteh, 2014). Additionally—and contrary to the common practice, which tends to ignore the complex multimodal nature of the cultural references—this article examines both verbal and crossmodal cultural references and the patterns of rendering them in professional subtitles across the investigated streaming platforms.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Abeer Alfaify

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

If you have any questions, please contact