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Arabic localisation: key case studies for translation studies

Al-Mazrooa, Nada 2018. Arabic localisation: key case studies for translation studies. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis investigates the practices of Arabic localisation as it presents a neglected area of localisation research, localising to a developing market. The thesis aims to establish a connection between localisation and Translation Studies, by exploring the ways in which this area can be theorised starting from the approaches developed by Lawrence Venuti (in particular the notions of foreignisation and domestication), and Christiane Nord (translation as interpersonal activity). Creating a theoretical framework which marries the cultural turn and functionalist approaches helps address the dynamics of Arabic localisation on both micro and macro levels. The thesis also aims to provide a holistic view of Arabic localisation, by considering translation processes and outcomes, and by attempting to understand how Arabic localisation is perceived by its target audience. In order to achieve these goals, the thesis presents three case studies devoted, respectively, to the FIFA 15 video game, the Knorr website and the educational platform Blackboard Learn. It follows a mixed method approach to answer about the unique nature of each case study. This includes text analysis which covers each medium’s localisation literature, the Arabic translated content of the selected products and related business articles. In addition, relevant online materials, such as gaming fora and Youtube gaming channels, are analysed to assess the response of the FIFA and Knorr target audience to the translation they receive. Due to the privacy of Blackboard Learn’s content and users, access to a student’s and an instructor’s accounts were sought from an Arabic university, and a questionnaire was developed to assess quantitatively and qualitatively the Arabic users’ response to the platform’s Arabic localisation. The significance of this thesis lies in its methodology and findings. Employing strategies from a range of backgrounds, academic, professional and social, produces a novel methodology for translation research and for addressing the complexity of the discipline of localisation, as well as understanding the effect of its technical and commercial aspects on translation practices and outcomes. By approaching localisation from a Translation Studies perspective, the thesis contributes to both disciplines. The thesis highlights the ways in which localising to a developing market is different from many of the practices discussed in the localisation literature. In addition, the context of Arabic localisation proves to be a fertile ground where Venuti’s theory of foreignisation and domestication can be relocated, and the debate about it acquires new nuances.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Modern Languages
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 December 2018
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2021 15:34

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