Translating Directive Speech Acts in Movie Subtitles from English into Kurdish

Muhammed Kamal Abdulwahab

Assistant Instructor

Salahaddin University


Himdad A. Muhammad


Salahaddin University

Mary Benedittee

Associate Professor

University of Cincninnati/USA 



The paper aims at investigating translating directive speech acts in movie subtitle from English into Kurdish. It attempts to identify the errors that are found and then categorize the error types along with the illocutionary acts. The samples of the study are taken from the subtitle of the horror movie (Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud) which has been translated into Kurdish language. The researcher first identified translation problems in 63 directive speech acts in the movie according Searle’s category, then their illocutionary acts were identified. The English and Kurdish subtitles were compared to find out the type of error, in addition to the compatibility of the illocutionary acts between them. The results of the analysis show that ‘asking’ and ‘commanding’ are the most challenging illocutionary acts for translators because there were many errors in their translation. The most common error type in translation of directive speech acts are mistranslation, deletion, addition and foreign translation respectively.

Keywords:  Subtitle, Speech acts, Errors

Research Link 


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