Motives for Watching Dubbed TV Shows by University Students in the U.A.E
Muna Abdelaziz Alradimi and Fawzia Abd Allah Al-Ali*
Department of Mass Communication, College of Communication, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
- *Corresponding Author:
- Fawzia Abd Allah Al-Ali,Associate Professor
Department of Mass Communication, College of Communication
University of Sharjah
Sharjah, P.O.Box: 27272, UAE.
Received date: February 10, 2019; Accepted date: February 20, 2019; Published date: February 26, 2019
Citation: Alradimi MA, Al-Ali FAA. Motives for Watching Dubbed TV Shows by University Students in the U.A.E. Global Media Journal 2019, 17:32.
Television; Drama; TV show
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The preference for dubbed television programs continues to prevail in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Objective: The main aim of this study was to establish the factor that influence the preference for dubbed movies in the UAE. Furthermore, the study aimed at ranking the factors that influence the motive to watch dubbed movies among university students in the UAE in accordance with their level of influence. Method: Questionnaires were distributed to participants across four universities through mail. The data from the research was analyzed using descriptive statics, tables and charts to establish the co-relatedness of the factors that influence the motive of the university students to watch dubbed television programs. Results: Most viewers of dubbed movies are female at the percentage of 71.5% (n=143). The majority of the participants were from the other Arabs group at 42.5% (n=85). The second largest nationality was UAE locals at 39.0% (n=78). The majority of the participants were Year 4 at 40% (n=80). Year 5 student participation stood at 32% (n=64). The story and the actors were the main reasons for watching dubbed movies. Other factors, ranked in order of priority include; learning ne cultures, the effect of the dubbers, tourism, fashion, video quality, and furnishing. Conclusion: Most the plot of dubbed movies and the foreign actors are the main motives for the watching of dubbed television content in the UAE.
Background of the Study
There is a growing increasing concern over the rise of television
drama viewership and their effects on the morals of the youth.
The interest has led to two fundamental questions. One, to what
extent are young people exposed to the television dramas?
Two, what are the reasons and why the youth, in particular, are
interested in the international TV shows? In a bid to answer
this question, the research will survey the most viewed Turkish,
Western and far Asian shows and show by young viewers in the
UAE, University students in particular. As a matter of fact, studies
that have been conducted to put this issue into perspective have
indicated that the youth are become interested in TV show day
by day globally. The advancements in technology facilitate the
trend. It is becoming a universal fact that technology is not only
changing people’s very way of living but also transforming the
world into a global village.
Thanks to technology, the world can now celebrate the good and bad of globalization. Even if it is contestable that globalization
is a necessary evil one thing remains which the world is now
borderless. Besides, regardless of which side one argues about
the impact of technology, it is a fact that technology is significantly
impacting on the life of the youth. Through technology, anyone
can access any media content conveniently by the click of a
button. Most television shows are now streamed live. Add this to
the internet connectivity and the upcoming mobile phones; then
you have a global village where data, information is shared freely
to disabuse the geographical distance. Unfortunately, due to their
gullibility, the youth have become the most affected segment of
the population by technological trends including TV shows and
drama. The UAE children are not spared, as they too not only
watch the Turkish shows, but also view the western and far Asian
shows and theater in the UAE TV channels. Therefore, the goal
of the study is to know to what extent those young viewers are
exposed to movies, TV shows and drama by answering why and
Some of the educated hypotheses of the problem include Firstly,
the prevalence of watching dubbed movies and series among
the youth are high in the UAE. Secondly, there are statistically
significant trends related to aspects such as the age, sex, duration,
and frequency of watching. Thirdly, reasons such as boredom, the
need to fit into the social norm, lack of an alternative, superior
actor, contact with other cultures, and a form of entertainment
are the motivations for watching the content. For qualifying the
research hypotheses, the study will use a quantitative method
of study. Quantitative methods will help in analyzing the existing
literature on the subject of study to validate the primary data
The primary motivation of UAE youth for watching dubbed TV
drama is facilitated by the advancements in technology that leads
to globalization. The impact of globalization threatens the longheld
traditions in most parts of the world. As technology develops,
people are increasingly subjected to values and ideals that are
foreign. In particular, the youth are simultaneously subjected to
competing and conflicting messages from parents, academic and
religious institutions, the growing television industry, and the
internet together with its capabilities. Policymakers and scholars
widely acknowledge the fundamental role of the media in the
lives of the youth. However, over the recent past, the society has
witnessed a proliferation of dubbed TV drama. Dubbed shows
and series had conquered the Arab world recently. Soap operas,
animated series, and other genres have attracted Arab youth
generation and shifted their attention from local entertainment
shows to the international ones. The Arabic re-voicing of such
shows with different accents has captured the attention of Arabs
to dubbed drama. Emotional, romantic, and new plots with
different kind of stories from different parts of world played a
role in attracting Arab viewers as well. As a result, it is essential
to explore the important and motives behind watching dubbed
series by young Arab generation in the UAE.
This study mainly captures the factors that prompt university
students in the UAE to watch television shows. Therefore, the
result of this study allows researchers to go further with the
subject to explore the impacts of watching dubbed drama on
youth and the UAE society in general.
The study aims at answering some research questions that are
• What types of dubbed TV shows are watched by young
• Who watches dubbed shows more, female or male
• What are the motives that drive young people to watch
dubbed TV content?
• What is the prevalence of watching dubbed movies and
series among the youth in the UAE?
• Which countries are the leading suppliers of dubbed TV
Significance and Purpose of the Study
Although this study mainly concentrates on the factors that
prompt university students in the UAE to watch television shows,
it also acknowledges the impact that these shows might have on
various aspects of life of these students. Such an impact aligns
well with the concept gratification as a motive to watch the
dubbed movies. The viewers intend to gratify personal identity
through an affiliation with the culture depicted in the movies. First
of all, it is vital to highlight the importance of properly expressing
the cultural peculiarities of the original TV shows while dubbing
their content. While the viewers might face difficulties when
trying to understand certain cultural characteristics present in
foreign shows, watching them provides a unique opportunity to
experience foreign cultures . Therefore, apart from identifying
the motives for watching the dubbed television shows, the study
will attempt to analyze the societal impact of these shows.
The concept of television shows dubbing is the major focus
of the study due to the multiple demographic factors that it
encompasses, including education, gender, age, and other social
factors that influence the choice of the dubbed television shows
by the viewers. The analysis of the distribution and frequency
of the demographic factors that affect the selection of dubbed
television content aims at quantifying the influence of every
factor. Therefore, the results of the study will allow one to
evaluate the preferences for the dubbed television shows among
the university students in the UAE based on their cultural,
educational, and social background, their gender and age.
Objectives/Goals of the Study
The research has various goals that it wishes to accomplish
regarding the argument of the viewership of dubbed television
shows in the UAE. The following are the aims of the study for the
• This study aims to figure out the UAE’s young people’s
main interests regarding their TV programs and shows
especially international ones.
• Furthermore, the research seeks to determine the Youth
desires and needs from dubbed TV drama.
• Determining the most common and popular genres of
dubbed TV shows among young viewers in the UAE.
• Finally, the current study aims to figure out the extent to
which young people in the UAE are depend and rely on
media to get their needs.
When studying the motivation of watching dubbed TV drama
among youths, the uses and gratifications theories should be
used to provide an ideal framework. The theory is a traditional
approach to the comprehension of mass communication. In
contrast to other methods, it places the focus on the audience
or consumer, rather than the message being perpetuated .
Consequently, the audience is an active participant in integrating
and interpreting media into their lives . Since the public uses
the media to satisfy certain gratifications, it is responsible for choosing media that suit their needs. Consequently, media
stations compete with one another to fulfill the satisfaction of the
The basic model of the uses and gratifications theory identifies
four needs that the media aims to satisfy. To start with, the
media has to fulfill the personal identity need . Essentially,
human beings tend to identify with certain films when they get
a sense of themselves and their peers. In the context of the Arab
society, people might watch the dubbed films since they identify
with them culturally and traditionally. Besides, the personalities
starring in those movies might be their role models. Consequently,
it is logical to argue that dubbed TV content from some areas
are watched heavily by the people of the UAE identify with the
challenges and successes of those nations.
Another aspect of the model is education. A key reason why
people use mass media is to gain information, understanding,
and knowledge . As such, the perception that other types of
movies or series contain more information would then drive their
consumption. In the same light, if the content is foreign, then
dubbing becomes necessary to foster the educational process.
Overall, the themes contained in genres such as soap operas focus
on values related to relationships and love. Consequently, it could
be hypothesized that the desire for dubbed movies is premised
on the information they contain.
The third element of the uses and gratifications theory is social
interaction. Based on the theory, consumers watch certain
content to gain insight into the situations of others, resulting
in social empathy . They also consume content to identify
with others and feel the sense of belonging. Besides, watching
a movie helps one have conversations with peers, which fosters
social interaction . In fact, among young people, conversations
regarding movies and other popular topics tend to be common.
For some, watching a movie or even playing a video game can be
a substitute for real-life companionship . Overall, according to
this theory, the motivation to watch dubbed content would be
based on the need to integrate and socialize with friends, family,
The final element in the model is entertainment. An essential
role of movies and films is to entertain the audience. As a result,
people may watch certain content to relax and release emotions
. For some, watching provides an opportunity to escape from
their personal problems. From a cultural point of view, consuming
content might also be aimed at acquiring intrinsic cultural or
aesthetic enjoyment. For others, watching allows them to fill
time. Finally, depending on the kind of the movie, users can gain
sexual arousal. Based on this information, the thirst for dubbed
movies among the young population may be due to the need to
The uses and gratifications theory has been utilized in research
to explain the growth of soap operas . Keshishian  explored
the motives of soap opera viewing among university students in
Armenia. The study highlighted several uses and gratifications that
drive the consumption of such content. They include pleasure,
stimulation, passing time, serials importance, and showing
reality. One particular finding was that friends and family more influenced the younger generation as compared to the internet,
radio, and television. In essence, the social aspect, in theory,
seems appropriate in explaining the prevalence of watching
dubbed content among younger people.
The second theoretical framework that could be used in the
study of the motivation for watching dubbed TV content is media
dependency theory . Overall, the media dependency theory
states that when an individual depends more on media to fulfill
the needs, the more the person attach more importance to the
press . It defines the link between the viewers, the media, and
the social system. This theory suggests that people gain relatively
little information in real life; accordingly, they use this tool to
fulfill this desire. A continuous utilization of media increases
people's degree of dependence. Indeed, media owners strive to
create this relationship as a means of expanding their audience
base and achieving their goals.
Ideally, media dependence theory is based on gratification and
uses principles. According to media dependency theory, people
use the media for various reasons. The more one gets his or her
needs fulfilled by media, the more the person becomes dependent
on the media such that the life of the individual heavily relies on
the press . Further, the media dependency asserts that the
press can have much influence and power over the person who
overly depends on it. For example, the theory argues that when
one over-relies on media for information, the person can quickly
set the agenda.
Similarly, Narasimhamurthy  argues that the media plays a
critical role in satisfying people’s needs. In particular, viewers
become reliant on it based on its capacity to meet their wants.
Hence, the level of this dependence is based on the perceived
value of media in achieving viewers’ desires and objectives.
The fundamental concept of media dependency theory is that
members of the population use media to gain insight into their
surroundings and the globe. This principle maintains that there
is a mutual relationship between the public, the major means of
communication, and the viewers, in which people use the media to
understand other cultures, get entertained, and gain information.
Accordingly, media strives to provide contents that fulfill people’s
needs for information, entertainment, and comprehension.
Scholars continue to debate the impacts of other cultures,
particularly the western traditional customs and belief systems,
on the lifestyle of the natives. Indeed, Anuradha  in his
article “A study on the preference for Tamil dubbed Hindi serials
among home makers in Salem” observed that Hindi soaps had
a significant effect on the indigenous persons. There was a
considerable decline in the overall number of original serials in
South India because of dubbed movies, which contributed to
a reduction in the influence of the local Tamil serial industry.
Accordingly, Anuradha  attempted to establish the reasons a
large proportion of the country’s audience had switched from
viewing the local films to focus on Hindi dubbed soap operas.
The scholar tried to determine the characteristics of the dubbed
Hindi programs that were attractive to Tamil television viewers
and the respective cultural implications. The study included 508 respondents in Salem district, in which female participants
constituted the largest percentage of the regular audience for
Hindi serials. The scholar used a structured questionnaire that
contained closed-ended statements as a means of collecting
participants’ feedback. The person analyzed dubbed serials to
establish the embedded cultural elements.
According to the research findings, about 50% of Tamil audience
love viewing dubbed serials, whereas the other members of the
population watch Tamil mega serials. Tamil television audience
maintained that the language in the dubbed movies was relatively
slow paced. Nonetheless, the respondents stated that they had
accepted it due to the existing cultural components. They argued
that dubbed serials promoted various cultural practices, such as
the significance of joint and loving family systems. These viewers
felt that dubbed films portrayed the role of women in the society
and the family system, the traditional mode of dressing, and other
aspects in a positive manner. These cultural components, which
were peculiar to the Tamil audience, appealed to these individuals.
Hence, the elements in these films have a great attraction for the
region’s viewers. Indeed, television sector discovered this gap and
exploited it for commercial purposes.
Zhou  sought to assess the significant rise in the popularity
of American television programs in the Republic of China and
establish its impact on the country’s college student viewers.
Zhou  maintains that millions of the country’s young people
tend to seek entertainment from online channels due to the
rapid development of the Internet. Accordingly, many young
people watch foreign television program through this medium.
Chinese policies require players in the entertainment industry to
dub all imported television shows before broadcasting them. In
this research, the investigator gathered data from 279 students
in institutions of higher learning through the use of a crosssectional
survey that was availed over the Internet. The study
results provided insight into the viewing pattern of the selected
individuals. They did not demonstrate a significant difference in
the change of participant’s values.
Turkey seems to be one of the primary sources of dubbed content.
According to Buccianti , Turkish soap operas have continued
to conquer the Arab world. For example, on August 30, 2008,
approximately eighty-five million Arabs viewed the finale of the
Syrian-Dubbed soap opera called Gumus. One of the reasons that
have been put forward for the high consumption of the dubbed
TV content is the historical connection that stretches back to the
Ottoman Empire. Additionally, based on Buccianti , soaps
have consistently driven the constant theme, which resonates
with the larger Arab audience. Moreover, the traditional
exchanges between these two societies have helped reduce the
As expected, current literature has attempted to establish the
impact of dubbed content on the Arab audience. Qudah and
Tahat  conducted a study to explore the degree of exposure
to television transmission of Jordanian adolescents, the viewing
hours, the motives for viewing, the exposure and reasons
for exposure of adolescents to dubbed series and to explain
the orientation and the influence of the display. The sample population was derived from adolescents living in Amman, the
capital of the country. One of the findings of the study was that
most people now rely on satellite television as a source of news.
Besides, the researchers determined that the viewing of dubbed
series among the adolescent population was high (94.9% among
males and 84.9 among females. Further, the intensity of exposure
was high as 34.8% of the respondents reported that are exposed
to dubbed series for 3 – 4 or more hours a day. To add on that,
35.1% of the respondents reported that they continually watched
dubbed series. The study, like others, demonstrates that the
consumption of dubbed programs in the Arab world is high.
Another study conducted by Yanardagoglu and Imad  also
reveals similar trends on the penetration of the Turkish TV series
and audience perception. According to Yanardagoglu and Karam
, about 60% of TV shows in the Middle East have different
content. This reveals that majority of the youth can access the
foreign TV shows and Asian content brought firmly home by
local media. The study sought to explore the factors that led to
such massive attraction of the TV dubbed dramas to the UAE
youths while considering the conversations about the possible
impacts of the foreign media on the Arabic culture. The study
found out that the UAE youths do not feel or find foreign media
content as the primary cause for the cultural identity corruption.
Besides, the research found that according to the UAE youths, the
international TV dramas just offers alternative modernity to the
closed Arab world . The youths appreciate the foreign soap
operas because they think they are modest and expose them
to current modern trends in the world. These findings are an
indication of the fact that foreign media has got warm reception
among the UAE youths due to a lack of modern drama and
current TV shows in the Arabic mainstream media. Besides, the
high number of viewership of the Turkish and Asian soap opera
indicates the foreign drama and TV shows provide provides what
the youth think are useful content to them.
Al-Jenaibi  maintains that dubbed films are very prominent
on TV channels. These serials have a wide coverage throughout
the world, even in the Arab world, where people watch them
eagerly. However, these movies display traditions and customs
that are completely different from those of Arabic nations. These
differences contribute immensely to a change in the values
and conducts of the audience. Similarly, the researcher argues
that other scholars concur that these programs present some
behaviors and ideas that are contrary to the Islamic religion.
Ironically, Arabs tend to ignore Arabic serials, which include the
Gulf and the Egyptian programs. Indeed, the natives have a keen
interest in serials dubbed from Mexico, whether dubbed series
influence teenagers’ lives.
According to the study findings, a large percentage of these
individuals, who constitute the majority of viewers in the
nation, watch dubbed movies for at least four hours every day.
As a result, the scholar maintains that there is a great need for
other members of society to encourage young people to watch
programs that help in protecting the national and cultural identity
as a means of addressing this issue.
Overall, available research has identified that Arab youth are
increasingly watching dubbed TV content. However, a research gap exists, as the available research has not focused specifically
on the UAE. Additionally, although studies have explored the
motives, the findings remain conclusive, especially in the realms
of social and cultural impacts. As a result, this area provides an
opportunity for further exploration to create knowledge.
The literature review is in line with the topic of the study and
relates to the content in the background section of the report. It
commences with an overall look at the development of the digital
media and then subsequently centers on dubbed content.
Generally, this section has acknowledged the sources of
information, making it scholarly and reliable. Furthermore, the
use of statistical information increases the weight of the content.
The provision of data and evidence from other countries enables
a comparison of the consumption of dubbed media between
other regions and the U.A.E. to determine the magnitude of the
issue. Notably, after the review of the Arab studies, the study has
summarized the findings and highlighted the gaps in literature.
As mentioned above, the main purpose of this study to highlight
the desire behind demanding dubbed TV shows and drama by
young generation in the UAE society. Thus, the study concerns
on audience and their reasons and needs when watching such
shows. Due to the nature of the research, the type of research
method that will be used is quantitative research. The research
method allows the researcher to understand the problem and to
generate data that result into usable statistics . In addition,
the method gives insight and assists in defining opinions and
important variables. Quantitative research helps in generalizing
results because it uses large populations depending on the
research problem. The advantage of using quantitative research
in this study is that the data gathered helps in coming up with
measurable results that lead to facts of the research.
The study design and data collection
The research approach to help get the required information
for the research is grounded theory, which involves the use of
online survey and personal questionnaires sent to individuals.
The purpose of using surveys is to identify the emotions and the
opinions of the participants regarding the topic. The aim of using
online survey is to help reach all the participants, because almost
all students have active email addresses and they can respond
well to surveys. Moreover, it is easy for the researcher because
the data collection method reduces the use f manual methods
that that duplication of copies and downloading of software.
A combination of mail surveys and personal copies will be
distributed among four University Students (Sharjah University,
Ajman University, and Zayed University and Higher college
of technology). A number of 200 students from college of
communication and media sciences will be asked to answer the
questionnaire. The age of students in the sample is from 18-24
from both gender. Consequently, a questionnaire will be used as
a data collection instrument to collect the primary data. Both, structured and unstructured questions will be included in the
questionnaire to collect the data.
Structured questions are close ended and they are planned by the
researchers. The advantage of the structured questions is that they
increase the response and encourage the participants to provide
accurate information. Besides the structured questions are easy
to analyze and to code, thus making it easy for the researchers to
use in online surveys. On the other hand, unstructured questions
are open ended and they require the participants to provide their
answers openly. Based on their nature, participants are supposed
to think harder and most of them fail to respond correctly. As
such, the response rate of the unstructured questions is lower
compared to the structured questionnaires. However, the openended
questions provide the researcher with insights that assist
in understanding the research problem well. Questions will be
based on the research questions and hypotheses and will be
designed to reach different types viewers who are selected in the
After collecting the requested data, the researcher was responsible
to decode the questionnaire results and edit it to avoid errors
and to maintain the quality of the data gathering. Descriptive
statistics, charts, and tables were used by the researcher to
analyze the results and to clarify the data. Descriptive statics allow
the researchers to summarize data using large samples and large
amounts of data. The data collected becomes useful and easy to
understand, giving the researcher a general idea of the identified
trends. The type of charts and graphs used depends on the kind of
data collected and the results to be displayed. This research uses
both pie Charts and bar graphs to display the results. Bar graphs
assist in displaying relationships between data that have different
categories. Pie charts display how different categories in the data
relate to the given set. To compare between the variables, means
and frequencies test was the used while analyzing the data. Chi-
Square test was also used while comparing one result.
1. The participants were asked: How many hours a week do you
spend watching dubbed shows?
Those who chose that they never watch dubbed shows were
excluded. The majority 22.0% (n=44) chose that they watch for
5-6 hours weekly. In the second place came those who watch for
1-2 hours weekly at 20.5% (n=41). Next came 3-4 hours weekly at
19.5% (n=39). 8.0% (n=16) watch the shows for 7-8 hours weekly.
Finally, 4.0% (n=8) spend 9-10 hours weekly.
2. We asked the participants: During what time of the day do you
prefer to watch dubbed shows? The majority of the participants
prefer watching dubbed shows during the night time at 37.8%
(n=56). The second most preferred time to watch dubbed shows
was during the evening at 35.1% (n=52). In third place came
afternoon at 16.2% (n=24). Finally came morning at 10.8% (n=16). Figure 1 describes the preferred timings.
Figure 1: How often do you watch dubbed shows?
3. The following question was asked: How many dubbed TV shows
have you watched in total?
The majority of the participants chose 3-4 shows at 39.9% (n=59).
5-6 shows were the second highest at 21.6% (n=32). 1-2 shows
came third at 19.6% (n=29). The results are shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: How often do you watch dubbed shows?
4. Preferred Accent
When the participants were asked about their preferred accent
of dubbing, the results were as follows: 54.7% of the participant
(n=81) stated that they prefer a Syrian or Lebanese accent.
Formal Arabic came in second place with 39.9% (n=59) of the
participants preferring it. Gulf accents came in third place with
5.4% of the participants (n=8) preferring it (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Preferred Language.
5. We asked the participants: How do you prefer to watch the
The answers were as follows. The majority of the responses
38.0% (n=76) prefer watching the shows with their family. 22.5%
(n=45) prefer watching with friends. The remaining 13.5% (n=27)
prefer watching alone.
We asked the participants about the reasons that drive them to
watch dubbed shows. Participants were allowed to choose more
than one answer. A point system was built through SPSS program.
In which 1 point is given to each item if the respondent chose it,
and no points is given if it got ignored. The means of each item
and the standard deviation were calculated. The items were
ranked as seen in the Table 1.
Table 1: Motives.
|Learning a culture
|Furnishing and decoration
It can be deducted from the table that both the story and the
plot came in first place. The second most common interest by the
participants was learning a new culture. Third came the dubbers.
In the fourth place, interest in tourism lied. Next came fashion,
followed by video quality and finally furnishing.
1. Audiovisual Translation Method:
We asked the participants: Which of the following modes of audiovisual translation do you prefer for your TV shows? Three
options were provided for the question: Visual Translation (as
in subtitles), Audio Translation (as in dubbing), and Voice Over
(as in audible original sound track). The results were as follows:
There was a close proximity between visual and audio dubbing, in
which 54.7% (n=81) chose audio dubbing and 42.6% (n=63) chose
visual subtitles. The remaining 2.7% (n=4) chose voice over. The
results are displayed in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Preferred Audiovisual Translation.
2. We provided the participants with nine items that measures
their attitudes and perception (Table 2).
Table 2: Statement.
|I find it easier to follow up with a translated dubbed audio rather than reading translated subtitles.
|Dubbed TV shows have a better structured plot/story than native Arab TV shows.
|The stories shown in dubbed TV shows reflect the reality.
|Dubbed TV shows help me learn about foreign cultures.
|Dubbed TV shows have a higher quality of photography.
|The people who are dubbing play a role in my choice of the dubbed TV show.
|Dubbed TV shows encourage tourism.
|Dubbed TV shows have an educational value to me.
|Dubbed TV shows have an educational value to me.
It can be seen that the statement “Dubbed TV shows have a
better structured plot/story than native Arab TV shows” came in
first place. It was followed by “Dubbed TV shows help me learn
about foreign cultures” . In third place came “Dubbed TV shows
encourage tourism,” followed by “I find it easier to follow up
with a translated dubbed audio rather than reading translated subtitles” in fourth place. Next came “Dubbed TV shows have a
higher quality of photography” in fifth place followed by
people who are dubbing play a role in my choice of the dubbed
TV show” in sixth (Figure 5).
Figure 5: Viewers interests in the Dubbed Shows.
When we asked the participants about their preferred audiovisual
translation method, there was a close proximity between visual and audio dubbing, in which 54.7% (n=81) chose audio dubbing
and 42.6% (n=63) chose visual subtitles. The remaining 2.7%
(n=4) chose voice over. The results are displayed in the chart.
Audiovisual translation is thought to be at the center of dubbed
TV programs. According to (Gamal, 2007), this translation has had
a significant impact on the young Arab population.
Also, young children usually find it difficult to follow with
written subtitles in the screens. This is why it was observed that
children were obsessed with dubbed TV shows as they were
comprehending what is being said. Moreover, subtitles may act
as a form of distraction, as the viewer is simultaneously focusing
However, subtitles still have some advantages, in which you are
still able to hear the real voices and soundtracks of the shows,
something which is hugely deficient with dubbing.
When we measured the attitude and perception of the participants
towards dubbed shows, we found that “Dubbed TV shows have
a better structured plot/story than native Arab TV shows” came
in first place. It was followed by “Dubbed TV shows help me learn
about foreign cultures”. In third place came “Dubbed TV shows
encourage tourism,” followed by “I find it easier to follow up
with a translated dubbed audio rather than reading translated
subtitles” in fourth place. Next came “Dubbed TV shows have a
higher quality of photography” in fifth place followed by “The
people who are dubbing play a role in my choice of the dubbed
TV show” in sixth.
These results can be explained by the regression of Arab shows
in terms of plots and stories. The Turkish show industry which
produces around 100 shows every year at an average cost of
250,000$ each enters the competition fiercely and is able to
attract people’s attention. Also, the Turkish culture is not very
different from the Arab society, although a bit more modern.
Turkey is an Islamic country thus the values are shared among
the two cultures. This specific point is missing when discussing
dubbed shows from Mexico, Korea, or Japan.
It has been suggested by Ankit (2013) that people from Gulf
and Arab countries watch Turkish TV series due to the common
culture between them and Turkey, as well as the production
quality of the TV series (Ankit, 2013).
The research also elaborates that the tourism in Turkey has
grown because Arabs wanted to relive and replicate the way
they saw the actors living on TV by themselves. Most of the
positive impact that exporting Turkey series had on Turkey was
the encouragement of tourism. A lot of times, tourists come and
ask their tourist-guide to take them to areas where certain series
were shot, and where the actors are living.
The amount of money an average Arab tourist spends in Turkey
is higher than the average of any other nationality. The individual
Arab pays an average of 600$ a day, which gets increased \gtwhen
we account for the number of nights and the whole family coming
in (Ankit, 2013).
Dubbed movies enjoy wide viewership in the UAE. The dubbed
content has an audience that spans across various demographic
groups (Kharroub & Weaver, 2014). The motivation to watch the
dubbed television content comes from the interesting plot that
the viewers perceive in the imported content (Buccianti, 2010).
Therefore, improving the quality of locally produced content may
improve local viewership and reduce the preference for dubbed
movies in the future. Another factor that is evident from the
research is that the university students in the UAE have a high
preference for various accents in the translations. The Syrian and
Lebanese accents are among the most preferred. The preference
for the accents proves that movies from such countries are bound
to enjoy large viewership within the UAE. Another crucial aspect
of dubbed television content such as serials, soaps, and movies
is the effect each of them has on the language of the viewer.
Accordingly, the comprehensibility of a language is an important
factor when determining the motives for watching the dubbed
movies. For instance, dubbing hinders the ability of the viewers
to learn a foreign language since the original audio track is either
muffled or completely muted. Instead, it might help in improving
the proficiency of the viewers in their local language. Therefore,
in case of the UAE, the preference for dubbing foreign television
shows might positively affect the proficiency of the citizens in the
Arabic language. Moreover, dubbing comes with the advantage
of allowing the audience to follow the flow and the plot of the
program without any interruptions. On the other hand, most
people tend to complain that reading subtitles during viewing
distracts them from following other aspects of the television
program, in particular the body language of the characters.
Thus, dubbing, allows the viewers to spot any non-verbal cues
that a character may express through various gestures and facial
expressions without losing track of the verbal message.
Nonetheless, the research project was successful in proving
establishing different factors that motivate university students to
watch dubbed movies. Additionally, the research also discovered
various insights regarding the matter such as the role that
accent plays in motivating the resident of the UAE to watch the
movies. Additionally, the research identified the shortage of
cinematic content that originates from the UAE. Therefore, the
local population feels deprived and, therefore, opts to outsource
content from abroad (Yunis, 2014). Such importation of content
increases the viewership of the foreign television programs, a
factor that translates to increased profits for them.
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