Localization of Documentaries in the Arab World through Manipulative Translation

Track: Global Business | GB8 |   Advanced |
Friday, November 8, 2019, 3:00pm – 3:45pm
Held in: Regency 2
Salma Chabbak
Host: Medhat Bassily 

A documentary is a nonfiction production that is meant to safely travel across languages, cultures and borders without any distortion of facts and reality. However, the practice of acquiring documentaries from foreign distributers and producers, and adapting the cultural and ideological items they carry jeopardizes credibility and authenticity. The localization of documentaries most often involves manipulation in the process of translation of items pertaining to political, religious, cultural or gender issues. This manipulation is usually dictated by extra-linguistic factors related to ideological and cultural censorship, and also to the objective of achieving acceptance among the audience.

Takeaways: Attendees will learn that localizing nonfiction is a delicate process that must be handled with care. Manipulation can be positive when used mindfully and pertinently. Seeking audience acceptance should not jeopardize the truth.