Cultural Adaptation in IRIB’s Dubbing

The case of “Due South” series, episode 65

Zahra Amirian & Zahra Sharia'ti

University of Isfahan, Iran


Dubbing is the main mode of audiovisual translations which is used on IRIB (Iran’s national TV) for transferring and broadcasting foreign series such as "Due South". Given priority to the target culture (that is Iranian culture), IRIB's policy is to filter and transfer foreign assumptions and values; so, the main strategies in IRIB's dubbing may match well with Schleiermacher’s (1998) concepts of "domestication" in order to create what Toury (1980) calls "acceptable translation" which is "oriented towards the norms of the target culture" (Agost, 2001, p. 71). In this way, some adaptations were observed to change the story, so the original dialogues of one episode of "Due South" with its Persian dubbed dialogues were examined sentence by sentence in order to find cases which are domesticated, and the possible cultural reasons behind them were discussed. The result seems to be a strategy of violating the main plot and changing the whole story of this episode, and ignoring the viewers' expectations.

Keywords: culture, audiovisual translations, dubbing, domestication, acceptable translation, cultural adaptation


One of the most influential factors in shaping the culture in 20:th century is filmmaking industry especially for televisions and cinema. Television has more audiences who are able to access it easily at any time they wish. Even, they can decide to switch to a lot of channels broadcast by different countries especially when they are learning or want to learn different languages.

As Bassnett (qtd. by Alvarez 1996, p. 1, Szarkowska, 2005, p: 7) puts it: “Globally, this is the age of mass communications, of multimedia expressions and a world where audiences demand the right to share the latest text, be it film, song or book simultaneously across cultures".

In this worldwide communication among almost all of the people throughout the world, “translation is seen as a general activity of communication between cultural groups” (Pym, 2010, p. 143) or even going further “translation is recognized as an act of culture-specific communication [as] the concept of culture is fundamental to any approach to translation” (Gintar, 2002). Therefore, “the translator […] is engaged not only with words, but with the context in which those words appear, and any equivalent will have to take into account the two different contexts, that of the source and that of the target” ( Bassnett, 2011, p. 96). Tymoczko (2009, p. 184) argues that translators are “among the chief mediators between cultures” (qtd. by Bassnett, 2011, p. 104). For the present work, this quotation for the definition of culture by Gintar (2002) has been chosen:

Culture is to be understood not only in the narrower sense of man’s advanced intellectual development as reflected in the arts, but also in the broader anthropological sense of all socially conditioned aspects of human life, as a totality of knowledge, proficiency and perception. Culture has thus to do with common factual knowledge, usually including political institutions, education, history and current affairs as well as religion and customs.(p. 27)

This “religion and customs” has created very sharp lines in Islamic countries such as Iran, reflected in all kinds of translations especially in audiovisual translations (AVT) where a huge number of audiences are addressed.

An audiovisual text offers a cultural representation of the world, both through language and the image[…] Translators mediate between cultures (including ideologies, moral systems and sociocultural structures), seeking to overcome those incompatibilities which stand in the way of transfer of meaning (Hatim & Mason, 1990, p: 223, qtd. by Pettit, 2009, p: 44).

IRIB (Iran’s national TV) is an easily accessible popular media in Iran which includes foreign series in its channels’ weekly program lists. Among all kinds of AVT modes, IRIB, from the past, has mostly chosen to dub foreign series. “Dubbing involves replacing the original soundtrack containing the actors’ dialogue with a the target language recording that reproduces the original message, ensuring that the target language sounds and the actors’ lip movements are synchronized[1], in such a way that target viewers are led to believe that the actors on screen are actually speaking their language” and “target viewer can no longer hear the original exchanges” (Diaz Cintas, 2009, p. 4, 5).

As a mode of AVT, the process of dubbing “is the means through which not only information but also the assumptions and values of a society are filtered and transferred to other cultures”( Diaz Cintas, 2009, p. 8) by translators and dubbing directors. But, the process is also influenced by authorities’ ideas to preserve cultural and religious traditions.

Iran is a dubbing country in which “viewers are more vulnerable to manipulation and censorship [because] with dubbed programs there is no way of choosing the translation on the basis of the original soundtrack” (Koolstra, Peeters, and Spinhof, 2002: 330). So, watching the original version, after watching the dubbed one, may be a little disappointing.

Kamyar (2011, p: 10) believes that IRIB (Iran’s national TV) is one of the media that are called “رسانه فرهنگ ساز (culture-making medium)” and regarding its accessibility, it can influence the ways of living to a wide extent so it is used to make culture relevant to Iranians under the name of an Islamic country in order to maintain Islamic-Iranian (traditional) values. In order not to be a loser in the mass media competition, he believes that, evasive and passive actions in front of the opposing powers will not be effective.

Schleiermacher (1813/1963) argued that translations could be either “foreignzing” or “domesticating”: “either the translator leaves the author in peace, as much as possible and moves the reader toward that author, or the translator leaves the reader in peace, as much as possible and moves the author toward that reader” (Pym, 2010: 31). Domestication involves “an ethnocentric reduction of the foreign text […] to the target language cultural values. This entails translation in a transparent, fluent, ‘invisible’ style in order to minimize the foreignness of the TT”. (Venuti1998b, p. 242; qtd. by Munday, 2008, p. 144,145) Following Schleiermacher, Venuti offers “fluent” and “resistant” translations. He prefers the latter that “show[s] the reader the foreignness of the text” (Pym, 2010: 32). It tries to “make visible the presence of the identity of the source text and protecting it from the ideological dominance of the target culture (Munday, 2008: 145). “Schleiermacher’s foreignzing strategies […] try to make the reader aware that the [target] text is translation” (Pym, 2010: 112), what seems important for Pillar in her book (look at the references). Pillar (2011:16) believes that “culture is an ideological construct called into play by social actors to produce and reproduce social categories and boundaries”. Lewis (1985/2004) also values translations that do not adopt the norms of the target culture and which instead try to follow the source text so closely”. (Pym, 2010: 112)

What were seen in the present data had moved in an opposite way. In Iranian dubbing, domestication may be dominant. Translators (all of those responsible for the whole process from buying to the airing) seem to follow the ST unless they find a serious cultural conflict in both texts.

On the screen, domestication in translation can be confusing, because audiences can see the images of different places and people (which show different people from a different society) but the same cultural behaviors.

Foreignzing has not been studied in the present data but it is mentioned as an option for translators in order to satisfy the viewers. Tahami (2010), an Iranian sophisticated dubber and dubbing director for about 50 years, in his book (چگونه فیلم دوبله کنیم(how to dub film), gives some suggestions for better results, and mentions the recent trend among Iranian audiences to want to watch the original versions and experience their new context.

In the present study, the researcher has chosen the dubbing of one of an episode of a very popular foreign series broadcast from IRIB in 2002 and rebroadcast in 2011, namely “Due South”. This may seem as an extreme case but it will show how translator’s considering for cultural differences in a hurried process of domestication, has changed the whole plot and stories, and characters’ behaviors is adapted in a way as if they have the same culture as the target audience.

In the way of domestication, this dubbed version has used many strategies in dubbing in order to synchronize source dialogues with target ones but of the most significant ones, is replacing some other words with unrelated meanings. These words are considered meaningful for a special scene. Changing and omitting some (even main) stories are observed among the strategies for domestication; however, the last result seems to be a ridiculous, confusing version.

If the audience feels that he/she is deceived throughout the translation and its different formats, he/she may prefer to switch IRIB to other channels. As a result, if IRIB tends to keep its audiences satisfied, it has to pay more attentions to the process, what this article attempts to convey.

Some of the original dialogues of episode 11 of season 4 (i.e. 65:th episode) of "Due South" and its dubbed ones are mentioned here. Counting on some replacements of words and sentences, some suggestion are made to improve the state of the whole story (which is changed almost completely) in dubbed version. The underlying purpose is to show how weakly the foreign culture is domesticated. If the IRIB’s policy is to domesticate foreign culture, there are many options to be chosen with enough patience in order, at least, not to destroy the theme of the films in dubbing process. Another purpose here is to examine some other options (like using less rejected equivalent for some cases) which are, of course, a few of many.

While studying this case, these questions were to be considered:

  1. How many sentences are modified and how many of them are domesticated for the cultural reasons?
  2. Are there some other options to have a more qualified product?

Why Due South?

Regarding the goals of all media to increase their audiences, IRIB tries to have several foreign series in its broadcasting lists, and from the first days, dubbed versions were preferred by authorities and audiences. But, regarding the audiences’ taste, some things are highly ignored such as increasing knowledge of English language, increasing subtitles for different languages, and more importantly, increasing demands for original versions of foreign films in the way of communication. These factors seem to play an important role in changing the audiences’ taste.

"Due South" was- and maybe still is- one of the most memorable masterpieces and its main character is one of the most beloved heroes throughout the world. Constable Benton Fraser, from RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Policemen) and grown up in The Northwest Territories in Canada, "first came to Chicago on the trail of the killers of his father and for some reasons that don’t need exploring, he has remained, attached as liaison between the Canadian Consulate and Chicago PD (Police Department )".

He was and is admired by Iranian audiences, as he is archetypal “Mountie”, dogged, polite, and compulsively truthful, “a metaphor for the Canadian persona by creating an emotional conflict between himself and his American associates”. He was considered qualified enough to be transferred as a positive character into Islamic culture through domestication; dubbing and a little censorship in a suitable way. Censorship is not this article's point of focus but has to be mentioned because it is done a lot in Iran's media, and it has happened throughout this series, too; and because what the researcher had to do, was considering those parts dubbed and broadcast.

Due south

"Due South" is a Canadian crime drama series with elements of comedy. The series was created by Paul Haggis, produced by Alliance Communications, and stars Paul Gross, David Marciano, and latterly Callum Keith Rennie. It ran for 67 episodes over four seasons, from 1994 to 1999.
"Due South" was first produced for television movie aired on CTV in Canada and CBS in the United States. With higher than anticipated ratings, "Due South" was turned into a continuing drama series with its first season late in 1994. It was the first Canadian series to earn such a prime time slot on a major US network.
The basic premise of the series centers on an Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) constable named Benton Fraser (Paul Gross) who travels to Chicago to solve the murder of his father; this is how he first meets his future partner, Ray Vecchio (David Marciano), a tough, streetwise cop, under the command of Lieutenant Welsh(Beau Starr).The result of the investigation makes Fraser to leave Canada and live in Chicago. The cynical relations of Chicago life test his rigid moral code.
The themes of the series often featured his rigid moral code being tested by the cynical realities of Chicago life. with his encyclopedic knowledge of virtually everything, a range of strange abilities, such as his ability to sniff and lick , he is of a great help to Chicago PD, but these also cause every woman he encounters falls madly in love with him, including his boss Margaret (Meg) Thatcher (Camilla Scott) and Ray's sister Francesca(Ramona Milano); his total obliviousness to this, and the fact that he rarely pursues any of the offers the ladies extend to him, is part of his charm. He also can see his father's ghost (Gordon Pinsent as Sergeant Bob Fraser), whose advice varies between helpful and absurdly useless.


Dubbing of Due South

"Due South" series was dubbed early of this new century in IRIB, managed by Abbas Nabati (2000). Dubbers are George Petrosi for Fraser, Ali Reza Bashkandi for Vecchio, Manoochehr Valizade for Kowalski, and Hussein Erfani for Lieutenant Welsh, and Narges Fooladvand for Francesca as fixed ones.

Hunting Season

From 30 dubbed episodes, the researcher has worked on episode 11 of season 4, called "Hunting Season" for this paper, which is about Constable Maggie Mackenzie (Jessica Steen) who comes to Chicago on the trail of the killers of her husband and hopes to receive help from Canadian Consulate especially Fraser. Her mother, Ellen, and Fraser's father (Bob) were friends and later Benton (Fraser) finds out that his father had had to shelter in Ellen's cabin in a stormy night and this sheltering resulted into the birth of Maggie, i.e. Maggie is Ben's sister.

In dubbed version, of course there is not any mention of Ellen and Bob's relationship because it is completely rejected in Iranian culture. Fraser's and Maggie's (by the voice of Minoo Ghaznavi) families had been neighbors and their mothers were friends. Maggie is not Mackenzie's real daughter and she has been found in desert while her parents had been killed. So, at the end, audiences will not know that Maggie is Benton's sister. Unlike the original, the target audience will not clearly know that Fraser And his friend, Ray, fall in love with Maggie, both at the first sight.

With a little more care, and by adding one or two sentences, their relationship could have been turned into a moral one in the target language but it has been changed into a ridiculous version of this story as if to deceive the educated audience.


Dubbing of series is a little more complex than movies as translator(s) has to keep the trend of the story of the whole film. In addition, all the episodes may not be brought together or some key parts might be censored. This seriously endangers the final results. Accordingly, for this study, at first, the movie was watched and then all of the four seasons in order for the researcher not to lose any point. Then 30 dubbed episodes, broadcast recently from channel 3, IRIB, were carefully watched. English subtitles of this special episode (4-10: Hunting Season, 65:th episode) were considered and completed (as they had dropped some of the utterances) by watching them several times. Then, Persian dubbed dialogues were put next to the originals, but those parts which were censored because of the cultural conflicts or the shortage of time were out of this study. Here, concentration has been on those parts which violated the whole plot and maybe just the gist of this episode, along with suggestion to replace just two or three sentences to improve it.

“Sentence” was considered as the unit of analysis but the indices were the main verb or “to be” verbs which show the tense of the sentences, and subordinate clauses such as conditional and relative clauses, and tags were regarded as a separate unit.

Some short “yes”, “no”, “hello”, and the similar were not taken into account but “short answers”, lone adjectives and adverbs with omitted subjects and verbs, like: “[it is] possible”, or “[I ride] across the border”. All of the word changes in a unit were considered as one so it can be said that this unit has been modified.

All the units and those which were replaced by something different in meaning, for example, putting a word which means “speak” in Persian instead of “drink” in source, were counted. The cultural changes (where the translator(s) had domesticated the original text as they might think that the original dialogue may interfere with the target culture for the reason of cultural conflicts between the source and target context) were measured, and then those that modified the story or changed the main plot were separated which are 61 cases, mentioned in the appendix. Parts that are underlined show those modified words, and italic ones indicate censored pieces.


Quantitative results of examining the clauses in the original and target dialogues of this episode are mentioned in the following table. Later, cultural changes will be discussed in detail.

Among 928 sentences (main or subordinate), just 137 ones were not literally translated, which is 14.76% in total. So, most of the translation and dubbing was literal, and cases of domestication were smaller in number (29.92%). 14.59% of these changes were those which had to be done to make the whole parts of the theme coherent (related in a meaningful way). However, we can say that 44.52% of these changes were because of cultural differences and translator(s) felt that they need to be domesticated based on IRIB’s policies. But actually, according to suggestions of this article, at least 25 cases could have been left unchanged in meaning to maintain the original story and others could have been rendered more carefully without tampering with the target culture.

Table 1. The Number and Percentage of Each Kind of Changes




Total changes






Cultural-based changes(domestications)



Subsequent changes






Close examining of the clauses

Because of cultural differences, the first expectation was domestication to be dominant in determining the state of the whole plot. Nevertheless, most clauses were found unchanged. About half of the ST was adapted because of cultural beliefs.

All of these choices are made by translator(s) but the observed way of changing the story of the original text may encourage the target audience to ignore the dubbed work and go for other options. Whatever the reason, the paper has shown that there are better ways, at least for the sake of the story, itself.

These challenged parts are demonstrated as shown in the following tables. The formats of tables are in a way that provides an easier access for the readers. The first column, that is "No", shows the order of appearance of different parts in this episode.

Table 2. Cultural Changes: Illegitimate Social Behaviors and Swear Words

Back-TDubbed dialoguesOriginal dialoguesNo.
Now get out of here. We want to speak in peace.حالا از اینجا برو بیرون، میخوایم راحت صحبت کنیم.Get the hell out of here. We want to drink in peace.1,2
These cases may be considered as social behaviors, so:
1 – Instead of literal translation which could have been “گمشو بیرون”, it is rendered more politely.
2 – Although drinking alcohol is illegitimate in Islamic culture, literal translation could have been used (with no reference to what would be drunk), or just could have been rendered as “خوردن” (eat), since in Persian there is one equivalent for both “drink” and “eat”.

Table 3. Cultural Changes: Romance and Friendships

Back-TDubbed dialoguesOriginal dialoguesNo.
Well, your mother and my mother were friends.خب مادر منو مادر شما دوست بودن.Well, your father and my mother were friends.3
A young woman and she are clever, regarding her age.زن جوانیهو نسبت به سنش باهوشه،you see a young woman, and might the attractive one,16, 17
3 – In Islamic-Iranian culture such friendship is rejected but this could have been replaced by an acquaintance: “they knew each other (همدیگه رو میشناختن)”. But, there are some cases which can be considered insulting for women in the target culture especially when their physical attractions are praised. For numbers 16, 17, for example, it is somehow insulting (in the target culture) to use the literal equivalent of “attractive” which is “جذاب”; nevertheless, it could have been replaced by the concept of “good” (خوب) that can imply falling in love like the source.

Table 4. Cultural Change: Evasion

Back-TDubbed dialoguesOriginal dialoguesNo.
Many's the day I sheltered in their cabin.خیلی روزا به کلبشون پناه می بردم.Many's the night I sheltered in her cabin.6,7
6, 7 – Sheltering in her cabin just means asking for help. Bob may use “shelter” to evade a serious relationship and in the next sentence he emphasizes that it had been after his first wife’s death. However, this sheltering could have been replaced by acquaintance (which is better-matched) or left unchanged and “many’s the night” could have been replaced by “several times”: “چند بار”

Table 5. Cultural Change: Romance

Back-TDubbed dialoguesOriginal dialoguesNo.
They were like my own family.مثل خانواده خودم بودن.Long after your mother was gone, son.8
You know, you were their family's friend.شما اطلاع دارین، بالاخره دوست خانوادگیشون بودین.Oh when? When you were warming yourself in her cabin?20, 21
8 – This sentence, continuing the last one, can be a clue for Benton (and the audiences) to understand that his father had fallen in love with Ellen. This love is not rejected in Iran while we don’t know the details yet.
20, 21 – This part may be a sarcasm through which Ben wants to show that now he knows what had happened between his father and Ellen to bring an illegitimate child (Maggie) to this world. However, instead of such a confusing replacement, translator(s) could have used that implication of sheltering, e.g.: “ولی گفتین که به کلبه اش فقط پناه بردین؟” (But you said you just sheltered in her cabin?!), and later it would be turn to a legal relationship in the target culture which is marriage, for example by adding a sentence such as “you didn’t tell me” (بهم نگفتی), in the next part. But, the key part can be number 28.

Table 6. Cultural Change: Romance and Relationships

Back-TDubbed dialoguesOriginal dialoguesNo.
Matt and his wife didn't let Maggie know that they're not her parents.مت و زنش نذاشتن مگی بفهمه اونا والدینش نیستن.Pretty sure. Why didn’t Ellen tell me?28*
They raised her like their own daughter.اونا مثل دختر خودشون بزرگش کردن.She used to say she didn't want me to feel tied down.30[2], 31
She's a liar.یه کمی دروغگوه.Obviously, you didn't.32
28 – Instead of such translation, this part could have been replaced by: “this marriage was wrong in the first place” (این ازدواج از اولم اشتباه بود.) to provide a key sentence to adapt cultures and also keep the main story.
30 to 32 – For numbers 30 and 31, not against the target culture, literal translation is better to show that Bob could not have been a good husband for Ellen as he still loves his first wife; and to continue last part and make it meaningful, for number 32 it was better to say: “so, she didn’t tell you.” (پس بهت نگفت).
A minute later, Ben becomes completely sure that Maggie is his sister and in one of the important scenes, he tells this to Maggie. Those parts are changed while could have been translated literally and convey the pleasure of the story to the target viewers.

Table 7. Cultural Change: a Happy End

Back-TDubbed dialoguesOriginal dialoguesNo.
There's no more trouble.دردسر تموم شد.

I have a family.

57 – This show that after a lonely life, at the end, Ben has got a family (a sister) and this makes a sympathetic reaction in the audiences, not against the target culture.

Table 8. Cultural Changes: Stable Romance

Back-TDubbed dialoguesOriginal dialoguesNo.
You know why I'm always the same?میدونی چرا من همیشه یه جورم؟I never intended to stay away, son.58
In fact I always think about my family.راستش من همه جا فقط چشمم دنبال خانوادمه.

It's just that, back home, everywhere I looked I saw your mother.59, 60, 61
58 to 61 – Before these parts, Bob says that he had been a bad father twice. This is rendered literally which provides a vague point about whether being a natural relation or just something like a godfather.
These two parts show why Bob could not have been stayed with another woman. His stable love for his first wife is really appreciated in every culture and may give a good excuse to Bob to be a bad husband for Ellen.

Discussion and Conclusion

From what expressed by some Iranian dubbing directors in a meeting with IRIB’s authorities (2005), this can be inferred that IRIB’s policies in keeping the cultural boundaries and other factors such as time pressure, have led to deviations in different translations as well as dubbing (as the dominant mode in translation and broadcasting) foreign films (movies, series, documentaries, etc.). Audiences may ask why they should spend time for such careless works while they can easily switch to other channels or buy the original (subtitled) DVDs. However, IRIB is popular and as a national medium, Iranians prefer it; so, its status may be endangered by these slipshod works which shows authorities’ ignorance of audiences’ intelligence.

This paper challenged persons in power by giving some simple suggestion for the choice of the equivalents, done together, for domestication and keeping cultural boundaries without violating the main plot of the film. It may be noticed that all of what this research suggested were only based on causing a somehow similar effects for the target viewers as those of the ST (the point that apparently have been undermined by the translator(s)).

In addition to unavailability of censored part, the researcher did not have access to those people responsible in IRIB to ask about their major hurdles and their solutions to deal with them. So, the researcher had to concentrate on academic theories in examining the dubbing of an episode of a very popular foreign series, i.e., “Due South”, which appears to be an extreme case of careless domestication. According to Venuti (1998, p. 243, qtd by Agost, 2001, p. 78): "What [translation] is domestic or foreign can be defined only with reference to changing hierarchy of values in target-language culture".

This study tried to refer to some of the cultural differences in examining 61 cases which could have been rendered more carefully, in a way to accord with polices in giving priority to the target culture. Translator(s) have added, deleted, and even replaced some words and clauses; and some of these changes are subsequent ones to make the whole coherent. All of the cultural differences in the ST are domesticated which are about half of total changes but all the changes are less than one sixth of the whole dialogues. It seems that policy is to domesticate all of the cultural differences but where there is nothing to tamper with the target culture, literal rendition is dominant. At the end, the strategy in rendering cultural concepts which the researcher explored was changing the theme of the story. All of the adaptation and synchronization procedures were to match this strategy and result into a new version of the film which in most cases shows some kind of incoherence in the relationship among different characters. This is very risky and can easily disappoint audience. This kind of modification may work for the written text but on screen a lot of care is needed to match the final product with the images. Intelligent audience can easily spot destroying mismatches and this may cause them feel insecure.

For further research, synchronization process and its effect on the final product, either because of cultural issues or not, can be examined. Translator(s)’ strategies to deal with both linguistic and cultural differences according to the national norms or other policies can be explored through interviews or other devices for asking them about their reasons, as the researcher did not have opportunity for this asking.


Agost, Rosa. 2001. “Translation in bilingual context: different norms in dubbing translation”, in Orero, Pilar, ed. 2004. Topics in Audiovisual Translation, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 63-82.

Bassnett, Susan. “The translator as cross-cultural mediator”, in: Malmkjær, Kirsten and Windle, Kevin, eds. 2011.Oxford Handbook of translation studies. Oxford and New York: Oxford Press, 94-17

Diaz Cintas, Jorge, ed. 2009.New Trends in Audiovisual Translation. Bristol/ Buffalo/ Toronto: Multilingual Matters Publications.

Gintar, Anna. 2002. “Cultural issues in translation”. Kalbu Studijos 3(3): 27-31.

Kamyar, Mohammad. 2011. “تاثير رسانه ملي بر فرهنگ عمومي (The impact of the national media on the public/popular culture).” Jamejam: Ghabekoochak, Aban 14(November 4), p.10. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, 5:th edition.

Matamala, Anna. 2010. “Translations for dubbing as dynamic texts: Strategies in film synchronization.” Babel 56(2), 101-118.

Munday, Jeremy. 2008. Introducing translation studies: theories and applications, 2:nd edition. London and New York: Routledge.

Pettit, Zoe. “Connecting cultures: cultural transfer in subtitling and dubbing” , in Diaz Cintas, Jorge, ed. 2009. New Trends in Audiovisual Translation. Bristol/ Buffalo/ Toronto: Multilingual Matters Publications.

Pym, Antony. 2010. Exploring translation studies. London and New York: Routledge.

Szarkowska, Agnieszka. 2005. “The power of film translation.” Translation Journal,

Tahami, Abal-Hasan. 2010. چگونه فیلم دوبله کنیم (how to dub film). Tehran: Negah Publications.

Venuti, Lawrence. 1995. The translator’s invisibility: a history of translation. London and New York: Routledge.


Complete table of all cultural and subsequent changes

SuggestionsBack-TDubbed dialoguesOriginal dialoguesNo.
گمشو بیرون، میخوایم راحت یه چیزی بنوشیم/بخوریم.Now get out of here. We want to speak in peace.حالا از اینجا برو بیرون، میخوایم راحت صحبت کنیم.Get the hell out of here. We want to drink in peace.1,2
خب، پدر من و مادر شما هدیگه رو می شناختن.Well, your mother and my mother were friends.خب مادر منو مادر شما دوست بودن.Well, your father and my mother were friends.3
معلومه که اسمتونو میدونم.They were neighbors.با هم همسایه بودن.I certainly know your name.4[3]
الن زن فوق العاده ای بود.Good familyخانوادهخوبی بودن.Wonderful woman, Ellen.5
چند بار به کلبه اش پناه بردم.Many's the day I sheltered in their cabin.خیلی روزا به کلبشون پناه می بردم.Many's the night I sheltered in her cabin.6,7
مدتها پس از فوت مادرت بود، پسرم.They were like my own family.مثل خانواده خودم بودن.Long after your mother was gone, son.8
شاید بتونیم با هم بریم بیرون یه چیزی بخوریم.As it may cause trouble if we don't know each other enough.چون عدم شناخت کافی ممکنه باعث دردسر بشه. Like, go out for dinner and drinks.Later, naturally, after we find that stuff you need.9
...Just the time you turned up at the Inuvik...درست وقتی که در اینوویک پیدات شد.Like the time you turned up naked at the Inuvik...10
پس پابرهنه درست وسط اینوویک می دوید.Uh…those days. Barefoot in the jungle, chasing prey.آه چه روزایی بود. پا برهنه تو جنگل دنبال شکار.So he ran buck-naked straight into the middle of Inuvik...11
در کمد شما؟Under your protection?در حمایت شما؟In your closet?12
می فهمم چرا ازش خوشت میاد.Is she your boss/superior?ایشون رئیس شماست؟I see why you like her.13, 14
من و اون فقط (همکار)...Yes, inspector Thatcher is my boss…بله، بازرس تاچر رئیس منه، من ...Inspector Thatcher and I have a... purely a... a...15
با زن جوون و احتمالا خوبی آشنا میشیA young woman and she are clever, regarding her age.زن جوانیهو نسبت به سنش باهوشه،you see a young woman, and might (be) the attractive one,16, 17
ولی این بهانه ی خوبی برای ترک وظیفه نیست. اصلا خوب نیست.And because of this, she could deceive everybody, even you.برای همینم تونسته همه رو گول بزنه. حتی تو رو.But that's no excuse for you not doing your duty. No excuse at all.18, 19
آه، ولی شما گفتین که فقط به کلبه اش پناه می بردن، نه؟You know, you were their family's friend.شما اطلاع دارین، بالاخره دوست خانوادگیشون بودین.Oh when? When you were warming yourself in her cabin? 20, 21
خدای من- Speak, dad. -حرف بزن پدر.- Great Scott. 22
چی رو میگی؟What about?درباره چی؟ You're not saying...? 23
بله، مگی هم می تونه تو رو ببینه.Matt found Maggie in the desert.مگی رو مت تو بیابون پیدا کرد.I am. Maggie can see you.24, 25
باک فروبیشر هم همینطور اما من پدرش نیستم.Her parents were both killed.پدر و مادر مگی هردو کشته شده بودن.Buck Frobisher can see me. I'm not his father.26, 27
خیلی خب. این ازدواج از اولم اشتباه بود.Matt and his wife didn't let Maggie know that they're not her parents.مت و زنش نذاشتن مگی بفهمه اونا والدینش نیستن.Pretty sure. Why didn’t Ellen tell me?28*
شما می موندین؟Continue, dad.ادامه بده پدر!Would you have stayed?29
الن هم میگفت که نمیخواد من رو اسیر کنه.They raised her like their own daughter.اونا مثل دختر خودشون بزرگش کردن.She used to say she didn't want me to feel tied down.30, 31
پس بهت نگفت.She's a liar.یه کمی دروغگوه.Obviously, you didn't.32
خدایا، من نمیدونستم بچه امه. نشناختمش.She doesn't lie but she doesn't say all of the truth.دروغ نمیگه ولی تمام واقعیتو نمیگه.My God. My kid. I didn't get to know her.33, 34, 35
شما منم نشناختین.Now, what do we have to do, dad?حالا واقعا باید چیکار کنم، پدر؟You didn't get to know me either.36
حداقل می دونستم وجود داری. باید پیداش کنی، پسرم.Just act like a hunter. There's an easy solution.مثل یه شکارچی رفتار کن. چاره ی کار ساده ست.But at least I knew you existed. You've got to find her, son.37, 38, 39
بیشتر از اونی که فکر می کنی.Both police, both Canadian.هردو پلیس، هردو کانادایی.In more ways than you think.40
خب، ببین میتونی جزئیاتشو به من بگی.Don’t start it again!نمیخواد دوباره شروع کنی!Well, look, you can spare me the details. 41, 42
مگی، من برادرتم!Maggie, give up!مگی، دست بردار!I'm your brother.43
میدونم، شوکه شدی.You are seriously hurt, I know.میدونم، سخت آزرده ای.It's a shock, I know.44
شاید 28 دیر شده باشه برای نصیحت کردن.I'm little by little deciding to go back. Go back to my hometown.من کم کم دارم به این نتیجه میرسم که برگردم. برگردم به وطن خودم.And it's probably 28 years too late to be dispensing advice.45
اما بهتره اینکارو بذاری به عهده ی قانون.Go back to my hometown.برگردم به وطن خودم.But you better let the law handle this. 46
برادرم...اگه برادرمه...Go back, you mean go back to work?برگردی؛ یعنی برگردی سر کار؟My brother... If he's my brother... 47, 48
دلگرم کننده است.You are very bold!خیلی جسوری!That's encouraging. 49
پس اگه سقف تریلرم نیاز به تعمی داشت، به کمکم میای؟I hope there wouldn't be any case like mine for you.امیدوارم دیگه موردی مثل مورد من برات پیش نیاد.So if I need help tarring the roof of my trailer, will you come? 50, 51
اگه نیاز به راهنمایی در پرونده ای لاینحل یا جنایتی پیچیده داشتم، چی؟You know your father was our patriarch. Unlucky he's dead.میدونی پدرت واقعا مثل بزرگ فامیل ما بود. حیف که مرده.What if I need advice on some unsolvable case or elusive criminal? 52
بهم زنگ بزن. اگه نیاز به راهنمایی درباره ی اشنایی و ازدواج داشتی...Right! From now on you can count on me for any help. I love mysterious cases. There's no trouble.درسته! از حالا به بعد میتونی رو کمک من حساب کنی. من عاشق موارد پلیسی ام. هیچ زحمتی نیست.Call me. And you know, if you need some advice, uh... say, about a relationship or things of a female nature...53, 54, 55
به من زنگ نزن.But don’t lie.ولی دروغ نگو!Don't call me. 56
حالا یه خانواده دارم.There's no more trouble.دردسر تموم شد.I have a family. 57
هرگز قصدم فرار از مسئولیت نبود، پسر.You know why I'm always the same?میدونی چرا من همیشه یه جورم؟I never intended to stay away, son.58
فقط هر جارو که نگاه می کردم، مادرتو میدیدم.In fact I always think about my family.راستش من همه جا فقط چشمم دنبال خانوادمه. It's just that, back home, everywhere I looked I saw your mother. 59, 60, 61

About the Authors

Zahra Amirian, Ph.D. in TEFL, Assistant professor, Department of English, University of Isfahan, Iran. She has taught English to Iranian EFL learners for about 12 years. Her research interests are discourse analysis, genre analysis, second language writing and translation studies.

Zahra Sharia'ti holds an M.A. in translation studies, Department of English, University of Isfahan, Iran. Her research interests include audio-visual translation and cultural studies.

Authors’ Address

Department of English
Faculty of Foreign Languages
University of Isfahan
Daneshgah Street
Azadi Square
Isfahan, Iran
Zip Code: 81746-73441
Internet Address:

[1] Synchronization is defined by Chaume (2004, qtd. by Anna Matamala, 2010) in this way: “…matching the target language translation and the articulatory and body movements of screen actors and actresses, as well as matching the utterances and pauses in the translation and those of the source text”.

[2] These underlined numbers show subsequent changes

[3] These underlined numbers show subsequent changes