Arab World English Journal (December 2021)                       Theses ID 281                               Pp. 1- 265

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A Descriptive Analysis of Non-obligatory Shifts in Three Disney Animated Films Dubbed into
Modern Standard Arabic

Dana Sulaiman AlSuhaim
College of Languages and Translation
Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi


Author: Dana Sulaiman AlSuhaim
Thesis Title: A Descriptive Analysis of Non-obligatory Shifts in Three Disney Animated Films Dubbed into Modern Standard Arabic
Institution: Department of English Language and Literature, College of Languages and Translation, Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University
Degree: PhD
Major: Translation
Year of award:
Dr. Naglaa Roshdy El-Hawary
Keywords: Audiovisual Translation, dubbing, Disney animated films, norms, Descriptive translation studies, obligatory and non-obligatory shifts, adequacy, acceptability 


This qualitative quantitative descriptive-analytical study aimed to describe the non-obligatory shifts employed in three English Disney animated films dubbed into MSA by applying Toury’s (1995/2012) normative model and shifts introduced in the course of his applied case studies. The researcher described and analyzed preliminary, initial and operational norms (non-obligatory shifts) employed on the level of three textual segments: the lexical-semantic, the stylistic, and the prosodic. The researcher compared those shifts with the original choices in the English versions of three selected Disney animated films. In the light of Toury’s theory (1995/2012), the current study investigated the hypothesis that the accepted socio-cultural, ideological, and linguistic norms of the Arabic culture directed the choices of the non-obligatory shifts chosen by the Arabic dubbers of English Disney animations dubbed into MSA. This investigation was conducted in application to three case studies, namely, Tangled (2010), Frozen (2013) and Big Hero 6 (2014).  In order to decide the most frequently used shifts in the process of dubbing, the frequency rate of each non-obligatory shift was calculated to determine the highest frequently used shift. The study came to the conclusion that there is a direct relationship between the non-obligatory shifts (operational norms) applied during dubbing on the one hand and the socio-cultural, ideological, and linguistic norms imposed by the target culture on the other hand. Those target culture norms governed not only the operational choices but also the preliminary choices of the three selected Disney animated films dubbed into MSA. Affected by the preliminary and operational norms, Arab dubbers’ tendency towards producing acceptable rather than adequate translations decided the initial norms.

Cite as:  AlSuhaim, D. S. (2020). A Descriptive Analysis of Non-obligatory Shifts in Three Disney Animated Films Dubbed into Modern Standard Arabic, Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Saudi Arabia (Ph.D.Dissertation). Retrieved from Arab World English Journal (ID Number: 281) December, 2021: 1- 265.


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Dr. Dana Sulaiman Alsuhaim is an Assistant Professor of Translation Studies- specialist in English-Arabic Translation and Interpreting, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University/ College of Languages and Translation- Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ORCID ID: