Archive for the ‘Translation’ Category


Anandika Panca Nugraha

Sampang Regency Office



This article investigates the interpretive use of language in English translations of Al Fatiha taken from The Koran Interpreted by Arthur Arberry and The Qur’an: a New Translation by Abdel Haleem. This descriptive qualitative study uses Gutt’s relevance approach in assessing the choices made for interpretively communicating Al Fatiha’s message. The finding shows that Haleem’s translation is more interpretive with more fashionable and familiar structures and words requiring lower processing efforts. The choices imply that Arberry’s version is a scholarly translation while Haleem’s work is for popular use. Translating sacred texts should also consider translator’s cultural background and contextual knowledge.

Keywords:        relevance, interpretive use of language, sacred text



Artikel ini meneliti penggunaan bahasa secara interpretif dalam terjemahan bahasa Inggris surah Al Fatihah yang diambil dari The Koran Interpreted karya Arthur Arberry dan The Qur’an: a New Translation karya Abdel Haleem. Penelitian kualitatif deskriptif ini menggunakan pendekatan relevansi Gutt dalam mengkaji opsi-opsi penerjemahan yang digunakan untuk menyampaikan pesan Al Fatihah secara interpretif. Temuan penelitian ini menunjukkan terjemahan Haleem lebih interpretif dengan penggunaan struktur dan kata yang lebih populer dan mudah dipahami. Temuan tersebut juga berimplikasi bahwa terjemahan Arberry bersifat akademis sementara karya Haleem bersifat populer. Menerjemahkan teks sakral juga perlu memperhatikan latar belakang budaya serta pemahaman kontekstual penerjemah.

Kata kunci:       relevansi, penggunaan bahasa secara interpretif, teks sakral



Whether or not a translation is accurate, it should be viewed as a mode of communication. It is a process by which what we said or wrote in a language is expressed in another language. In translation studies, it is known as transforming Source Text (ST) into Target Text (TT). And as a kind of communication, then translation needs to comply with communication principle as to establish a successful communication, one should make utterances or sentences as clear and understandable as possible. It means that a TT should be able to represent the message or meaning of the ST as accurate as possible. In pragmatics, such concept refers to the principle of interpretive use of language which is then also adopted in translation studies. As interpretive use deals with how accurate the TT to represent or convey the message of the ST, it would be perfectly achieved if both texts share resemblance as much as possible (Gutt, 1998: 44). Hence, the interpretiveness of a TT is determined by its degree of resemblance to the ST in any relevant aspect. As far as the rendering is relevant enough to the readers in representing the message of the ST, the TT can therefore be deemed interpretive.

However, like other sacred texts, there will always be a dilemma to translate Al Quran. Translators may have to choose to reproduce the content but sacrifice the style, do the reverse or maybe retain both of them. Written in Arabic, Al Quran’s sophisticated stylistic features are considered complex even by native Arabic speakers. Quranic language is a sort of rhymed prose with literary structures and devices. Translating Al Quran does not only require phonetic competence in Arabic and English but also an advanced knowledge in Arabic syntax and rhetoric and most importantly, major Quran exegeses as the source of reference in order to provide the accurate meaning of a given Quranic expression, a simple particle or even a preposition (Abdul-Raof, 2001: 2).

Rather than analyzing the translation of Al Quran as a whole, this study attempts to compare, assess and draw out the implications of the choices made by two translations in an attempt to interpretively convey the meaning of Al Fatiha. This opening sura (chapter) of Al Quran is called the Mother of the Scripture or Ummul Kitab due to its fundamental content as well as its critical role in Islamic rituals.

The first Al Fatiha translation is taken from The Koran Interpreted by Arthur Arberry, a British orientalist. Originally published in 1955, this is the first English translation of Al Quran by a bona fide non-Muslim scholar of Islamic studies and has been widely acclaimed by intellectuals – particularly for its attempt to closely conveying the parallel impression made by Al Quran – and seems to remain the reference of choice for most academics for the foreseeable future (Mohammed, 2005). The second Al Fatiha translation is taken from The Qur’an: a New Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem which represents the latest approach to English translation of Al Quran. As an Arab Muslim who has surely been familiar with Al Quran earlier, Haleem’s translation title “A New Translation” must certainly represent a new perspective in Quranic translation. His work also becomes one of the latest mass-market attempts to publish English translations of Al Quran (Mohammed, 2005). Reflecting on those factors, the study finds it interesting to figure out which translation is more interpretive in communicating the meaning of Al Fatiha.



2.1. Relevance Theory          

The notion of interpretive mode in translation is rooted in the relevance theory in pragmatics. Therefore, in order to arrive at the adequate understanding of how to assess the interpretiveness of translation, this study would like to propose the essentials of relevance theory as the theoretical foundation.

Relevance theory principally concerns how to establish a successful communication by means of relevant stimuli (either verbally or non-verbally) which then help the communication participants mutually arrive at the intended understanding. This theory then sees communication as the result of the interplay between context of a communicative stimulus and the processing effort required to infer meaning from that stimulus (Palumbo, 2009: 100). Processing effort refers to the mental or cognitive resources required to process stimuli, that is, the degree of relevance depends on the effort a stimulus would require to process and on the cognitive or contextual effects that would be gained (Allott, 2010: 166). The more precise recipients’ interpretation about the intended meaning of a stimulus, the more relevant the stimulus is. A verbal input can be optimally relevant when: (1) it enables recipients to find the intended meaning without unnecessary effort; and (2) the intended meaning provides adequate benefits to the recipients, i.e. modifying recipients’ knowledge known technically as positive contextual effects (Gutt, 1998: 43).

Accordingly, relevance theory is relevant enough to be adopted in translation studies in the light of translation as an interlingually written communication. Developed by Ernest-August Gutt in his book Translation and Relevance: Cognition and Context (1991), the relevance approach becomes significant on the basis that the success of translation is determined by how it communicates the ST message in an optimally relevant way to the TT readers and, above all, succeeds in guiding them to gain the intended interpretation of the ST.

As the relevance approach in translation allows modifications such as addition or omission in the TT to be optimally relevant to the readers who have different cognitive backgrounds from the ST readers, it is therefore interesting to see how such issue is met in the translations of a chapter of Al Quran; the scripture which the content and form become its inherent and thus essential elements.


2.2. Interpretive Use

As relevance theory deals with how to pursue an optimal relevance in communication, it is therefore concerned with how the communication participants use language in an optimally relevant way. According to this theory, there are two modes of using language:

1)      Descriptive use when it is intended to be taken as true of a state of affairs;

2)      Interpretive use when it is intended to represent what someone said or thought (Gutt, 1998: 44).

Descriptive use occurs when, for example, someone produces an utterance to relevantly represent a particular situation according to what he/she factually grasps. On the other hand, interpretive use occurs when someone uses an utterance to relevantly represent or resembles another’s thought or utterance without being distorted by his/her own thought. Accordingly, when both are employed to represent another’s thought or utterance, interpretive utterance would be more unbiased than descriptive one since the latter would provide an utterance as an ostensibly factual description of the way it is but most probably fail to convey the intended interpretation.

Based on the notion above, translation falls naturally under the interpretive use as it is intended to restate what someone said or thought in one language into another language (Gutt, 1998: 46). This process is done so that the TT resembles the ST in relevant ways. Hence, the keyword is the degree of “resemblance” between the ST and the TT. Such resemblance can be assessed by the degree of explicit and implicit contents or explicature and implicature they share (Gutt, 1998:45).

As stated earlier, the resemblance cannot be precisely alike unless the original utterance is represented by a direct quotation. Hence, the degree of resemblance in interpretive use would vary as there might be addition, omission, paraphrasing or even literal reproduction in the TT. This notion has then led to the dichotomy of translation strategy: direct translation and indirect translation. The former pays much attention to the resemblance (faithfulness) as closely as possible to the ST whereas the latter allows more elaboration to meet the relevance to the TT readers. Such characterization corresponds with Vinay and Darbelnet’s categorization of translation procedures in which direct translation takes the forms of borrowing, calque (borrowing the expression form but translating its elements literally) and literal translation while oblique (indirect) translation includes transposition (replacing word class), modulation (change of point of view), equivalence (use of completely different stylistic and structural methods) and adaptation (creating new situation/expression that can be considered as being equivalent) (1995: 30-39).

Although both can be employed under interpretive framework, in practice, Hatim and Munday propose that they are not an either clear-cut choice but rather the two ends of a continuum (2004: 62). That is a logical consequence of the relevance variability in translation. In order to be optimally relevant to the ST, that is, the full commitment to total interpretive resemblance, particularly when dealing with a sensitive or sacred text in which form and content are equally crucial, direct translation ought to work well in this respect (Gutt in Hatim and Munday, 2004: 63). However, it is important to bear in mind that the essence of translation is to convey the intended meaning (interpretation) of the ST as closely as possible. Therefore, it is interesting to see how the two English translations of Al Fatiha anticipate the form-content dilemma.



This study is a descriptive qualitative research since it attempts to collect, categorize, describe and assess data of a study in the forms of groups of word indicating interpretive use in translations of a chapter of Al Quran. The data are two translation versions of the seven verses contained in Al Fatiha.

The data sources are the sura Al Fatiha consisting of seven verses and its two translation versions in English each taken from The Koran Interpreted by Arthur Arberry and The Qur’an; A New Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem. As relevance theory recognizes translation as naturally a kind of interlingual interpretive use, all translation verses in the TTs are considered the data of the research since they are the outputs of interpretive use of language.

The data are then analyzed by employing comparative technique. Each verse of the TTs is compared to identify the differences in rendering the corresponding verse of the ST. Next step is assessing the choices made in each verse of the TTs in order to ensure that it relevantly and interpretively translate the corresponding verse of the original. It would also involve the identification of translation strategies used by each TT. Since translating a single verse may involve more than one strategy, a verse may be divided into smaller parts where each of them can stand as a single meaningful unit. It can take forms of word, phrase, clause or even sentence. Hence, the differences between two translators in communicating the propositions of a verse can be discovered. Final step is drawing conclusions about which translation optimally utilizes the interpretive use to relevantly communicate the intended meaning of the original and also the implications of the choices they make to interpretively translate Al Fatiha.



4.1. Finding

            As stated in Section 3, the table below presents the comparison between the ST and the TTs on the verse basis. The differences occur between TT 1 and TT 2 in rendering the corresponding original verses are typed in bold.


Table 1. Comparison of each verse of the ST and the TTs

ST (Arabic) TT 1 (Arberry’s Translation) TT 2 (Haleem’s Translation)
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy!
اَلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ Praise belongs to God, the Lord of all Being, Praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds,
اَلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ the All-merciful, the All-compassionate, the Lord of Mercy,

the Giver of Mercy,

مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ the Master of the Day of Doom. Master of the Day of Judgement.
إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ Thee only we serve, to Thee alone we pray for succour. It is You we worship; it is You we ask for help.
اِهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَاطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ Guide us in the straight path, Guide us to the straight path:
صِرَاطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ the path of those whom Thou hast blessed, not of those against whom Thou art wrathful, nor of those who are astray. the path of those You have blessed, those who incur no anger and who have not gone astray.


The table shows that the translation differences always occur in every verse encompassing lexical and syntactic choices which suggest different semantic meaning. To recognize how those differences influence the degree of interpretive use, below are the detailed analyses of the translations of each verse.


  1. a) Verse 1

If the first part (بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ) is rendered word for word, it would mean “with/in name of God”. It looks equivalent to the Trinitarian formula in Christianity (i.e. in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). Arberry and Haleem seem to agree with their functional parallelism as opening prayer. Thus, both translators adopt the initial structure of the Trinitarian formula (in the name of) so that it would be easily recognized by the English speaking people instead of other unfamiliar structures. Although the prefixed preposition بِ in Arabic has a range of meanings: by, with, in, at, and so on, in the name of formula is the closest equivalent which best represents the meaning and function of the original. The addition of definite article before name is then the consequence of relevance consideration to the TTs readers even though the original does not use definite article ال before اِسْم. Both translators also use the word God as the equivalent of Allah which consists of two units: definite article al- and ilah (god) so that the literal meaning is the god. The word God is a relevant choice in order to let the TTs readers know that Muslims also worships the same deity as the Jews and Christians and that Islam is the continuation of God’s revelation after Jesus (Mohammed, 2005). Hence, in this part, both employ equivalence (indirect translation) by adopting fixed expression.

Difference occurs when translating the subsequent part. Arberry looksٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ  and ٱلرَّحِيمِ as two synonymous words. Although they function as nouns (as the names of God), they are both adjectives. Hence, he chooses adjectival equivalents in English (merciful and compassionate) with definite articles the like the original has. In this way, there is a formal correspondence between the ST and the TT. In fact, rahmān and rahīm are cognates which derive from the same root رَحِمَ (rahīma) whose meaning in dictionary is “to be merciful” or “have mercy upon” (Penrice, 1991: 56). It indicates that they are etymologically related. Semantically, rahmān is a kind of mercy owned by God only for every being in every world while rahīm is an attribute can be either possessed by God or any being to show or have mercy upon (Shihab, 2007: 38). Consequently, Arberry’s choice of not using the parallel cognates in English would be semantically problematic. The word compassionate denotes feeling or showing sympathy for people who are suffering (Hornby, 2005: 307). Such word would limit the range of mercy shown by the word rahīm. It would imply that God’s mercy is only upon those who are suffering or have misfortune.

In this case, Haleem agrees that the semantic relationship betweenرَحۡمَـٰن  and رَحِيم would be lost if they are rendered into pairs of words from different roots such as merciful-compassionate, gracious-merciful or beneficent-merciful despite their synonymous meanings (2001: 16). Accordingly, he transposes the word class of adjectival words Rahmān and Rahīm into nominal phrases Lord of Mercy and Giver of Mercy. Such choices more comprehensively accommodate the cognate relationship between Rahmān and Rahīm. He also adds an exclamation mark (!) indicating that reciting this verse acts as an invocation to God. Here, Haleem represents the intended interpretation of rahmān and rahīm more interpretively.


  1. b) Verse 2

Literally, the original verse reads the praise and thanks (be) to God, Lord of the worlds. Arabic linguists perceive the two letters (ا) and (ل) as the prefix to حَمْدُ do not merely act as a definite article but also function as al-istighraq which denotes “all” (Shihab, 2007: 27). Yet, both translators seem to consider the aspect of relevance to the TTs readers. They omit the definite article along with al-istighraq concept and apply biblical style. Every time the word praise occurs in the Bible, no matter what function and meaning it carries, it always stands on its own and never to be accompanied by any determiner, for examples: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3); Praise the Lord, my soul, all my inmost being, praise his holy name (Psalms 103:1) (Popular Bible Verses about Praise, 2009). Such translation strategy is also included as an equivalence procedure as it deals with fixed expression.

As stated above, حمد in Arabic means praise and thanks. That is why orthodox translation of Al Quran renders it as all the praises and thanks be to Allah (Khan and Al-Hilali, 1998: 1). Yet, such kind of rendering looks redundant in English. Arberry and Haleem realize this dilemma and do not compel to do the same way. They seem to realize that the most relevant way is to narrow the word into one single sense: praise (Haleem, 2011: 17). Then, the use of belongs to instead of be to indicates that the intended meaning of لِ in لِلَّهِ is “belongs to” or “is due to” which implies the verse as a declaration and/or affirmation, rather than a tentative wish like the subjunctive “be” in “praise be to him” (Haleem, 2011: 17). In this case, both translators apply modulation procedure (semantic modification).

As for the second part of the verse (رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ), both literally render رَبِّ literally as Lord. Yet, there is a slight difference in rendering .العلمين Arberry renders it as all being which may imply that God’s authority over animate and invisible creatures only, not including inanimate things such as air, earth, oceans, solar system, etc. In fact, the original semantically means worlds; the plural form of عَالَمٌ meaning a world (Penrice, 1991: 99). In this case, Haleem’s translation is much more interpretive by using literal translation: Lord of the worlds. The addition of definite article in front of the word Lord in Arberry’s translation intentionally wants to signify or emphasize that it is God as the Lord. On the other side, Haleem does not see it as necessary since the word Lord with the letter “L” capitalized has clearly conveyed such concept. Moreover, the ST itself does not attach definite article اَلْ to the word رَبِّ either.


  1. c) Verse 3

Although this verse repeats the second part of verse 1, each translator treats it differently. Haleem immediately repeats the whole phrases of the first verse: the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy. He proposes that the repetition functions to emphasize this epithet which is central to the description of God in this sura (Haleem, 2011: 18). There is no option but to repeat it completely. Hence, the transposition strategy is repeated.

On the other side, Arberry sees this verse more than just a repetition for emphasis. Rather, this verse specifies the most fundamental attributes of God in more detail. God’s mercy and compassion are in the highest degree that nothing compares to His. Hence, God is the all-Merciful, the all-Compassionate.

Both options might bring different implications. In Arberry’s version, this verse becomes a bit different from verse 1 by adding the combining form all-. Here, there is a modulation of semantic feature of the verse (from abstract to more concrete or detailed description). Yet, contextually, even without addition of any corresponding combining particle like all- in English, al-Rahmān al-Rahīm in Arabic already imply the incomparability of God’s mercy and compassion. Therefore, it is not necessary to add or modify the rendering of al-Rahmān al-Rahīm as already appear in the first verse. In addition to semantically problematic choice made by the word compassionate, Arberry seems to less interpretively resemble the original verse structurally.


  1. d) Verse 4

Both translators agree to literally translate the word مَـٰلِكِ as Master since the Arabic word in this context refers to the one who is able to control or is lord over something (Penrice, 1991: 140). Yet, Arberry perceives that it is necessary to add definite article the in order to more highlight the implication that it is God who is the Master. For Haleem, this verse acts the same as the previous one: the use of capital letter of “M” for Master already signifies such interpretation besides the fact that the original verse in Arabic does not use definite article اَلْ either.

The difference occurs in dealing with the noun phrase yaumi al-dīn. This phrase consists of two words: يَوۡمِ (yaumi) literally means “day” and ٱلدِّينِ (al-dīn) means “the Judgment.” The latter has the same root with the word دَيْنٌ means a debt and دِيْنٌ means obedience or judgment (Penrice, 1991: 50). While Haleem renders it as the Day of Judgment, Arberry opts to translate it as “the Day of Doom.” Either of them contextually refers to the same object: the Doomsday or the Day of Judgment or the end of all material and spiritual worlds followed by resurrection from the dead and every being will be judged by God. Such parallel eschatological concept between Judaism, Christianity and Islam is recognized by both translators. In this case, Haleem opts to use a direct (literal) translation while Arberry employs indirect translation (modulation). Despite using different approach, both succeed to represent the intended meaning of the original verse in relevant way to the TTs readers.


  1. e) Verse 5

The noticeable difference in translating this verse is the syntactic choice. In Arberry’s translation, the TT attempts to closely resemble the syntactic structure of the original in Arabic. He applies the lexical calque procedure by placing the direct object at the beginning of the clauses:

iyyā-ka na’budu wa iyyā-ka nasta’inu.

Thee only we serve, to Thee alone we pray for succour.

The suffix pronoun ka means “you” as the direct object is attached to the bound particle iyyā to syntactically help the suffix pronoun function as the direct object. The iyyā itself does not have a true semantic meaning in Arabic (Abu-Chacra, 2007: 94). It means that what the original verse conveys is to emphasize that it is God that we serve or worship. To make the TT really convey the intended interpretation, Arberry adds the word only to the first clause and the word alone to the second one to highlight the importance of the word “Thee” in the intended meaning of this verse. On the other hand, Haleem opts to apply the clefting structure i.e. It is You we worship; It is You we ask for help. Either Arberry or Haleem exactly represents the same meaning and conveys the intended interpretation. Yet, stylistically, the options Arberry takes are typically represent literary structure and archaism which sounds old-fashioned whereas Haleem’s cleft structure is more fashionable. In terms of translation strategy, Arberry obviously employs direct translation, i.e. borrowing the expression form but then translating each of its element literally (calque) while Haleem uses indirect one (transposition or change of syntactic structure).

Arberry’s choice (we serve) and Haleem’s choice (we worship) in translating na’budu does not make ambiguity since the original word is indeed rooted from the word عَبَدَ which has a range of meaning, but primarily means “to worship, to serve, to adore” (Penrice, 1991: 94). The problematic aspect is the difference in translating nasta’inu. It is rendered as “we seek for succour” in Arberry’s and “we ask for help” in Haleem’s. Although the use of “succour” is more poetic than “help”, it does not assure that it would convey the precise interpretation. Succour semantically means help to somebody who is suffering or having problems (Hornby, 2005: 1533). Using such word would then limit God’s help which is only given to those who are suffering while in fact every being does need His help in any circumstance. Therefore, the use of “ordinary word” like “help” would encompass any situation and condition, in hardship or prosperity. In other words, Haleem renders this verse more interpretively (by being more literally) while Arberry – using modulation – tends to emphasize the prettiness of words which a bit distorts the meaning.


  1. f) Verse 6

In Arabic, the word اِهۡدِنَا is derived from the root هَدَي  meaning “to lead in the right way” or “direct aright” when it is paired with the preposition لِ (to) or اِلىَ (into) (Penrice, 1991: 153). The word اِهۡدِنَا is the second person masculine singular imperative verb whose implicit subject is God (The Quranic Arabic Corpus, 2009). And the suffix pronoun نَا denotes “us”. Hence, the word اِهۡدِنَا implies a request to God for guidance to the straight/right path (ٱلصِّرَاطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ). However, the original verse does not use prepositions لِ (to) or اِلىَ (into) after the word اِهۡدِنَا (guide us). It suggests that the requesters (i.e. Muslims) have already been on the straight path (Islam) but they still need guidance all the way through until they ultimately and safely enter its end: heaven (Shihab: 2007: 66).

The choices made by Arberry and Haleem in translating this verse then make the difference. Although both attempt to render the verse literally (directly), Arberry cleverly copes with the absence of the preposition اِلىَ in the original. He adds the preposition in after the phrase guide us to convey the intended interpretation to the readers in English. On the contrary, Haleem pairs the verb guide with the preposition to. Such option would consequently imply that embracing Islam has not been on the right path. Such interpretation deviates from the original. Therefore, in terms of interpretative use, Arberry exceeds Haleem in this verse.


  1. g) Verse 7

Stylistic difference occurs in translating صِرَاطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ where Arberry tends to apply archaic           style while Haleem comes with more fashionable words. They also omit the prepositional phrase عَلَيۡهِمۡ literally means on them in order not to be so redundant and thus meet the relevance to English style. However, both translations syntactically and semantically appropriately represent the original: using perfect tense construction صِرَاطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ = the path of those Thou hast blessed = the path of those You have blessed. In this case, they both employ direct translation with the spirit of faithfulness.

Meanwhile, they treat the next part differently. While being more archaic, Arberry attempts to literally resemble the structure of the original and follow the semantic point of view (negation). It begins with the word not as the equivalence to غَيۡرِ to make the subsequent noun phrases: al-maghdhūbi (those against whom Thou art wrathful) and al-dhāllīn (those who are astray) as the clear opposites of what is mentioned earlier: alladzīna an’amta alayhim (those Thou hast blessed). On the other hand, Haleem omits the word not (غَيۡرِ) at the beginning of the phrase and changes such point of view into those who incur no anger and who have not gone astray. With this rendering, Haleem’s translation still refers to the kind of people mentioned earlier in this verse (people who have been blessed). In fact, this verse style actually attempts to make opposition between those who receive God’s grace and wicked and lost people whose path must never be followed. Hence, Haleem’s rendering indirectly overlooks the other groups of people (those who incur wrath and those who have gone astray).

However, the use of Thou to refer to God in Arberry’s translation in rendering al-maghdhūbi remains problematic. In Arabic, it is a passive participle literally means those who earn angry which does not exactly mention who exactly gets angry. That is why in Islamic theology, any negative attribute is not supposed to be attributed to God (Shihab, 2007: 75). In this case, adding second pronoun Thou or You as in Arberry’s version would distort the intended interpretation while Haleem’s translation goes in line with the original (omitting the subject Thou or You). Overall, both translators fail to perfectly represent the meaning of this verse in interpretive way since each employs problematic choices (the use of Thou and point-of-view modulation).


4.2. Discussion

In general, the finding shows that Haleem’s translation of Al Fatiha is more interpretive than Arberry’s. Of the seven verses, Haleem only fails to be interpretive in translating verse 6 and 7. In terms of translation strategy, the finding also reveals that whatever strategy they use (either direct or indirect) does not determine the degree of interpretiveness. Both approaches can be used in order to interpretively represent the intended meaning of the ST. The point is how exact the information is communicated to the readers.

In quantity, Arberry applies more indirect translation (6 times) than Haleem (5 times). He also uses direct translation (5 times) more than Haleem (4 times). However, the finding shows that Haleem’s work is more appropriate to represent the meaning of Al Fatiha. Semantically, Haleem’s translation can be more easily interpreted by the English speaking readers. This corresponds with the principle of relevance in translation. It is primarily the consequence of Haleem’s fashionable style in translating the seven verses.

Compared to Arberry’s archaic style and literary minded approach, Haleem’s choices (structures and word choices) would be more accessible to the readers to grab the intended meaning with lower processing effort. Words such as Lord of the Worlds instead of Lord of all Being and help instead of succour more closely represent what Al Fatiha means to say.

Another difference between these two translators is the way they interpretively translate the verses. Considering his approaches, particularly for verse 1, 5 and 7, it is clear that Arberry moves towards the formal correspondence end. He uses the parallel adjectives for اَلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ: the Merciful, the Compassionate although morphologically such choices would loose the connection between the two words in Arabic. He also attempts to replicate the ST syntactic structure. For example, iyyā-ka na’budu wa iyyā-ka nasta’inu is rendered in English as Thee only we serve, to Thee alone we pray for succour. The direct object is placed at the beginning of the clauses, similar to the original verse. The same case also happens to translating verse 7 in which Arberry uses negation structure. With those sophisticated choices, this translation would need much higher processing efforts to comprehend, particularly for the masses. Arberry’s approach is relatively intended for scholarly purpose. That is why his work is widely acclaimed by intellectuals (Mohammed, 2005).

On the other hand, Haleem chooses to move away from the formal correspondence. It cannot be disconnected from the fact that his work is one of the most recent mass-market attempts to publish an English translation of the Al Quran (Mohammed, 2005). By transposition and modulation, he is assertive that the structural constructions of the original should not be necessarily reproduced in English as they would generate alien structures. As far as the intended meaning can be well conveyed, Haleem is willing to apply word class transposition, structural changes and even semantic point of view modulation. It appears in the translations of verse 1, 3, 5 and 7. However, his modulation choices for verse 6 and 7 might distort the intended interpretation.

The finding also leads to the notion that actually those translations represent different segments of people. Arberry’s version seems to translate Al Fatiha from the non-Muslim and non-Arab perspective while Haleem’s translation much carries Islamic theological principles as well as Arab point of view. For instance, in translatingٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ, Haleem’s rendering is based on Arabic morphological aspect so that the connection between al-Rahmān and al-Rahīm would be retained, the aspect which Arberry has overlooked.

In other crucial cases, Arberry also fails to accommodate the meaning of nasta’inu in verse 5. The word succour he uses would then narrow the grace of God to those who are suffering. It can be understood that as a Christian, Arberry may be influenced by Christian theological values in which Jesus is perceived to much champion the poor or lowly people rather than the rich ones; things that Jesus preached during the historical Sermon on the Mount. In fact, such value is contradictory to Islamic principles which believe that anyone is equal before God and the degree of piety is the only factor that makes the difference. The same case also occurs in translating the word ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ in verse 2. In verse 7, Arberry also assigns the attribute wrath on God as if the one who is angry is God while in fact, Quranic exegeses as well as Haleem himself maintain that any negative attributes must not be assigned to God.

Despite Haleem’s less interpretive approach in rendering verse 6 and 7, his cultural background is influential for his benefit. As an Egyptian native, Haleem has internalized Arab culture including its language and religion. Having been a hafiz (Al Quran memorizer) since childhood, he was educated at Al Azhar University, Cambridge University and received professorship of Islamic Studies at University of London (Haleem, 2005). With such CV, Haleem’s credentials are complete. On the other side, in addition to studying and receiving professor of Arabic title at Cambridge University, Arberry is a British orientalist who spent some years serving as professor of Classics at Cairo University (Mohammed, 2005). However, as a Muslim, Haleem has acquainted with Islam and Al Quran earlier than Arberry. Such factor seems to be crucial enough that eventually makes a difference to the translations they produce.



From the finding and discussion, there are some conclusions to draw. First, the comparison shows that Haleem’s English translation of Al Fatiha is overall more interpretive than Arberry’s version. Although indirect translation is more dominantly used by both translators, the study reveals that any kind of translation strategy (either direct or indirect) does not determine the degree of interpretiveness as long as the rendering exactly conveys the information and meaning to the readers.

Second, with more fashionable and familiar structures and words, Haleem’s choices closely adhere to the principle of relevance as his rendering needs much lower processing efforts than Arberry’s archaism and literary style. This point has led to the implication that Arberry’s translation moves towards formal ends yet in some aspects overlooks the intended meaning of the original. On the contrary, Haleem’s fashionable choices indicate his translation moves away from formal correspondence with the ST but are able to precisely communicate the message of the original, except the verse 6 and 7.

Third, the finding also has implication that each translation targets different segment of readers. Arberry’s archaic and literary style would rather be suitable for those with sufficient knowledge background and information in theology, particularly Islam, such as academics, theologians, courtesy of the choices like the word succour, all Being, Merciful and Compassionate which most probably generate biases or broad interpretation. Such translation can therefore be categorized as a scholarly translation. As for Haleem’s translation, its light and fashionable choices might be intended for mass-market purpose and ordinary people. Therefore, his translation can be categorized as a popularized translation.

In relation to the critical value of sacred or sensitive texts such as Al Quran, this study suggests that translating such texts should consider two factors that potentially influence the translators. First is cultural background. Although Arberry and Haleem are both bona fide scholars who excel at Islamic Studies and Arabic, their religious background respectively as a non-Muslim British and an Egyptian-born Muslim are depicted in the translations of Al Fatiha they produce. As far as the rendering keep up with relevance principle and convey the message accurately, it should not be a concern. It would just be worrying when it leads to distortion of the message.

Another factor is contextual knowledge. Translation of Al Quran should not be loosely connected with Islamic theology. As the supreme source of Islamic teachings, its single verse can have general meaning and may need to be interpreted by another verse and/or prophetic tradition (hadith). Hence, any attempt of translating the holy book would better consult reliable Quranic exegeses. Otherwise, the intended meaning of Al Quran would not be represented interpretively.



Abdul-Raof, Hussein. 2001. Qur’an Translation: Discourse, Texture and Exegesis. Oxford: Routledge

Abu-Chacra, Faruk. 2007. Arabic: An Essential Grammar. Oxon: Routledge

Allott, Nicholas. 2010. Key Terms in Pragmatics. London: Continuum

Arberry, Arthur J. 1996. The Koran Interpreted. New York: Touchstone

Gutt, Ernst-August. 1998. Pragmatic Aspects of Translation: Some Relevance-Theory

Observations, in Leo Hickey (ed.), The Pragmatics of Translation, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp. 41-53.

Haleem, M.A.S. Abdel. 2005. The Qur’an: A New Translation. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Haleem, Muhammad Abdel. 2011. Understanding the Quran: Themes and Styles. London: I.B. Tauris

Hatim, Basil and Munday, Jeremy. 2004. Translation; an Advanced Resource Book. New York: Routledge

Hornby, A.S. 2005. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary: 7th Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Khan, Muhammad Muhsin and Al-Hilali, Muhammad Taqiuddin. 1998. The Noble Qur’an: The English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary. Medina: King Fahd Complex

Mohammed. Khaleel. 2005. Assessing English Translations of the Qur’an. The Middle East Quarterly, Vol. 12 Number 2, pp. 58-71 Retrieved September 28, 2015 from

Palumbo, Giuseppe. 2009. Key Terms in Translation Studies. London: Continuum

Penrice, John. 1991.  A Dictionary and Glossary of the Koran with Copious

Grammatical References and Explanatory of the Text. Delhi: Adam Publishers and Distributors

Popular Bible Verses about Praise. 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2016 from

Shihab, M. Quraish. 2007. Tafsir Al-Mishbah: Pesan, Kesan dan Keserasian Al-Qur’an Volume 1. Tangerang: Lentera Hati

The Quranic Arabic Corpus – Word by Word Grammar, Syntax and Morphology of the Holy Quran. 2009. Retrieved April 02, 2016 from

Vinay and Darbelnet. 1995. Comparative Stylistics of French and English; a Methodology for Translation. Amsterdam: John Benjamin.

Text Linguistics and Skopos Theory and their Application in Translation Teaching

by Sugeng Hariyanto (State Polyetchnic of Malang)


Translation industry is developing very fast with the economic globalization and digital/internet technology development. Unfortunately, the teaching of translation in universities has not adopted techniques that can response this situation. This paper  aims to propose a translation teaching technique to train the students to produce target texts demanded in the translation business. The technique is proposed by considering two influential concepts in translation theory, i.e., Text Linguistics and Skopos Theory.

Text linguistics is a branch of linguistics that deals with texts as communication systems. Text linguistics takes into account the form of a text and its setting, i.e. the way in which it is situated in an interactional, communicative context. In relation to translation, it can be said that translation is not only the business of analyzing the source text sentence by sentence. Instead, the author and the intended audience and the purpose of communication should also be considered.

Skopos theory is closely related to text-types and also emphasizes the importance of translation purposes. With these ideas as the basis, this article gives example how to apply text linguistics and skopos theory in classroom context to teach functional text translation. The translation teaching materials are selected based on the text type and difficulty levels, students are trained to do text-analysis and be made aware of the purpose of the source text is not always the same with the purpose of the target text. Prior to giving a translation practice, therefore, the teacher writes the clearest translation brief possible

Keywords: text linguistics, skopos theory, classroom teaching, translation teaching



Translation has been done since long time ago. The activities have created a new profession, i.e. translator. According to Hariyanto (2006), there are two markets for translation business, i.e. publishers (national level) and translation agents (international level). Publishers publish translated books for several reasons. At least there are three motivations: academic, empowerment and business motivations. With academic motivation, the publishers translate books to meet academic demand. For example, Resist Book translates and publishes a book on Chomsky to meet the need for literature on Chomsky in Bahasa Indonesia. They also translate and publish books to empower the readers, for example, in the fields of democratization, human rights, entrepreneurship and other fields. Finally, as the most dominating motivation, publishers translate and publish books for economic reasons. Publication of translated books is more profitable rather than publishing local works. As a comparison, local writer’s royalty is 10% to 20%; and royalty for translated book is only 6% to 7%. Hence, publishers pay less when they publish translated books than when they publish books written by local writers. This is not to mention “copy left” publishers who publish book translated book without first buying the copyright. In terms of quality, usually local writer’s quality is low; while great writers are, unfortunately, co-opted by big publishers. In terms of marketing, some translated books are already backed up with international success. This is illustrated by the high demand of the translation version of Harry Potter, the best seller novel ever.

The translation business in the international market is boosted by the globalization needs. With globalization, many manufacturers want to sell their products in other countries. They need to talk to the people of other countries in their local languages. The text types vary now. They do not only cover novels and textbooks but also websites and software interfaces.


The Practice in Translation Teaching

The great challenges of translation business illustrated above, however, are not paralleled with the fact found in educational institutions producing potential translators. Chriss, as cited by Nababan (2007:2), states that up to these days the basic approach in translation teaching seems to remain unchanged from the time of the School of Scribes in Ancient Egypt. The teacher gives out a source text to the students and then without any briefing and notes asks them to translate the text in the class or at home. Upon completing, the target text is then discussed in great depth and detail by the whole class to find out what is lack in the translation. In other words, the translation class is searching for “good” translation. A question to ask is then “good for whom?” or “on what criteria or bases”? As a consequence, such practice can hardly produce potential translator who can take the challenge of the translation business in which a target text should firstly meet the purpose of translating the source text.

This paper, therefore, aims to propose a translation teaching technique which hopefully can train the students to produce target texts demanded in the translation business. The technique is proposed by considering two influential concepts in translation theory, i.e., Text LinguisticsandSkopos Theory. Thus, in its discussion this paper explicates some concepts of Text Linguistics,Skopos Theory andits Translation-oriented text analysis and then describes the translation teaching technique proposed.



Text Linguistics

            It is mentioned in the background of this paper that texts to be translated in translation business nowadays are various. For Indonesian publishers, translators translate textbooks, popular books, novels, children books, books on Information Technology (IT) and many others; as for many international and a few national translation agents, Indonesian translators work on texts like technical manuals, websites, software interfaces, advertisements, legal documents, annual reports, and many others.

In relation to text-type, Snell-Hornby (1988) classifies translation into three general categories: literary translation, general translation and special language translation. Literary translation is the translation of literary works and Bible, and general translation is translation of newspaper, information text and advertising. Finally, special language translation covers the translation of legal, economic, medicine and science/technology texts. For all of these translation types, text linguistics is necessary. This can be seen in the following chart.

texttype-relevent criteria

Chart 1: Text Types and Relevant Criteria for Translation


What is text linguistics anyway? In general, it can be said that text linguistics is a branch of linguistics that deals with texts as communication systems. Text linguistics takes into account the form of a text and its setting, i.e. the way in which it is situated in an interactional, communicative context. Thus, author of a text and its addressee are studied in their respective social and/or institutional roles in the specific communicative context.[1] [It is worth noted that Halliday (1978 and 1994) and his followers also talk about the similar concept of analysis under the discussion of genre.] In relation to translation, it can be said that translation is not only the business of analyzing the source text sentence by sentence. Instead, the author and the intended audience and the purpose of communication should also be considered.

In relation to this, Reiss (1977/1989) has been very influential in focusing attention on the function of text – both in the context of the original and in the context of the situation that demands a translation. As a matter of fact, her approach considers the text rather than the word or the sentence as the translation unit and hence the level at which equivalence is to be sought.

She classifies texts based on discourse function into: (a) informative, (b) expressive, and (c) operative. A text is classified as an informative text if the content is the main focus. This kind of texts plainly communicates facts, information, knowledge, opinions, etc. The logical or referential dimension of language is the main aspect involved. Texts are called expressive if the focus is on creative composition and aesthetics aspects. Both the author and the message are what are foregrounded. The examples are imaginative creative literature texts. Next, an operative text is a text whose focus is the appellative aspect. Here the text appeals to the readers to act in a certain way by persuading, dissuading, requesting, and cajoling them. Usually the form of language is dialogic.

Correspondingly Reiss (1977/1989) advocates specific translation methods for each of these text types. The target text of an informative text should be in plain prose with explication where required, because the aim is to transmit the referential content of the text. The target text of an expressive text should use the identifying method, the translator having to look at it from the ST author’s standpoint. The translation of an operative text has to employ the adaptive method, where the translator tries to create the same effect on the readers, as the ST. See chart 2 for a better understanding of specific translation methods for each of these text types [adapted by Munday (2001: 74) based on Reiss (1977/1989)].

text types-transla-methods

Chart 2: Functional Characteristics of Text Types and Links to Ttranslation                     Methods

Reiss (1977/1989) also talks of evaluatory criteria, which vary according to text types. Thus while the translation of any content-oriented text has to aim at semantic equivalence, and a popular science piece will have to preserve the ST style, there is greater need to retain a metaphor in an expressive text than in an informative target text. She thinks that one could measure the adequacy of a target text (TT) by intra-linguistic criteria—like semantic, grammatical and stylistic features—and extra-linguistic criteria—like situation, subject field, time, place, receiver, sender and implications like humor, irony, emotion etc.

text types

Chart 3. Types of Text.

Reiss (1977/1989) also proposes a text typology. Chart 3 illustrates the typology. The above typology is a useful typology of texts but it is clear that texts are often not easily categorized. One single text can have several characteristics. A biography could have informative as well as appellative content. A personal letter could well be informative, expressive and appellative as can be an advertisement. The important thing here is that her approach is built on earlier ideas of rhetoric and language analysis.

SkoposTheory and Translation-Oriented Text Analysis

Skopos Theory

It is clear from the above discussion on text linguistics that the approach to translation can be closely related to the type of text to translate. Translation theory that has a big concern on text-type is skopos theory or Skopos theorie introduced by Vermeer (1989/2000), the theory that applies the notion of Skopos (a Greek word for purpose) to translation. The translation process of a text is guided by its function i.e. the use of a receiver makes of a text or the meaning that the text has for the receiver. In other words, the prime principle determining any translation process is the purpose/skopos of the overall translational action.

Briefly, Reiss and Vermeer (in Nord, 1997: 29) mention the following Skopos rule:

Each text is produced for a given purpose and should serve this purpose. The Skopos rule thus reads as follows: translate/interpret/speak/write in a way that enables your text/translation to function in the situation in which it is used and with the people who want to use it and precisely in the way they want it to function.

Skopos theory is not only closely related to text-types, but also to the importance of translation purposes which is always oriented to the target readers, especially their response. The difference in focus here is that the ST is the point of departure and the skopos refers to knowing why an ST is to be translated and what the function of the TT will be. Skopos theory focuses on the purpose of the translation, which determines the methods and strategies of translating, which are employed to produce functionally adequate result (Munday, 2001: 79).

Skopos theory which emerged in Germany (Hatim, 2001: 73) is within functionalism. Skopos idea relies on key concepts in pragmatics that is intention and action. There are two important skopos rules:

Skopos rule 1: Intention is determined by its purpose.

Skopos rule 2: purpose varies according to the text receiver.

Translator decision is governed by textual and contextual factors. One of the contextual factors is audience design which accounts for the way a target text is intended to be received. This will affect the translation strategies selected by the translator.

Target text must be produced with the given purpose in mind and that translation will function well when shaped by a particular purpose. Three major kinds of purpose are already recognized: communicative, strategic, and general purposes (Hatim, 2001: 74)

Such purposes cannot be equally important. The success or failure of a translation is ultimately decided whether it can be interpreted successfully by the targeted recipient in a manner that is consistent whit what is expected of it (Hatim, 2001: 75)

In skopos theory, the success or failure of translation is often mentioned as success or protest. Success means definitely success in transferring the text function and protest means failure. A successful translation elicits no protest from the target recipient. No protest means the message received in the manner intended and/or expected. Thus, intention is related with function. Intention is judged by the writer of source text and the function is judged by the receiver (Hatim, 2001: 75). Success of a translation is measured in terms of harmony of content and intention. Content means content of message. Intention means intention of producer or translator (Hatim, 2001: 75). There are two kinds of textual coherence: (a) intra-textual coherence and (b) intertextual coherence. Here intra-textual coherence is more important. (Hatim, 2001: 76).

As a matter of fact, text only contains information offer. Thus, a text may mean many different things to many receivers (Hatim, 2001: 76-77). Therefore, the target readers must be taken into account. Who, then, determines the skopos or purpose of translation? The skopos is determined by the initiator or commissioner of the translation, the translation brief and the type of translation.

In a translation project, there are at least three roles: initiator, commissioner, and translator. The following is an example of a case in translation field.

One of the lectures in MalangStateUniversity has read a book on linguistics. He thought that the book must be translated into Bahasa Indonesia so that Indonesians can study linguistics from the remarkable book. He, then, sent a letter to a publisher to propose translating the book. The publisher agreed, and so the lecturer started translating.

Question: Who is the initiator? – The lecturer

                 Who is the commissioner? – The Publisher

               Who determines the translation purpose? – The lecturer


The commissioner gives a translation job to a translator. The “order” is called Translation Brief (Ind. Surat Perintah Kerja). The Translation brief shall contain the function of target text, target audience, where and when target text is to be read, what is the medium (spoken, written) and motive, i.e., why translation is needed. However, publishers rarely issue such a complete translation brief.

There are several principles claimed to be skopos rules by Reiss and Vermeer (1984, in Nord, 1997). The rules are as follows:

1. A translatum or target text (TT) is determined by its skopos.

2. A TT is an offer of information in a target culture and target language (TL)

3. A TT does not initiate an offer of information in a clearly reversible way.

4. A TT must be internally coherent.

5. A TT must be coherent with source text (ST).

6. The five rules above stand in hierarchical order, with the skopos rule predominating.


Translation-oriented text analysis

Related closely to skopos approach is text analysis prior to translating. Nord (1997: 59), one of the proponents of Skopos Theory, states that the elements of text analysis area; (a) the importance of the translation commission (translation brief), (b) the role of ST analysis, and (c) the functional hierarchy of translation problems. These points are briefly reviewed as follows.

The commission should give the following information: (a) the intended text function, (b) the addresses (sender and recipient), (c) the time and place of text reception, (d) the medium (speech and writing), and (e) the motive (why the ST was written and why it is being translated). This is also discussed above in which commission is termed by translation brief.

The ST analysis is also important. In analyzing the ST, according to Nord (1991), the most important thing is the pragmatic analysis of the communicative situation involved and the model to be used for ST and the translation brief.

Which factors are to be analyzed? They can be some of the following, i.e. subject matter; content including connotation and cohesion, presuppositions which mean the real-world factors of the communicative situation presumed to be known to the participants; composition including microstructure and macrostructure; non-verbal elements, for example illustrations and italic; lexis including dialect, registers and specific terminology; and sentence structure and suprasegmental features including stress, rhythm and stylistic punctuation.

Moreover, functions are important in translation. The things that should be noticed in relation to text functions among others are the intended function, the functional elements, and the translation types determining translation style, the problems of the text can then be tackled at lower linguistic levels as in the second point above.

Below is an advertisement a commissioner wants a translator to translate and under the text is the text analysis that may be done by the translator.

PR Advertorial – Copy Sheet

Headline Studies

Wulan reveals her ultimate beauty secretSub-headAs the new ambassador of Bella Skin Care, Wulan shares how Bella Skin Care helped her maintain flawless skin.

Body Copy

Q:   What is the secret behind your skin’s radiance?

WULAN:   I have always believed in the importance of going for regular, high-quality skincare treatments to achieve great skin.   Aside from using Bella Skin Care products daily, I go for weekly treatments to soothe my skin after hours of intense makeup sessions. Because of this, I am able to keep my skin in tip-top condition – perfectly supple and visibly revitalized.

Q: How do you keep your skin so luminous despite your hectic film schedule?

WULAN: I really love Bella Skin Care’s BioLymph High Symmetry System. It works wonders by detoxifying my skin and remodeling my facial contours, especially the problem areas around my eyes such as puffy eyes and eye bags – which results after long hours of filming.

Q: Among all the treatments, what is your favourite?

WULAN: One of my favourites is Bella Skin Care’s exclusive Depilux™ Hair Free System. This treatment painlessly impedes hair growth, leading to permanently silky, hair-free skin on any part of the body with zero down time. I’ll never have to worry about wearing revealing clothes during filming. With Bella Skin Care, I know I’m always at my best!

Promo Portion

Indulge in these fabulous beauty offers:

Wulan’s Skin Perfecting Package for perfectly balanced skin

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Wulan’s Ultra Whitening Package for fairer, clearer skin

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Wulan’s Nutritive Package for hydrated glowing skin

Get 30 Therapies at Rp4,000,000.00*


*Terms and conditions apply.


The text, under Snell-Hornby categorization, is a general text. The author is the Bella Skin Care firm. The audience is Indonesian young women, middle-up economic class, probably educated women. The purpose of the translation is to sell the product to Indonesian women. Based on Reiss’ categorization it is an operative text. As an operative text, the appropriate method of translation is adaptive method in which all means are taken to achieve equivalent effect, i.e. making Indonesian women buy the products. The target text therefore should focus on this appellative focus to elicit the desired response. The language dimension is dialogic, as evident in the source target also.

The translation of the advertisement above might be like the following.

PR Advertorial – Copy Sheet

Headline Studies

Wulan mengungkapkan rahasianya untuk cantik sempurna



Sebagai duta Bella Skin Care yang baru, Wulan mengungkapkan bagaimana Bella Skin membantu agar kulitnya tetap cantik sempurna.


Body Copy

Tanya: Apa rahasia dari kulit Anda yang indah berseri?

Wulan:   Saya selalu yakin akan pentingnya perawatan kulit yang rutin dan bermutu tinggi untuk mendapatkan kulit yang cemerlang. Selain menggunakan produk Bella Skin Care setiap hari, saya juga datang untuk mendapatkan perawatan seminggu sekali untuk menenangkan kulit saya setelah berjam-jam memakai riasan yang berat. Hasilnya, saya bisa menjaga kulit agar selalu dalam kondisi prima – lentur sempurna dan terlihat muda lagi.

Tanya: Bagaimana cara Anda merawat kulit sehingga tetap begitu bercahaya meskipun jadwal Anda main film sangat ketat?

Wulan: Saya sangat suka dengan Sistem BioLymph High Symmetry dari Bella Skin Care. Sistem ini manfaatnya sangat menakjubkan yaitu dengan mengeluarkan racun dari kulit dan membentuk kembali kontur wajah saya, terutama sekali di daerah yang bermasalah di sekitar mata seperti mata bengkak dan berkantung yang terjadi akibat bekerja berjam-jam main film.

Tanya: Di antara semua perawatan yang ada, yang mana yang paling Anda sukai?

Wulan: Salah satu perawatan dari Bella Skin Care yang paling saya sukai adalah Sistem Pembersihan Bulu Rambut Depilux™. Perawatan ini mencegah tumbuhnya bulu rambut tanpa rasa sakit, hasilnya kulit yang tetap sehalus sutra yang bebas dari bulu rambut dan ini bisa langsung terlihat hasilnya di bagian kulit mana pun pada tubuh. Saya tidak akan khawatir lagi bila harus mengenakan baju yang agak terbuka bisa sedang main film. Dengan Bella Skin Care, Saya yakin saya selalu dalam kondisi puncak!


Promo Portion

Manjakan diri Anda dengan berbagai penawaran istimewa berikut ini:

Paket Kulit Sempurna Wulan untuk kulit sehat sempurna

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Paket Pemutih Ultra Wulan untuk kulit lebih putih bersih

Dapatkan 30 Terapi dengan harga Rp 4.800.000*


Paket Nutrisi Wulan untuk kulit lembut bercahaya

Dapatkan 30 Terapi dengan harga Rp 4.000.000*


*Syarat dan ketentuan berlaku



Based on the discussion on Text Linguistics and Skopos Theory above, some points can be proposed for translation teaching as follows:

  1. The translation teaching material should be selected based on the genres (text type) and difficulty levels.
  2. Students should be trained to do text-analysis (based on text linguistics and skopos theory) to make sure that the characteristics of texts are well understood and the purpose of translation is well adopted.
  3. The students should be made aware of the purpose of the source text which might be different from the purpose of the target text. Therefore, the teacher should write translation brief as clearly as possible prior to giving translation practice.

The actual teaching technique can be like the following 9-step technique:

  1. The teacher makes a selection of the material to be translated based on the text type and translation audience.
  • Text type based on discourse function: expressive, informative, operative
  • Audience: children, adults, academicians, tourists, etc.
  1. The students are assigned to do text analysis to the source text based on skopos theory. The students, assisted by their teacher, should identify the source text, in terms of the type of text, the register, the style and the readership of the text selected, etc. Please note that the readership of the source text may be the same or different from the readership of the target text as stipulated in the translation brief. In either case, the analysis of such features above benefits the translators (students).
  2. The teacher should give a clear translation brief, including the purpose of the translation and the audience of the translation.
  3. The teacher guides a discussion on the similarities/differences between the source text characteristics (based on step 2) and the characteristic of the target text of the same text type (genre).
  4. Students do “deep” reading, by placing emphasis on items where translation problems may appear. This is called “reading with translation intention,” by Gerding-Salas (2000). When doing this, students should first underline unknown terms and then they should mentally confront potential translation difficulties in the text with suitable translation procedures, by keeping in mind the text as a whole.
  5. The students then translate the text using appropriate translation strategy but keeping in mind the purpose of the translation.
  6. The students hand in the final version.
  7. The teacher makes a final revision and returns the text to the students.
  8. The students finally make comments on the lesson learned in the translation learning process. And that is a kind of self-reflection.


Some new concepts in translation theory, i.e. Text Linguistics, Skopos Theory and Translation-oriented Text Analysis are not also fruitful to the translation strategies employed by the translators but also to its methods of teaching. The translation teaching materials are selected based on the text type and difficulty levels, students are trained to do text-analysis and be made aware of the purpose of the source text is not always the same with the purpose of the target text. Prior to giving translation practice, therefore, the teacher writes the clearest translation brief possible.



Gerding-Salas, Constanza. 2000. Teaching Translation: Problems and Solutions. Translation Journal. Vol. 4. July 2000. accessed from

Hariyanto, Sugeng. 2006. The Translation Business Prospect in National and International Levels. Paper presented in Seminar on Translation, STAIN Kediri.

Hatim, Basil. 2001. Teaching and Researching Translation. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Munday, Jeremy. 2001.  Introducing Translation Studies – Theories and Applications. London and New York: Routledge.

Nababan, Donald J. 2007. A Product or Process-Based Approach to Translation Training? A Glance at Translation Practice Course. A paper presented in FIT5th Asian translators Forum, Bogor, 11-12 April.

Nord, Christiane. 1991. Text Analysis in Translation: Theory, Method, and Didactic Application of a Model for Translation-Oriented Text Analysis. Amsterdam/Atlanta GA: Rodopi.

Nord, Christiane. 1997. Translation as a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained. Manchester: St Jerome.

Reiss, Katharina. (1977/1989) ‘Text Types, Translation Types and Translation Assessment’, translated by A. Chesterman, in A. Chesterman (ed.)(1989).

Snell-Hornby, Marry. 1988. Translation Studies: An Integrated Approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins B.V.

Vermeer, H. J. (1989/2000) ‘Skopos and Commission in Translational Action’ in L. Veneti (ed.) (2000).

Wikipedia. No date. Text Linguistics.


Teknologi Informasi dan Profesi Penerjemahan

Achmad Suyono, Sugeng Hariyanto, Politeknik Negeri Malang


Ada beberapa megatren yang mempengaruhi profesi penerjemahan. Beberapa dari megratren yang terpending adalah globalisasi ekonomi, perkembangan teknologi informasi dan digitalisasi. Globalisasi ekonomi menyebabkan sebuah perusahaan berusaha untuk hadir dan berbisnis di seluruh dunia. Untuk itu, perusahaan merasa perlu menerbitkan situs web dalam bahasa dimana perusahaannya akan beroperasi, menerbitkan dokumen produk dalam bahasa pasar sasaran, dll. Ini berarti penerjemahan menjadi salah satu alternatif untuk menghilangkan jarak psikologi. Perkembangan teknologi informasi telah mempengaruhi jenis teks dan karenanya mempengaruhi bagaimana teks itu harus diterjemahkan. Teks sekarang ini tidak saja tetrtulis di artas kertas, tetapi tersimpan di server internet dan bisa memuat gambar dan suara. Karakteristik jenis teks baru ini tentunya tidak bisa diterjemahkan dengan cara tradisional. Diperlukan perangkat lunak tertentu dan keterampilan tertentu di samping keterampilan linguistik yang digunakan di penerjemahan tradisional. Terakhir. dengan adanya digitalisasi membuat dokumen referensi yang dulu tercetak diatas kertas sekarang dengan mudah dibuka dan dirujuk menggunakan komputer. Hal ini juga terkait dengan perangkat lunak atau kemajuan teknologi informasi. Dengan digitalisasi, seorang penerjemah dapat membuka banyak kamus dan ensikopledia dalam beberapa detik saja. Artikel ini juga membahas secara ringkas apa-apa yang perlu dipersiapkan oleh penerjemah dalam rangka menjawab tantangan tiga butir megatren ini. Terakhir, pembahasan ini juga dapat ditarik lebar ke arah kurikulum pengajaran penerjemahan. Singkatnya, kurikulum harus juga memuat butir-butir keterampilan yang diperlukan untuk menjawab tantangan ini.


Kata kunci: megatren, globalisasi, teknologi informasi, digitalisasi, perangkat lunak penerjemahan, CAT Tool, mesin penerjemah, website, keterampilan penerjemahan, keprigelan penerjemah, kurikulum penerjemahan


Tiga Megatren yang Mempengaruhi Profesi Penerjemah

Tiga megatren yang mempengaruhi terjemahan dan profesi penerjemahan adalah: globalisasi ekonomi, perkembangan teknologi informasi, dan digitalisasi. Globalisasi berasal dari kata “globe” yang merujuk pada bola dunia. Globalisasi adalah suata proses meleburnya batas-batas negara sehingga individu, perusahaan, pemerintah beroperasi dengan pertimbangan kepentingan dirinya sendiri dan individu, perusahaan, pemerintah lain di seluruh permukaan “globe” (bola dunia). Pada dasarnya, globalisasi adalah integrasi intemasional (Chomsky[1]). Integrasi ini bisa di bidang budaya, sains, dan lain-lain. Namun, yang menjadi panglimanya sejauh ini adalah globalisasi ekonomi. Inti dari globalisasi ekonomi ini adalah berdagang di seluruh permukaan “globe” (bumi). Dalam rangka melakukan perdagangan inilah, perusahaan perlu membuat dokumen dalam bahasa pasar di bagian lain bumi ini. Dan ini adalah penerjemahan juga.

Globalisasi sekarang ini sedang kencang-kencangnya karena mendapat sokongan yang luar biasa dari bidang teknologi informasi. Teknologi informasi menurut Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), is “the study, design, development implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware.” Teknologi informasi (TI) secara umum meliputi penggunaan perangkat keras dan lunak komputer untuk mengonversi, menyimpan, melindungi, memroses dan membuka ulang informasi.[2] Dengan adanya teknologi ini, terbuka banyak kemungkinan terkait kerja terjemahan yang efisien. Dengan komputer orang bisa menulis dengan cepat dan mencari data dengan cepat karena banyak dokumen yang didigitalisasi. Mendigitalkan informasi berarti mengubahnya ke dalam bentuk yang mudah dibaca oleh komputer (Collin Cobuild Dictionary). Bukan hanya dokumen yang akan diterjemahkan yang mengalami digitalisasi. Kamus pun juga mengalami digitisasi, sehingga ini mempengaruhi kerja penerjemah. Selain itn. beberapa perangkat lunak komputer juga dibuat untuk memudahkan kerja penerjemah. Proses memadukan teknologi digital ke dalam kehidupan sehari-hari, dalam hal ini kehidupan penerjemah disebut digitalisasi.[3] Dengan digitalisasi ini, kamus yang tebal dapat di boat menjadi beberapa megabyte saja. Kamus pun dapat dibuka dengan sangat cepat.

Dari hal-hal baru yang dicapai oleh perkembangan TI, Internet adalah yang paling berdampak besar. Internet adalah hubungan jaringan komputer dengan standar yang sama sehingga pesan dapat dikirimkan dari satu komputer yang terdaftar di sebuah jaringan ke komputer lain dalam jaringan lain (Crystal,: 3). Dengan demikian, internet adalah media baru bagi pertukaran pesan. Dan menururt Crystal (6-10), ragam bahasa yang dipakai di internet mempunyai cirri tersendiri dalam hal: (a) fitur grafis, (b) fitur grafologis, (c) fitur gramatikal. (d) fitur leksikal, dan fitur wacana. Karena suara juga bisa ditampilkan di dalam Ides, maka Crystal juga menambahkan (e) fitur fonetik dan (f) fitur fonologis.

Lebih jauh Crystal (10) mengidentifikasi beberapa situasi yang menggunakan internet: (a) email, (b) chatgroup, (c) virtual world (online game), (d) word wide web, (e) instant messaging, and (f) blogging. Dari enam penggunaan internet tersebut, world wide web mempu: pengaruh yang paling besar terhadap penerjemahan. Pengaruh ini dapat ditelisik dari dua hal. Pertama, semakin banyak situs web yang diterjemahkan dan kedua, semakin bamak informasi yang ada di internet yang bisa membantu kerja penerjemah. Singkatnya, gabungan antara perkembangan teknologi komputer dan internet, mempengaruhi profesi penerjemahan dalam hal (a) format dokumen baru, (b) kebutuhan penerjemahan yang semakin banyak dan sumber daya penerjemahan semakin kaya.

Menurut Gouadec (2007) Teknologi Infirmasi (TI) mempengaruhi profesi penerjemah. Pertama karena TI membuka pasar terjemahan yang benar-benar baru. Kedua. bidang terjemahan sebagai profesi yang semakin khusus, bukan lagi sekadar bisa dikerjakan oleh dwibahsawan, karena bidang ini memerlukan perangkat lunak khusus dengan tingkat harga yang lumayan dan kerumitan yang tinggi. Dia malah mengistilahkan “clean up the market’* untuk perubahan ini. Ketiga, website menjadi sarana untuk mengelola penawaran dan kebutuhan jasa terjemahan. Dan akhirnya, TI melahirkan peranti penerjemahan berbantuan komputer (CAT Tool).

Lebih lanjut Gouadec (2007) juga menengarai adanya lima hal yang membuat revolusi teknologi ini menjadi tidak bersahabat bagi penerjemah. Pertama, komputerisasi telah mengubah kerja terjemahan dari kerja amatir menjadi kerja rumahan dan kemudian menjadi bagian dari proses industri. Sebagai proses industri, berarti ada volume pekerjaan yang sangat besar, ada alat tertentu yang selaras dengan proses induistri keseluruhan, dan penerapan prosedur standar. Ini artinya penerjemah harus berinvestasi besar tidak hanya dalam hal uang tetapi juga dalam hal belajar teknik-teknik dan cara kerja baru. Menurutnya, standar perlengkapan penerjemah terkait TI adalah program pengolah kata, desk publishing, manajemen memori terjemahan, menajemen glosari, dan internet tanpa batas.

Hal kedua yang kurang menguntungkan penerjemah adalah ketatnya kompetisi harga karena dengan globalisasi dan internet, klien bisa memesan jasa terjemahan kepada siapa pun di sudut dunia asalkan harganya rendah dan kualitas tidak mengecewakan. Ketiga. TI membuat penerjemah sangat bergantung pada komputer, bahkan bisa-bisa menjadi ‘pesuruh’ komputer. Hal terakhir adalah terpisahnya penerjemah dari koleganya karena bekerja dari rumah. Khusus untnk hal terakhir ini, Gouadec (2007) tidak sepenuhnya benar karena dengan bantuan internet sekarang ini komunikasi dengan sesama penerjemah dapat dilakukan dengan baik. Lebih jauh Gouadec (200”) juga menyatakan bahwa nantinya setelah penerjemah menguasa sarana baru ini. penerjemah segera akan disibukan dengan belajar bagaimana menangani materi (jenis teks) sumber baru yang akan dibuat dengan sarana yang lebih baru dari yang telah dikuasai oleh penerjemah


Kebutuhan Baru, Kompetensi Baru, Keterampilan Baru

Adanya format dokumen baru menuntut penerjemah menerjemahkan dengan teknik yang baru pula karena tidak mungkin dokumen yang berupa file animasi diterjemahkan dengan program pengolah kata saja. Seperti yang telah disinggung di atas. Perkembangan TI melahirkan peranti penerjemah berbantuan komputer (yang dalam bahasa Inggris disebut “Computer Assisted Translation Tools atau disingkat CAT Tool).[4] Lebih lanjut, dengan adanya digitalisasi, perangkat lunak CAT Tool ini dapat dengan mudah disebarkan dan dipasang di komputer para penerjemah.

Penguasaan keterampilan terkait CAT Tool ini dapat dikategorikan sebagai salah satu sub-kompetensi menerjemahkan (PACTE Group, 2005). PACTE Group adalah sebuah kelompok riset di University of Barcelona yang khusus mempelajari kompetensi terjemahan secara sistematis dan empiris. Grup ini mendefinisikan kompetensi terjemahan sebagai sistem yang mendasari pengetahuan dan keterampilan yang diperlukan untuk dapat menerjemahkan (PACTE Group, 2005). Lesznyak (2007: 168) mengatakan bahwa model kompetensi terjemahan yang diusulkan oleh kelompok riset ini adalah yang paling canggih untuk saat ini. Grup PACTE menyatakan bahwa kompetensi terjemahan memiliki empat karakteristik khas: (a) kompetensi terjemahan adalah pengetahuan khusus yang tidak dimiliki oleh semua dwibahasawan, (b) pada dasarnya kompetensi terjemahan bersifat prosedural (bukan deklaratif), (c) kompetensi terjemahan terdiri dari beberapa sub-kompetensi, dan (4) sub-kompetensi strategis sangat penting karena kompetensi terjemahan merupakan pengetahuan prosedural, bukan deklaratif. Sub-kompetensi terjemahan dan kesalingterkaitan diilustrasikan pada Gambar 1 berikut ini.

PACTEGambar 1. Model Kompetensi Terjemahan menurut Grup PACTE (2005)

 Subkompetensi pertama adalah subkompetensi bilingual (dwibahasa). Subkompetensi ini terdiri atas pengetahuan pragmatik, sosio-linguistik, tekstual dan leksikal-gramatikal bahasa sumber (Bsu) dan Bahasa Sasaran (Bsa). Menurut hemat saya, ini kurang lebih sama dengan kompetensi linguistik pada umumnya. Sub-kompetensi kedua adalah subkompetensi ekstra-linguistik yang terdiri dari pengetahuan ensiklopedik, tematik dan bikultural (dwibudaya). Sub-kompetensi ketiga adalah pengetahuan tentang terjemahan. Pengetahuan ini adalah pengetahuan tentang prinsip-prinsip yang memandu penerjemahan (misalnya proses penerjemahan, metode terjemahan, prosedur terjemahan, dll.) dan pengetahuan tentang profesi penerjemah (msl. Jenis-jenis terjemahan, cara memahami perintah terjemahan, karakteristik pembaca sasaran, harapan pembaca sasaran, dll.). Subkompetensi keempat—subkompetensi instrumental—adalah subkompetensi yang terdiri dari pengetahuan dan keterampilan yang terkait dengan penggunaan alat atau sumber-sumber yang dapat membantu penerjemah menerjemahkan. Di sinilah kita bisa menggolongkan keterampilan penggunaan teknologi penerjemahan. Terakhir, sub-kompetensi yang paling penting terletak di tengah-tengah di dalam gambar di atas, yaitu sub-kompetensi strategis. Ini adalah subkompetensi yang mengordinasikan subkompetensi lainnya sehingga dapat terciptaka kompetensi terjemahan yang utuh. (Meskipun tidak sama persis, ini bisa dibandingkan dengan strategi metakognitif di dalam teori strategi belajar.) Subkompetensi ini berperan dalam memecahkan masalah dan menjamin efisiensi proses karena subkompetensi ini terkait dengan perencanaan proses penerjemahan dan pembuatan keputusan dalam setiap tahap proses penerjemahan.

Selain terjemahan itu, ada satu kelompok komponen yang mempengaruhi hasil terjemahan, yaitu komponen psiko-fisiologis. Komponen psiko-fisiologis mengacu pada komponen kognitif dan sikap (memori, rentang perhatian, ketekunan, daya kritis, dll.) dan mekanisme psikomotor. Karena dwibahasan selalu memiliki pengetahuan tentang dua bahasa (Bsu dan Bsa) dan mungkin juga memiliki pengetahuan ekstra-linguistik, maka PACTE Grup menganggap bahwa sub-kompetensi khusus dari kompetensi terjemahan adalah subkompetensi strategis, instrumental dan pengetahuan tentang terjemahan. Sehubungan dengan pembahasan kita sekarang, dengan adanya globalisasi, perkembangan teknologi informasi dan digitalisasi, subkompetensi instrumental perlu mendapat perhatian lebih karena teks-teks yang akan dikerjakan meliputi teks-teks elektronik.


Proses Penerjemahan Teks Elektronik

Pentingnya keterampilan ini dapat dilihat dari model penerjemahan naskah elektronik usulan Hariyanto (2009). Untuk lebih jelasnya, perhatikan Gambar 2 berikut ini.

REVISED - translation processGambar 2. Model penerjemahan naskah elektronik (Hariyanto (2009)

Di dalam model tersebut, proses penerjemahan dibagi menjadi tiga fase utama: persiapan, proses utama, dan penutup. Ini bisa dibaca di bagian kiri. Di bagian tengah adalah langkah-langkah yang ditempuh oleh penerjemah dan di bagian kanan adalah kompetensi (pengetahuan dan/atau keterampilan) yang dipakai dalam menerjemahkan teks elektronik. Kalau dibaca secara horizontal, maka didapatlah keterangan bahwa dalam proses persiapan, langkah pertama adalah mempelajari perintah penerjemahan dan butir subkompetensi yang diperlukan adalah keterampilan dwibahasa dan pengetahuan tentang penerjemahan.

Dari gambar di atas dapat diketahui bahwa mulai dari fase persiapan, keterampilan instrumental diperlukan untuk mempersiapkan glosari. Mempersiapkan glosari mungkin berarti membuka file atau bahwa menyusun glosari baru. Hal ini dilakukan dengan menggunakan perangkat lunak manajemen glosari, yang biasanya berhubungan dengan perangkat lunak terjemahan utama (memori terjemahan). Dalam proses utama penerjemahan, keterampilan instrumental yang diperlukan adalah keterampilan untuk menuliskan hasil terjemahan (BSa), untuk menemukan kata atau istilah yang ekuivalen di dalam arsip memori terjemahan, dan juga untuk memanipulasi kode teknis dalam dokumen elektronik. Akhirnya, pada tahap kesimpulan, keterampilan instrumental diperlukan untuk memeriksa terjemahan kualitas terjemahan dari segi linguistic (konsistensi terminologi) dan kualitas teknis (dengan memeriksa apakah format naskah rusak atau beberapa kode teknis hilang atau tidak). Dengan demikian, penguasaan perangkat lunak penerjemahn menjadi mutlak adanya untuk menerjemahkan naskah jenis baru sebagai buah dari perkembangan teknologi informasi.



Pentingnya menguasai keterampilan baru seperti yang dipaparkan di atas sudah disadari oleh Himpunan Penerjemah Indonesia dan beberapa asosiasi penerjemah di Indonesia. Oleh karenanya beberapa pelatihan singkat di bidang ini sudah digelar karena, terutama HPI, khawatir bahwa lapangan kerja di bidang ini akan diambil oleh orang di luar Indonesia. Sementara itu, di perguruan tinggi Indonesia, hal ini kurang begitu mendapat tanggapan sehingga tidak banyak jurusan bahasa asing yang mengajarkan matakuliah Terjemahan yang mengenalkan keterampilan ini kepada mahasiswanya. Sejatinya, perguruan tinggi yang menawarkan matakuliah Penerjemahan selayaknya mengikuti perkembangan ini dan mengenalkan teknologi penerjemahan ini di dalam sajian kuliahnya. Kalau tidak, maka kemungkinan kerja bagi para mahasiswa hanyalah menjadi penerjemah naskah tertulis dan tidak bisa melebar ke penerjemahan naskah elektronik yang jenisnya sangat beragam, mulai dari menu layar untuk alat elektronik, antarmuka perangkat lunak, sampai halaman web. Mahasiswa juga perlu dikenalkan dengan bagaimana mencari bantuan dengan cepat dan efisien di internet, baik dengan cari melakukan pencarian lewat browser maupun mengenali cara menggunakan situs-situs khusus perjemah seperti[5]

Pengajaran Terjemahan idealnya mengonversi keterampilan dan pengetahuan yang diperlukan penerjemah untuk bekerja ke dalam kurikulum matakuliah atau program studi penerjemahan dan, kurikulum itu sendiri harus bersifat fleksibel (Suryawinata, 1982: 23). Fleksibel di sini artinya mudah beradaptasi dengan situasi yang ada atau dengan kbutuhan terjemahan di lapangan.Selanjutnya Suryawinata (1982: 29) juga menyatakan bahwa pengajaran terjemahan yang dikembangkan berdasarkan teori dan praktek yang relevan akan menghasilkan penerjemah yang baik.

Sejauh ini, dalam pengajaran matakuliah Terjemahan di Indonesia, umumnya tidak mengajarkan keterampilan atau subkompetensi instrumental seperti yang disampaikan di atas. Tidak ada topik-topik ini di dalam katalog matakuliah Penerjemahan di sebagian besar (atau bahkan hampir semua) program studi bahasa asing, termasuk di dalam silabus Program D3 Penerjemahan Universitas Terbuka (UT) (Katalog UT, 2007). Keterampilan dan pengetahuan ini juga tidak diperkenalkan kepada mahasiswa Terjemahan, Departemen Linguistik, Program Pascasarjana Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, dan mahasiswa Program Studi Penerjemahan di Sekolah Pascasarjana Universitas Udayana, Denpasar (Machali, 2009). Sajauh yang penulis ketahui, Pengantar CAT Tools ini diberikan kepada mahasiswa program pascasarjana dalam Sastra Inggris, bidang peminatan Penerjemahan, di Universitas Gunadarma, Jakarta. Sekarang ini bidang penerjemahan sebagai bidang profesi telah berkembang menjadi GILT (Globalisasi, Internasionalisasi, Lokalisasi dan Terjemahan). Oleh karena itu calon penerjemah harus siap berhadapan dengan dokumen elektronik. Oleh karena itu, sekali lagi, topik terkait

CAT Tool harus diperkenalkan kepada mahasiswa program studi Bahasa Inggris atau Penerjemahan. Dengan masuknya topik-topik ini, bisa diharapkan mahasiswa mengembangkan sendiri keterampilannya berdasarkan pengetahuan dasar yang diperoleh di bangkuk kuliah. Tentunya, ini sejalan dengan apa yang Budin (di Hornby, Pochhacker, dan Kaindl, 1992) nyatakan bahwa beberapa megatrend komunikasi, yaitu Teknologi Informasi dan Komunikasi, internasionalisasi, komersialisasi, dan kontekstualisasi, mengarah pada profil profesional yang baru dan kurikulum universitas harus disesuaikan secepat mungkin.

Akhir kata, memang tidak bisa dipungkiri bahwa kompetensi linguistik (atau sub-kompetensi dwibahasa) dalam arti yang luas merupakan sub-kompetensi utama untuk penerjemah. Namun, temuan penelitian Hariyanto (2009) dan pembahasan dalam makalah ini mempertegas bahwa perkembangan teknologi informasi yang menyokong globalisasi dan membawa serta digitalisasi memerlukan adaptasi cepat dari universitas yang mengajarkan Terjemahan sebagai bagian dari kurikulum mereka atau sebagai program studi yang terpisah sehingga kebutuhan penerjemah yang handal bisa dijawab dengan tepat.


Daftar Pustaka

Crystal, David. 2006. Language and the Internet. 2nd Edition. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Gouadec. Daniel, 2007. Translation as A Profession. John Benjamins Publishing Co

Hariyanto, Sugeng. 2009. The Translation of Company Websitesfrom English into Indonesian. Unpublished Doctorate Dissertation. Gradute Program, UM, Malang

Hornby, Mary Snell., Pochhacker, Franz., and Kaindl, Klaus. 1992. Translation Studies: An Interdisipline. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Lesznyak, Marta. 2007. Conceptualizing Translation Competence. Across Languages and Cultures. 8 (2), pp. 167-194.

PACTE Group. 2005. Investigating Translation Competence: Conceptual and

Methodological Issues. Meta: Translation Journal, vol 50, No 2, 2005. pp. 609-619.

http: – cite ref-135 Noam Chomsky Znet 07 May 2002 /The Croatian Feral Tribune 27 April 2002 [4]



[4] Mesin penerjemah tidak termasuk di dalam perkembangan baru ini karena mesin penerjemah sendiri mulai dikembangkan sebelum Perang Dunia II dan tidak terkait dengan kemunculan jenis teks baru ini.

[5] Kateglo adalah gabungan dari kamus, thesaurus dan glosari yang dikembangkan oleh anggota Bahtera bemama Ivan Lannin yang juga Executive Director Wikimedia Indonesia.

Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s Five-type interpretation errors in a legal intepretation in Indonesia

by Tunggul Puji Lestari

Master’s Program in Lingustics of Brawijaya University


This study is conducted to examine the generalisability and the coverage of Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s (2012) findings. This study uses real interpretation data taken from a court trial transcript. This study shows the five types of interpretation errors are also found in legal interpretation, as well as in medical interpretation as proved by Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi. The difference in the frequency is possibly caused by the difference of the field of the study where the interpretation is conducted. It is also found that real data research may cover wider area in interpretation’s errors analysis than simulated scenario research.

Key words: legal interpretation, interpretation error

Interpreting has become an important activity to support the transfer of communication between different language speakers (Napier, 2007; Ra & Napier, 2013). Many factors contribute to the neediness of good interpreter, not only the difference of the language, but also cultural differences and the field of study of the interpretation (Ra and Napier, 2013; Gercek, 2008; Wieringen, Harmsen & Bruijnzeels, 2002). The study of Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi (2012) entitled The accuracy of medicl interpretations: A pilot study of errors in Japanese-English interpreters during a simulated medical scenario published in The International Journal for Translation and Interpreting Research shows the relationship of those factors. They design their study from their worry upon the accurateness of interpretation in a field that is so close with life threatening consequences: medical. Re-quoting Brach, Fraser & Paez (2005, p.242) in this study, interpretation blatantly plays important role in determining the quality of communication between patients and physician that may have impact on health resource.

Measuring the accuracy of medical interpretation is the main objective in this study. Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi focus their study on the percentage of errors occurs on medical interpretation. The errors found in this study are categorized into five: omission, false fluency, substitution, addition and editorialisation.

This study was conducted in Tokyo between March 2009 and April 2011, using a simulated case based on the scenario. The participants of this study were native Japanese speakers who also spoke English fluently. Before the study was conducted, they were informed about the data of the patient and the situation of the patient. The writers argue that this giving information procedure is in a line with the real situation in medical interpretation that the interpreters are also given information about the assigned case.During the study, the scenario was scripted and the actors, that take a role as physician who did not speak English and a patient’s mother who spoke English fluently, were instructed to follow the script.

The simulated medical case based on the scenario is believed to help the writers in examining the participants’ performance from a common baseline. The simulation model in research itself has been discussed in Kleijnen’s Theory and methodology – Verification and validation of simulation models (1993). Kleijnen states that the validation of simulation models may not result in as perfect as the reality. However, the real model may lead to the collection of scarce or abundant data. Kleijnen suggests these data analysis to help validating the data collected from simulated models: sensitivity analysis (based on the design of the experiments and regression analysis) and risk analysis. Those are for estimating which inputs are really important and for quantifying the risks associated with inputs for which no data can be obtained at all, respectively.

This study show several interesting results. After identifying 1,242 utterances in the verbatim transcript, the total of 799 errors occurred with the most frequent interpretation errors are omission-type errors, that is followed by false-fluency errors on the second place but with total errors frequency only a half of the omission-type errors. From the study, it is also revealed that interpreters with less previous experience made more errors than those who are experienced. The discussion points the development of a certification system for medical interpreters should be the priority task.

Doubts on Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi (2012)’s Study

On their conclusion and future works chapter, Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi stated,

“… because this study used a simulated situation, the generalisability of our results should be explored in other scenarios and settings, as well as studies of actual medical encounters. It was diifficult to closely analyse communication between interlocutors through interpreters in this scenarion based study of interpretations, because it was not possible to examine the actual consequences of errors.” (2012, p.16)

The quotation above shows Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s doubts that arise from the findings of this study. The field of the study, that is medical, seems too narrow to accept this study finding as the imagery of interpretation errors in all fields. Analysis on other fields of interpretation are needed to examine the formulation of five types interpretation errors.

Another doubt that comes from this study is concerning the design of the study which is employing simulation scenario. By using this unnatural environment, Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi understood that it may eliminate many unique findings that are possible to happen during the interpretation, includes the consequences of errors.


Research Objective

Starting from these doubts, this research is designed to examine the result of Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s findings concerning the employability of five types of interpretation errors in other field of the study. This study is proposed to analyse the employability of the interpretation errors in legal interpretation. Legal interpretation, moreover court interpretation, is a field under community interpretation that is regarded as special because of its specific focus (Bancroft, Bendana, Bruggeman, & Feuerle, 2013; Keselman et al., 2010; Fischman, 2008). This specialty is not only in form of the place of interpretation (court), but also in form of the variety of the case that forces the interpreter to master wide area of vocabularies. Considering this specialty, this study is hoped to result in important findings that depict general findings of all field of interpretation.

Many unique findings are hopefully revealed in this study because the data will be collected from real situation of interpretation, different from simulation scenario interpretation that was conducted by Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi. Following questions are proposed as guideline for this study:

  1. Do the five types of interpretation errors also occur in legal interpretation?
  2. Is there any unique findings found as the result of the real situation interpretation?


Reaching the Objectives

To reach the objective of this research, an analysis of interpretation errors is done upon a real trial transcript that involves interpretation activity. The transcript is taken from the Trial in 2013 at Central Jakarta. This trial represented an ad de charge witness from a North America region, coded RR. The interpreter’s academic background is from law studies, taking her Bachelor of Law and Master of Law degrees in Indonesia.

The analysis of errors in interpretation is based on the five-type of interpretation errors in Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s study. Those are addition-type error, false fluency-type error, omission-type error, substitution-type error and editorialisation-type error. Addition-type error is error that occurs when the interpreter adds unspoken words or phrases to the interpretation. False fluency-type error occurs when the interpreter uses words or phrases that are incorrect or not exist in a particular language. Omission-type error is when the interpreter does not interpret words or phrases that were uttered. Substitution-type error is when words or phrases are substituted, while editorialisation error is when interpreter’s personal view is added to the interpretation

The occurrences of five types of interpretation errors

From the transcript, 128 utterances are analyzed and it is found 16 utterances that contain interpretation errors. 19 errors are identified, with addition-type errors become the most frequent errors in this transcript with 6 occurrences (31.5%). Omission-type and substitution-type errors share similar frequency, that are 4 times (21.1%) per type of errors, followed by editorialisation type and false-fluency type with 3 (15.7%) and 2 (10.5%).


Addition-type errors, the most frequent errors, occur in form of adding words or phrases although the interlocutor did not speak that words. As shown in this utterance,

RR                        :    Yes. It was contained manual safety of environmental and the front page was the managing director endorsement. So it had approval right to the top.

Interpreter             :    Ya. Di dalamnya termuat atau termuat di dalam sebuah pedoman atau buku pedoman manual. SE adalah singkatan dari Safety and Health. Keselamatan, kesehatan, dan lingkungan hidup. Dan di halaman pertama tersebut memang ada suatu tanda tangan oleh managing director yang harus ditanda tangani oleh managing director. Jadi, memang demikian bahwa disetujui diatas.


The interpreter added not only a word or phrase, but several sentences although the interlocutor did not speak that sentences. That utterance also shows an editorialisation type error. It indicates that the interpreters knew the content of the manual well, and she wanted to give clear explanation. He gave that explanation in attempts to speak for the witness.

The utterance below is the example of false-fluency error that occurs in the interpretation.

Head of the Council   :Saudara Saksi, selain TPH. Komponen-komponen apa lagi yang saudara ketahui di dalam penelitian ketika saudara berada tidak bersama ALI tersebut.

Interpreter             :    While working with ALI DIKRI. In addition to TPH, what other componens did you learn about during the research and the testing conducted together with ALI DIKRI?


From that utterance, interpreter’s false-fluency is clearly seen when she interpreted tidak bersama (split up) to ‘together’. The message was delivered in opposite meaning, and it would result in different or even wrong answer. In court trial, when all information are required to be true or based on the fact, this kind of error is not allowed at all.

Omission-type errors occur in almost same manner: the interpreter ignored a or several word(s), or even sentences, in their interpretation. As shown in this utterance, a sentence contains important information was ignored by the interpreter.

RR                        :    Yes. I was in center of experties within HES and that team still exist and I moved out and MIKE moved in and that structure still exist. There was organization and having the expert present.

Interpreter             :    Ya. Pusat keahlian dalam tim HES masih ada sampai sekarang. Ketika saya pindah dan kemudian MIKE masuk dan setelah itu juga terdapat kontiunoitas dalam bagian tersebut.


The interpreter did not interpret the last sentence of the interlocutor, although this sentence gave information about the organization and the expert that might be important for this case. The interpreter also made editorialization error while she used kontinuitas (continuity) as the interpretation of ‘exist’.


Other unique findings

Besides those errors, this study also reveals some unique findings that were not analyzed by Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi. It is possibly caused by the design of this study that uses real data in form of transcipt. Simulation and scenario did not allow Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi to closely analyse the triangle communication among two interlocutors and interpreter.

The first unique finding is about interpreter’s tendency in providing the actual situation or giving information about the transition of the context. From the transcript, it is found that the interpreter often provided information about situation or context transition. It happened in four occurrences, for example:

Head of the Council   :          Beralasan keberatan dari Penasehat Hukum. Oleh karena itu, diambil alih oleh Majelis. Terkait dengan izin. Apakah saudara mengetahui terkait dengan izin Bioremediasi?

Interpreter             :    The Panel has taken over the question and the question is about the permit. Is there permit required for the Bioremediation? What do you know about the permit Bioremediation processs?

The situation that happens in the trial was the panel taking over the question, and the interpreter considered this information as important so she informed the witness. In trial, the significance of this interpretation is to give initial understanding to the witness before he answers the question given. Without this information, the witness might find problem in answering the question that was not similar with the previous question’s context.

Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kuichi wrote in their conclusion that it is impossible to examine the consequences of the errors. In this research, the consequences of the errors are found and examine, although only in one occurrence:

Public Prosecutor  :    Apakah di dalam SOP tersebut itu mencantumkan mengenai range TPH dalam COCS yang akan di Bioremediasi?

Interpreter             :    In that SOP were there any indication of TPH range of SOP that would have to be Bioremediated?

RR                        :    No. There was no limit on TPH. There were requires to mix together homogenitation the concentration.

Interpreter             :    Tidak. Tidak terdapat suatu ambang batas tertinggi mengenai TPH. Memang ada suatu kewajiban ataupun persyaratan bahwa harus dilakukan pencampuran untuk homogenisasi.

Public Prosecutor  :    Maksud pertanyaan saya adalah apakah di dalam SOP tersebut mencantumkan range TPH yang akan di Bioremediasi? Berapa persen sampai berapa persen yang harus dilakukan Bioremediasi dalam SOP tersebut? Itu pertanyaan saya.

Interpreter             :    The question is whether there was a range indicated in the SOP. The range of TPH are the COCS that going to Bioremediated. So was there a range from certain percentage to certain percentage?

RR                        :    I don’t believe so.

Interpreter             :    Saya kira tidak.


The interpreter made fatal false-fluency error by stating ‘TPH range of SOP’ when the public prosecutor asked about ‘range THP dalam COCS’ (TPH range in COCS). The consequence of this error was the witness could not get the message meaning correctly and provided unexpected answer. The public prosecutor needed to repeat his question that was followed by interpreter’s revision on her interpretation, so the witness could understand the meaning and answered it.

The last unique finding in this research is that the interpreter also revising the message that is not well-structured. A bad structured sentence will produce difficulties for the witness, who is not Indonesian and can not speak Indonesian, to get the meaning of the answer. This revision only occurs once in this utterance:

Public Prosecutor  :    Untuk di SLN ada enggak? Saat Saksi ini masih ada di Indonesia.

Interpreter             :    At SLN, were there any SBF when you were still in Indonesia?

By revising the structure of the sentence, the witness might easily catch the meaning of the interlocutor. This revision actually indicates the editorialisation, but it is not considered as error because it helps the process of information exchange and may result in the improvement in interpretation accuracy.


In their study, Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi found that the five types of interpretation errors occured in simulation medical scenario. Omission type errors became the most frequent errors with false-fluency as the second most frequent. After manipulating the field of the study and the design of the study, this study result supports Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s research that all types of interpretation errors also occur in real situation legal interpretation. The difference of error frequency is possibly cause by the different field of the study. Medical and legal interpretation provide different characteristics, situation and context, so the different frequency is tolerated.

The manipulation in study design results in a deeper analysis on communication among interlocutors and interpreter. Many uncovered findings in Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s research are revealed in this real situation research. They are the interpreter’s tendency to provide information concerning actual situation and context transition, the consequences of interpretation errors toward the communication, and interpreter’s revising tendency upon bad structured sentence. These findings prove that eventhough simulation scenario research may be appropriate for collecting data concerning non-daily case like medical or legal interpretation, however data collected from real situation interpretation provides wider coverage and deeper analysis.

By having similar result to Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s findings, this study supports their suggestion that interpretation training programmes should be developed as an effort to minimize interpretation errors not only in medical or legal field, but also other fields that needs interpreter’s involvement such as tourism, finance, politics, and else.


Combining this study and Anzawa et al.’s study

This study shows that as a pilot project, Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchy study has been a good beginning for future works in the interpretation study. Some issues about generalization of the study and narrow coverage of the study appear in that simulation study. However, as suggested by the writers in conclusion and future work chapter, these issues are answered in this real situation legal interpretation.

This study reveals that Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s five types errors are generalisable for other field of study. Furthermore, the data taken from real situation interpretation gives more chance to analyze communication during interpretation deeply, as expected by Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi.

The difference on errors frequency does not negate the findings of Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi because this research is designed to examine the employability of five type errors in the analysis of other fields of interpretation, not to test the frequency of errors.

Interpretation training programs, as suggested by Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi, are really needed to be developed because the five types of interpretation errors possibly happen in all fields of interpretation, as they occur in medical and legal interpretation. Minimizing the potency of these errors through interpretation training programs hopefully may increase the standard of interpretation for guaranteeing more faithful communication between interlocutors. And this study, as well as Anaza et al.’s study, may be regarded as important research in interpretation to provide suggestion for curriculum of interpreting education (see Pochhacker, 2010).

Many follow up researches are still needed to examine the employability of five types interpretation errors in other field of interpretation. It also recommends the application of simulation scenario research to solve problems in data collection because it may accurately predict the study result, as well as the real situation research, but in narrow coverage.



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Penerjemahan dan Dunia Global: Pengalaman Australia dalam Penjurubahasaan

by Rochayah Machali- UNSW, Australia

(Versi awal tulisan ini pernah disajikan di Seminar Nasional Penerjemahan di Politeknik Negeri Malang, tahun 2007)


Globalisasi telah menjadi istilah yang sangat umum kita dengar, yang prosesnya sangat terkait secara langsung dengan bidang ekonomi dan pemasaran. Namun demikian, efek globalisasi itu sendiri juga merasuk ke dalam berbagai aspek kehidupan, sistem sosial dan politik, lembaga dan nilai serta ke dalam kegiatan keseharian kita. Banyak perusahaan menjual produknya ke seluruh dunia dan menjadi perusahaan supranasional, sehingga identifikasi kenegaraan tak lagi terlalu penting. Banyak perubahan yang terjadi terhadap bentuk-bentuk bisnis, perdagangan, dan pendidikan, misalnya banyak perusahaan melakukan jual-beli produk melalui Internet.
Kehidupan keseharian kita pun terpengaruhi oleh perkembangan dan perubahan ini. Berbagai hal sudah bisa dilakukan dengan sangat lebih cepat dibandingkan dengan beberapa tahun yang lalu. Perbelanjaan dan perbankan sekarang bisa dilakukan dengan mudah melalui Internet. Semakin banyak iklan yang mengajak kita untuk bekerja dari rumah dengan memanfaatkan teknologi, misalnya banyak penerjemah lepas yang bekerja dari rumah dengan memanfaatkan ratron dan komputer. Maka, sudah semakin banyak orang menjadi bagian dari benua ke tujuh yang bersifat maya ini, ‘virtual seventh continent’.

Semua perubahan ini telah mempengaruhi cara kita belajar, mencari informasi, dan cara kita berkomunikasi. Pencarian informasi, misalnya, sudah jauh lebih mudah karena kita tinggal menekan tombol di komputer dan memasuki ‘benua ke tujuh’ tersebut di atas. Misalnya, melalui search engines kita bisa mencari makna suatu kata dengan mudah. Selain itu, kegiatan penjurubahasaan juga telah mengalami perubahan penting, misalnya melalui tele-conference pada tataran global, yang tidak memerlukan kehadiran fisik bagi para peserta.
Selain itu, bagi kita yang bekerja di bidang yang terkait bahasa, perubahan yang paling penting adalah yang menyangkut bahasa dan penggunaan bahasa itu sendiri. Misalnya, kita dihadapkan pada pertanyaan-pertanyaan seperti ‘bahasa atau bahasa-bahasa apa yang digunakan di Internet?’, ‘bahasa apa yang digunakan pada tingkat global?’, ‘apakah salah satu dari bahasa-bahasa ini menjadi bahasa global?, apa pengaruh ‘bahasa global’ ini terhadap kegiatan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan?.

Menurut Snell-Hornby (1999), bahasa Inggris-lah yang menjadi bahasa yang dominan dan menjadi lingua franca internasional. Namun, menurutnya bahasa tersebut tidak lagi membawa identitas ragam nasional tertentu. Dengan kata lain, bahasa tersebut menjadi‘globish’ atau menjadi ‘McLanguage’ yang sifatnya lebih sederhana dibandingkan dengan ‘bahasa Inggris’. Di Australia, misalnya, akhir-akhir ini juga ada keprihatinan bahwa bahasa Inggris sudah tidak ada lagi; yang muncul adalah varian-varian seperti ‘Spanglish’, ‘Chinglish’, dll (yang secara akademis sering dirujuk sebagai ‘hibrida’, yang akan dibahas lagi nanti).
Memang, menurut statistik hasil kajian the Economist (15 Mei 1999) dan Der Spiegel (4 Oktober 1999), jumlah situs web yang menggunakan bahasa Inggris sudah menurun menjadi 57.4% (dari 75%), namun bahasa Inggris masih menjadi bahasa yang banyak digunakan karena melalui bahasa inilah pasar global bisa diraih.

Seperti dikatakan di atas, ‘bahasa global’ tersebut mempunyai ciri baru, baik dari segi bentuk maupun ‘aturan’ penggunaannya. Bahasa tersebut menjadi lebih sederhana, meskipun ini tidak berarti terjadi pemiskinan komunikasi. Banyak kajian yang menunjukkan bahwa beberapa aspek kebahasaan dari ‘New English’ ini sudah mengalami perubahan.Misalnya, aspek kala yang digunakan dalam ‘New English’ tidak secanggih bahasa Inggris, khususnya kala ‘progresif’ (Collins, 2007). Selain itu, dalam kajian lain, dikenali adanya kecenderungan ‘hybrid texts’. Adejunmobi (dalam Schäffner, 1999) menyebut teks jenis ini ‘compositional translations’, yakni teks yang dihasilkan oleh penulis pasca-kolonial Afrika yang ditulis dalam bahasa Eropa namun dengan menggunakan pola pikir Afrika. Dengan kata lain, teks dalam bahasa Eropa tersebut ‘berbau’ Afrika.

Dalam kegiatan penjurubahasaan, teks jenis ini paling banyak dijumpai, yang tidak selalu dikarenakan oleh pengaruh globalisasi. Hibriditas teks dalam kegiatan ini lebih dikarenakan oleh sifat kegiatan tersebut, yang menuntut seorang jurubahasa beralih dari satu bahasa ke bahasa lain dalam waktu yang relatif cepat. Seringkali, dalam prosesnya terjadi ‘interlingual transfer’ yang tak terhindarkan. Pembicaraan mengenai teks hibrida itu sendiri dapat dilihat dari berbagai kerangka teori, misalnya melalui kerangka post colonial study, intertextuality, cultural studies, text identity, dsb.

Pembahasan mengenai peran juru bahasa di Australia tidak terlepas dari kebijakan negara itu untuk menerapkan multikulturalisme. Penetapan juru bahasa dan penerjemah sebagai profesi yang diakui di Australia telah melewati sejarah yang panjang, serta melewati beberapa tahap. Oleh karena itu, makalah ini disajikan dalam tiga bagian:
(1) Latar belakang profesi penerjemah dan juru bahasa di Australia, yang mencakup (a) akreditasi bagi penerjemah dan juru bahasa; (b) Organisasi profesi dan kode etik;
(2) Juru bahasa & penjurubahasaan, yang mencakup (a) ‘jenis’, (b) ‘cara penjurubahasaan’, (c) contoh kasus;
(3) Pelatihan dan pendidikan juru bahasa dan penerjemah di Australia (gambaran selayang pandang).

Meskipun secara geografis Australia terletak di kawasan Asia, adat istiadat, agama, struktur sosial dan struktur pemerintahannya lebih dekat ke negara Inggris yang menjajahnya pada tahun 1788 dan mengesahkan Konstitusi Federalnya di tahun 1901.

Dengan demikian, bahasa utamanya tentu saja bahasa Inggris. Namun, berkaitan dengan meningkatnya jumlah imigran, populasi yang non-Inggris meningkat, sehingga jumlah penggunaan bahasa non-Inggris pun meningkat pula. Pada tahun 1945, dengan jumlah keseluruhan populasi yang hanya mencapai tujuh setengah juta, jumlah pengguna bahasa non-Inggris hanya kecil saja. Namun, sekarang terdapat kira-kira 90 bahasa non-Inggris yang digunakan di Australia, dan yang terbanyak jumlahnya adalah bahasa Italia dan Yunani. Akhir-akhir ini pengguna bahasa Indo-Cina juga semakin banyak.

Walaupun jumlah imigrasi menjadi ciri sejarah Australia, kebutuhan akan penerjemahan dan kejurubahasaan baru dirasakan sejak terjadinya imigrasi secara besar-besaran sesudah PDII. Kebijakan waktu itu mengharuskan para migran bisa berbahasa Inggris serta ada keharusan untuk berasimilasi. Kebijakan ini kemudian dianggap tidak manusiawi dan dianggap gagal karena untuk belajar bahasa Inggris diperlukan tenaga, waktu dan biaya yang tidak sedikit. Akibatnya, mereka yang tak mampu berbahasa Inggris mendapat kesulitan memperoleh akses serta berpartisipasi dalam kehidupan sosial dan politik di Australia. Hal ini menjadi dasar mulai dirasakannya perlunya juru bahasa dan penerjemah, yang dimulai dengan usaha sistematis oleh kelompok masyarakat Italia dan Yunani. Jumlah kedua kelompok ini waktu itu sudah semakin banyak.

Pada tahun 1960 Departemen Imigrasi Australia mulai menetapkan Unit Layanan Penerjemahan secara resmi, namun unit tersebut masih hanya dijumpai di Departemen Imigrasi saja. Unit inipun baru ditetapkan 14 tahun sesudah pemerintah Australia mulai menerima imigran secara resmi.
Kemudian, pada tahun 1973 mulailah ada perkembangan yang sangat berarti dalam hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan profesi penerjemahan dan kejurubahasaan. Sejak tahun ini, mulai dirintis berdirinya tiga lembaga dan kebijakan: (1) Committee on Overseas Professional Qualifications (disingkat COPQ). (2) National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (disingkat NAATI). (3) Kebijakan Nasional dalam bidang Bahasa (National Language Policy). Ketiga hal ini bersangkut-paut dengan profesi penerjemah dan jurubahasa, sebagaimana dijelaskan di bawah ini. Namun, hanya COPQ dan NAATI saja yang disinggung.

(a) Lembaga Kualifikasi Profesi (COPQ)
Lembaga ini bertugas melakukan evaluasi serta, bila perlu, memberikan sertifikasi bagi kualifikasi profesional yang diperoleh dari luar Australia. Pada tahun 1974 dibentuk Panitia Kerja yang tugasnya tiga:

1. membentuk Lembaga Nasional untuk mengontrol sertifikasi juru bahasa dan penerjemah, terlibat dalam pengujian dan penciptaan lembaga pelatihan.
2. menetapkan klasifikasi standar bagi juru bahasa dan penerjemah, berdasarkan 5 tingkat struktur berdasarkan ketrampilan dan tugas yang dilakukan.
3. menetapkan struktur gaji bagi juru bahasa dan penerjemah untuk menarik minat kalangan terdidik.

Dalam tahun-tahun ini, ada perubahan moto dan sikap dalam kebijakan pemerintah Australia: dari asimilasi ke integrasi, dan kemudian menjadi kebijakan multikulturalisme sampai sekarang. Dalam konteks kebijakan ini, kegiatan kejurubahasaan dan penerjemahan menjadi profesi yang dilindungi, sebagaimana halnya dengan profesi lain.

(b) Akreditasi bagi Penerjemah dan Juru bahasa
Sejalan dengan hasil kerja Panja COPQ di atas, pada tahun 1977 dibentuklah suatu Badan Otonom oleh Departemen Imigrasi dan Urusan Etnis. Badan Otonom ini menetapkan bahwa: ‘…eventually, in Australia no one will be able to practice as an interpreter or translator who has not NAATI accreditation at the appropriate level” (garis bawah ditambahkan).

Pada tahun 1978, pembedaan tingkat ada lima: tingkat pertama dan kedua adalah tingkatan sub-profesional sedangkan tingkat III s/d V adalah tingkat profesional. Pembedaan antara kedua jenis tingkatan ini didasarkan pada dua hal: tingkat pra-profesional adalah dwibahasawan yang menggunakan kompetensinya untuk membantunya dalam tugas utama di tempat kerjanya. Tingkat profesional adalah mereka yang hidupnya tergantung atas penerjemahan/penjurubahasaan.

Namun, belakangan ini tingkat-tingkat tersebut diubah kategorisasinya menjadi: tingkat paraprofesional (penerjemah dan juru bahasa) dan tingkat profesional (penerjemah dan juru bahasa). Masing-masing tingkat mempunyai makna dan batasan tugas sendiri-sendiri (lihat Sebagai lembaga akrediatasi, NAATI menjadi sangat berkuasa dalam menetapkan terakreditasi-tidaknya seorang penerjemah/juru bahasa. Mungkin perlu digarisbawahi di sini bahwa ‘akreditasi’ terkadang tidak menunjukkan kemampuan sebenarnya dari seorang penerjemah.

(c) Organisasi profesi & Kode Etik
Sejalan dengan semakin dikukuhkannya kedudukan NAATI, lahirlah organisasi profesi bagi penerjemah dan juru bahasa yang disebut AUSIT (Australian Institute for Interpreters and Translators) pada tahun 1987. Dalam jangka waktu kurang-lebih tiga tahun sejak berdirinya, AUSIT telah berhasil meyakinkan organisasi-organisasi serupa lainnya di berbagai negara bagian agar menyatu dalam satu wadah: AUSIT. Pada tahun 1987 itu, ditetapkan dua kategori keanggotaan dalam AUSIT: anggota biasa dan anggota luar biasa. Anggota biasa haruslah mereka yang mempunyai akrediatsi pada tingkat III atau sepadan.
Sebagai organisasi profesi, AUSIT menetapkan “Code of ethics” (lihat Kode etik bagi juru bahasa dan penerjemah tersebut ditetapkan bersama dengan NAATI. Terdapat dua hal utama: (1) general principles yang mencakup delapan kode etik, dan (2) “Code of practice” yang merupakan penjabaran kode etik. Kedelapan prinsip umum tersebut adalah:

1. Professional conduct, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah hendaknya selalu bertindak sesuai dengan standar dan tujuan AUSIT sebagai organisasi profesi bagi penerjemah dan juru bahasa.
2. Confidentiality, yakni juru bahasa hendaknya merahasiakan informasi yang diperoleh dari pekerjeaannya.
3. Competence, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah hendaknya hanya akan mengerjakan tugas yang sesuai dengan ‘akreditasi dari NAATI.
4. Impartiality, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah hendaknya tidak berpihak dalam semua kontrak profesionalnya.
5. Accuracy, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah sejauh mungkin hendaknya berusaha akurat.
6. Employment, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah bertanggung jawab atas kualitas kerjanya, baik sebagai praktisi bebas maupun praktisi yang dipekerjakan oleh perusahaan.
7. Professional development, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah akan terus mengembangkan ketrampilan dan pengetahuan profesionalnya.
8. Professional solidarity, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah hendaknya menghormati dan mendukung rekan sekerja.

Organisasi profesi pada zaman maraknya penggunaan ratron ini sudah masuk ke dunia maya (virtual), karena tersedianya Internet (lihat pembahasan lebih lanjut di bawah, Bagian 4).


(a) Jenis
Pertama-tama sebaiknya dibedakan dulu antara penerjemahan (translating) dan penjurubahasaan (interpreting) secara jelas. Keduanya merupakan ketrampilan yang sangat khusus, dan umumnya dilakukan oleh dwibahasawan yang terlatih.

Penerjemahan berkenaan dengan teks tertulis, mulai dari karya sastra, dokumen hukum, petunjuk praktis, sampai dengan resep masakan. Banyak penerjemah yang menggarap pekerjaannya di rumah dan mengembangkan jaringan kerja dengan klien, ahli, maupun para rekan sekerja melalui komputer pribadinya (di rumah). Keberadaan e-mail, Internet dan mailing lists telah sangat memungkinkan adanya berbagai kemudahan bagi penerjemah.
Ada penerjemah yang dipekerjakan oleh perusahaan, lembaga pemerintah maupun organisasi internasional. Banyak juga penerjemah yang bekerja sebagai anggota tim besar yang menggarap tugas-tugas kebahasaan seperti sulih suara, pemasaran, penyiapan perangkat lunak, dsb.

Sebaliknya, juru bahasa adalah penerjemah lisan yang bekerja ‘on-site’, meskipun dimungkinkan dilakukan melalui telepon (telephone interpreting). Terdapat tiga jenis penjurubahasaan pada umumnya:
(a) kegiatan juru bahasa dalam konperensi (conference interpreting);
(b) juru bahasa untuk kepentingan masyarakat (community interpreting);
(c) juru bahasa untuk urusan bisnis (business interpreting).

Dalam penjurubahasaan jenis (a), biasanya juru bahasa berada dalam ‘booth’ (untuk bahasa tertentu), dan masing-masing ‘booth’ dihubungkan langsung ke ‘floor’ tempat para delegasi berkonperensi dan juga dengan ‘booth’ untuk bahasa lain. Misalnya, dalam KTT Non-Blok 1992, ‘booth’ untuk tim Indonesia dihubungkan dengan ‘floor’ dan dengan tim juru bahasa dari PBB. Masing-masing ‘booth’ biasanya diisi oleh dua juru bahasa atau lebih. Dengan demikian, kalau ada juru bahasa yang tiba-tiba terbatuk-batuk ketika menerjemahkan, maka juru bahasa ke dua akan langsung mengambil-alih.

Kalau seorang juru bahasa bisa mahir dalam dua bahasa asing (yang digunakan dalam suatu konperensi), maka hal itu akan sangat bagus sekali. Dengan demikian, ketika misalnya ia mendengarkan pengguna bahasa Inggris ‘beraksen’ yang sulit dipahaminya, maka ia bisa mengalihkan ‘switchboard’-nya ke ‘booth’ di sebelahnya (misalnya ‘booth’ bahasa Prancis) dan melakukan penerjemahkan secara ‘secondhand’—yakni dari Prancis ke Indonesia, meskipun pidatonya dalam bahasa Inggris (yang ‘beraksen’ tersebut). Cara ini pernah dilakukan dalam KTT Non-Blok di Jakarta yang lalu. Dengan demikian, juru bahasanya tak perlu diganti. [Catatan: untunglah dalam KTT Non-blok itu, Indonesia mempunyai juru bahasa yang mahir dalam 4 bahasa asing (Inggris, Prancis, Spanyol, Portugis—meskipun bahasa Portugis tidak diperlukan waktu itu)]. Dalam ‘conference interpreting’, Mode atau cara penjurubahasaan biasanya dilakukan secara simultan (lihat penjelasan di bawah).

Dalam penjurubahasaan jenis (b), yakni ‘community interpreting’, juru bahasa biasanya berhadapan secara bersegi-tiga dengan klien (bahasa sasaran) dan dengan pembicara.

segitiga jurubahasa
Gambar 1. Pengaturan duduk (seating arrangement)

Sekarang ini, di Australia (maupun di belahan lain dunia ini) telah dimungkinkan juga penjurubahasaan lewat telepon (TIS= Telephone Interpreting Service). Sebagaimana disebutkan sebelumnya, dengan pemanfaatan teknologi (baik dengan telepon bergambar atau tidak), penjurubahasaan seringkali dilaksanakan melalui tele-conference. Dengan demikian, penjurubahasaan dalam tataran global pun bisa dengan mudah dilaksanakan, tak terbatasi oleh kehadiran fisik, oleh karena tatap muka pun bisa terlaksana berkat kemajuan teknologi.

Di Australia sendiri, penjurubahasaan jenis (b), tetaplah yang paling umum dilakukan, yakni yang disebut ‘liaison interpreting’. Pada prinsipnya, seorang juru bahasa harus memahami hal-hal teknis yang penting, misalnya dia seyogyanya terlatih dalam ‘note taking’, mengetahui seating arrangement (gambar di atas), menerjemahkan dengan ber‘aku’ (karena juru bahasa adalah the ‘mouth piece’) dan bukannya dengan ‘s/he said’ (seperti dalam laporan), dll. Selain itu, juru bahasa harus memahami budaya dari bahasa yang diterjemahkannya, memahami peristilahan yang digunakan (misalnya istilah hukum kalau ia sering menjadi juru bahasa di pengadilan atau di ‘immigration tribunals’), terlatih menggunakan ingatan dan konsentrasi, menguasai ungkapan khusus (idiom, termasuk dialek, slang, dsb.). Di Australia, community interpreting dapat dilakukan dengan menggunakan salah satu dari ketiga cara: ‘simultan’, ‘konsekutif’, ‘berbisik’, tergantung kepentingan dan konsensus/konvensi.

Dalam penjurubahasaan jenis (c), suasana umum pada dasarnya tidak terlalu berbeda dengan ‘conference interpreting’, hanya saja biasanya juru bahasa tidak perlu berada dalam ‘booth’ dan suasananya tidak terlalu formal. Biasanya tidak ada pidato resmi, melainkan perundingan yang melibatkan beberapa orang saja. Misalnya, pertemuan yang melakukan evaluasi pegawai hotel dan restoran (2-3 orang), pelatihan agen asuransi yang akan memasuki pasar asing (8-10 orang), dsb.

(b) Cara penjurubahasaan
Pada umumnya terdapat tiga cara penjurubahasaan (modes of interpreting): cara konsekutif (consecutive interpreting), simultan (imultaneous interpreting), dan berbisik (whisper interpreting, juga disebut chuchotage).

Cara konsekutif
Cara ini kebanyakan digunakan dalam pertemuan bisnis, pertemuan biasa, pertemuan kecil yang informal, pengaduan hukum, pemeriksaan kesehatan, dsb. Pada dasarnya:
• juru bahasa mendengarkan pembicara sambil mencatat;
• pembicara berhenti pada interval tertentu (sesudah beberapa kalimat)agar juru bahasa dapat menerjemahkannya ke dalam bahasa sasaran;
• biasanya jangka waktu penjurubahasaan lebih lama daripada cara simultan, karena ada interval waktu.

Cara simultan
Cara ini kebanyakan digunakan dalam peristiwa-peristiwa berskala besar, misalnya konperensi, KTT, rapat dewan, pelatihan-pelatihan, yakni yang memerlukan penataan ruang seperti kelas atau auditorium. Namun, tidak tertutup kemungkinan untuk menggunakan cara ini dalam ‘liaison interpreting’ untuk kepentingan masyarakat, misalnya dalam pemeriksaan kesehatan.
Pada dasarnya:
• juru bahasa mendengarkan pembicara dan langsung menerjemahkannya ke dalam bahasa sasaran, hampir tanpa jarak waktu;
• cara simultan yang berskala besar seringkali memerlukan peralatan khusus (seperti ‘booth’);
• penggunaan waktunya efektif, karena bersifat ‘real time’ (bila dibandingkan dengan cara konsekutif)
Mungkin perlu dicatat di sini bahwa dalam penjurubahasaan konperensi, apalagi yang sangat resmi seperti KTT internasional, seringkali juru bahasa harus rajin ‘berburu’ teks, setidaknya sehari sebelum pelaksanaan tugasnya, misalnya dengan menghubungi panitia pihak negara lain. Seringkali delegasinya sudah mempunyai teks yang tertulis. Hal ini akan sangat memudahkan tugas juru bahasa pada hari pelaksanaan.

Cara berbisik
Pada dasarnya:
• Juru bahasa duduk di belakang partisipan dan menerjemahkan secara langsung melalui bisikan ke telinga pendengar (contohnya: pada zaman Orba, kita seringkali melihat di TV Pak Harto ditemani oleh ‘pak Gundul’ yang menjadi juru bahasanya dan duduk di belakangnya).

(c) Contoh kasus
Ada dua contoh yang ditayangkan: 1. Community interpreting; 2. TIS (Telephone Interpreting Service). Dalam contoh kasus 1 (lihat lampiran), dapat dilihat contoh ‘community interpreting’. Dalam contoh ini, seorang ibu yang hanya bisa berbahasa Mandarin ingin menanyakan kemajuan belajar anaknya bernama ‘Kar’ kepada Kepala Sekolah. Dalam peristiwa penjurubahasaan ini dapat kita perhatikan hal-hal berikut (melalui video):
1. diperlukannya ‘note taking’;
2. diperlukannya pemahaman peristilahan;
3. diperlukannya pemahaman sistem pendidikan (dalam hal ini sistem Australia);
4. adanya pelanggaran kode etik (lihat kode etik nomor 5 pada 1(c) di atas). Perhatikanlah bagaimana juru bahasa ‘menafsirkan’ ucapan Kepala Sekolah, pada bagian akhir teks (lihat lampiran)

Ada beberapa kemungkinan ‘penyebab’ mengapa juru bahasa ‘melanggar kode etik’:
1. dia tidak mengalami persekolahan di Australia dan tidak memahami sistem penilaian yang berlaku, tetapi tidak mau bertanya;
2. juru bahasa memperoleh akreditasi dari ‘tes’ dan tidak terlatih menangani peristiwa yang menimbulkan keraguan baginya.

Berdasarkan alasan (2) ini, banyak juga juru bahasa yang memilih menjalani pelatihan formal daripada mengambil tes akreditasi.
Demikian juga pada contoh yang kedua, yang menuntut pemahaman non-bahasa. Contoh TIS yang ditayangkan di sini kebetulan masih menggunakan ‘telepon kuno’ karena contoh tersebut direkam di tahun 95-an. Namun demikian, prinsip ‘telephone link-up’ yang digunakan dalam TIS tetap sama (seperti yang sudah disebutkan sebelumnya dalam prinsip tele-conference). Pihak-pihak yang terlibat dalam kegiatan tersebut tak terbatasi oleh batas fisik.
Contoh yang paling mudah untuk disebutkan di sini adalah ketika ada proses adopsi oleh orang tua angkat Australia yang calon anaknya ada di negara lain. Hukum Australia mengharuskan DoCS (Department of Community Services) untuk mewawancarai orang tua kandung. Peristiwa ini tentu melibatkan juru bahasa melalui TIS, dan ketiga pihak (pewawancara, orang tua kandung, calon orang tua angkat) semuanya ada di rumah masing-masing, di negara masing-masing.

Terdapat dua jenis pelatihan yang harus dibedakan: ‘trade courses’ yang diselenggarakan oleh TAFE (sejenis akademi) dan pelatihan yang lebih merupakan pencapaian prestasi akademik atau sebagai kajian akademik di perguruan tinggi.

Penerjemahan dan Penjurubahasaan sebagai ‘Trade courses’
Dengan memperhatikan sejarah lahirnya COPQ dan NAATI tersebut di atas, maka jelaslah bahwa tujuan dasar bagi penjelanggaraan kegiatan penjurubahasaan dan penerjemahan (Interpreting and Translating disingkat I/T) adalah untuk kepentingan masyarakat. Itulah sebabnya, kedua kegiatan tersebut disebut “Community Interpreting and Translating”. Sebagaimnana dsiebutkan di atas, bahkan tersedia ‘Telephone Interpreting Service’ (TIS).
Oleh karena ciri dan hakikat I/T di Australia yang demikian itu, maka pelatihan dan pengajaran di bidang I/T pun banyak yang mengarah ke sana, khususnya yang diselenggarakan oleh TAFE. Pelatihan yang diselenggarakan tersebut mengarah ke kualifikasi yang disebut ‘trade’ atau ketrampilan siap pakai, yang oleh Departemen Imigrasi ‘dihargai’ dengan jumlah ‘poin’ tertentu apabila seseorang ‘melamar’ untuk hidup sebagai penduduk tetap di Australia.
Pelatihan yang diberi akreditasi oleh NAATI semakin banyak dikejar orang, karena ‘harga’ tersebut. Itulah pula sebabnya NAATI menjadi lembaga yang semakin ‘powerful’. Artinya, meskipun seseorang sudah menyelesaikan program tertentu di sebuah universitas, kalau lulus dia tidak serta merta bisa (baca boleh) praktek sebagai juru bahasa/penerjemah tanpa akreditasi NAATI. Kenyataannya, memang akreditasi NAATI juga diakui oleh PBB. Memang ada pengecualian dalam praktek, misalnya penerjemahan teks yang tak ada signifikansinya bagi urusan keimigrasian tidak memerlukan akreditasi NAATI. Sebagai contoh, penerjemah yang bekerja di pusat-pusat riset (misalnya di the Australian SMERU research centre di Jakarta) tidak disyaratkan akreditasi ini. Yang diperlukan justru paham Trados.

Maka, seringkali kalau ada jurusan yang menawarkan mata kuliah ‘translating’ dan/atau ‘interpreting’ di universitas, mahasiswa seringkali bertanya apakah ada akreditasi NAATI untuk itu. Jelaslah bahwa tanpa akreditasi ini, mata kuliah tersebut ‘kurang laku dijual’. Seringkali pula, para dosen pengajar mata kuliah ini harus menulis secara eksplisit dalam ‘course outline’ bahwa mata kuliah ini melulu kajian akademik dan tidak ada sangkut-pautnya dengan akreditasi NAATI.
Bagi lembaga-lembaga pendidikan seperti TAFE yang diakui oleh NAATI, harus ada standar jumlah jam latihan tertentu yang harus dipenuhi. Itupun oleh NAATI disebut “NAATI approved courses” bukan “NAATI accredited courses”.

Penerjemahan dan Penjurubahasaan sebagai Mata Kuliah di Perguruan Tinggi

Seperti disampaikan di atas, mahasiswa seringkali bertanya apakah suatu prgram atau mata kuliah I/T diberi akreditasi NAATI. Sebagai mata kuliah atau program, ada keseimbangan antara teori dan praktek, atau bahkan kadang-kadang lebih banyak teori daripada prakteknya. Alasannya, diharapkan para mahasiswa akan melanjutkan kajiannya ini dalam bentuk riset di belakang hari. Toh untuk praktek, mereka bisa mengambil tes NAATI.
Seringkali, di beberapa Perguruan tinggi, mata kuliah I/T ini berdiri sendiri sebagai mata kuliah pilihan (misalnya dalam program Applied Linguistics di UNSW). Namun, ada juga yang menawarkannya sebagai paket yang terpadu, meskipun terkadang masih dalam bentuk tambal-sulam, misalnya paket yang ditawarkan oleh Macquarie University, pada tingkat Magister (lihat; Jurusan Bahasa Cina di UNSW mempunyai struktur yang serupa.

Di universitas Macquarie, misalnya, ada satuan mata kuliah inti dan satuan pilihan. Uniknya, praktek penerjemahan diletakkan sebagai satuan pilihan (bukan wajib). Hal ini tentunya sangat berbeda dengan trade courses di TAFE.
Di UNSW, keadaannya lebih-lebih lagi, karena, misalnya, mata kuliah yang saya ajarkan “Translation: Theory and Practice” merupakan bagian dari program “Applied Linguistics” yang ditawarkan di Jurusan Linguistik. Pada tataran School (yang menjadi ‘payung’ bagi jurusan-jurusan bahasa dan linguistik) sekarang ditawarkan program magister yang lebih terpadu, meskipun tanpa embel-embel ‘akreditasi NAATI’. Ada upaya untuk ‘berkiblat’ ke Montreal (The Monterey Institute of International studies) yang mempunyai program dengan penekanan pada conference interpreting. Namun, inipun masih belum terlaksana sepenuhnya.

Tidak mudah memilih prinsip atau ‘ideologi’ yang mendasari model pelatihan yang dipilih: apakah lebih ke teori, lebih ke praktek, ataukah keseimbangan antara keduanya serta bagaimana bentuknya. Mengingat asal-mula terbentuknya NAATI dan sejarah kegiatan I/T di Australia, maka idealnya memang segala pelatihan mengarah ke sana. Namun, bila melulu ideologi ini yang diikuti, maka ‘translation as academic studies’ bisa terkesampingkan. Padahal, translation studies sekarang sudah jauh berkembang menjadi kajian yang semakin menarik, yang bisa diantarkaitkan dengan kajian lain seperti postcolonial studies, discourse studies, dll. Yang paling umum adalah kaitannya dengan cultural studies.


Sebagai praktisi juru bahasa (dan penerjemah), banyak hal yang saya rasakan perubahannya akhir-akhir ini. Misalnya, dengan tersedianya ratron atau email, kegiatan penerjemahan menjadi tidak terbatasi oleh batas geografis. Kadang-kadang, ada pesanan dari Amerika untuk dikerjakan di Australia, dari Indonesia untuk dikerjakan di Singapura, dsb.

Dengan demikian, untuk teks-teks yang tidak ada kaitannya dengan dokumen keimigrasian, akreditasi NAATI tidak lagi terlalu diperlukan, dan kadang-kadang klien bahkan tidak menanyakannya. Untuk kegiatan penerjemahan dalam volume yang besar, yang seringkali ditanyakan oleh klien atau perusahaan besar adalah: apakah penerjemah punya trados. Trados adalah program ‘information management’ yang dikeluarkan oleh Microsoft (kabarnya baru saja dibeli oleh perusahaan SDL). Melalui program ini, penerjemahan teks dalam jumlah besar yang memerlukan konsistensi frase dan peristilahan akan mudah dikerjakan. Namun, dengan harganya yang tak terjangkau, seringkali penerjemah lepas tidak bisa membelinya.

Melalui ratron, segala ‘order’ penerjemahan sekarang bisa dilakukan, termasuk ‘subtitling’ atau ‘screen translating’. Di masa lalu, penerjemah harus menghitung jumlah karakter dalam terjemahannya agar tidak memenuhi layar kaca. Dengan tersedianya ratron, penghitungan tersebut tidak lagi diperlukan. Klien akan mengirim teks elektronik (berbentuk teletext) lengkap dengan ruang yang sudah ditetapkan untuk terjemahannya, dan penerjemah tinggal menyesuaikannya dengan konteks (termasuk konteks visual dalam kasus penerjemahan film).

Seperti disebutkan di atas, kegiatan penjurubahasaan pun sudah bisa memanfaatkan kemajuan teknologi melalui tele-conference.

Organisasi profesi lewat ratron
Dengan timbulnya berbagai mailing lists atau kelompok diskusi melalui ratron belakangan ini, solidaritas antar para penerjemah (dan juru bahasa) semakin luas dan terbina dengan baik. Salah satu ajang diskusi dan tukar pikiran yang melibatkan bahasa Indonesia adalah “bahtera” (website:, dan mailing list-nya adalah ( Tentu banyak sudah menjadi anggotanya (mungkin dari para hadirin juga).
Dengan adanya ‘mailing list’ tersebut, poin terakhir dalam kode etik NAATI (professional solidarity) sangat mudah dilaksanakan (meski pelaksananya tidak mengetahui adanya kode etik tersebut). Lowongan-lowongan penjurubahasaan juga seringkali disampaikan melalui ‘Bahtera’.


Globalisasi telah menyebabkan perubahan besar dalam berbagai bidang, termasuk di bidang penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan. Berdasarkan pengalaman Australia sebagai Negara multicultural, telah dibahas kegiatan penjurubahasaan dan penerjemahan di Australia, yang muncul dari kebutuhan masyarakat. Berdasarkan kebutuhan ini telah dibentuk Badan Otonom yang mengatur akreditasinya.
Oleh karena sejarahnya yang melibatkan urusan keimigrasian, maka kegiatan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan pada awalnya hanya ditangani sebagai bagian dari Departemen Imigrasi. Baru beberapa lama kemudian, penerjemah dan juru bahasa menjadi profesi yang diakui keberadaannya secara hukum sehingga penetapan ‘gaji’nya pun diatur. Seiring dengan itu, dibentuk pula Lembaga Profesi yang menelurkan kode etik profesi. Seiring dengan itu pula, pelatihan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan disesuaikan dengan tuntunan NAATI, dan untuk kepentingan akreditasi NAATI. Namun, penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan juga menjadi ranah ‘pendidikan’ di perguruan tinggi yang seringkali menekankan sisi teoretik penerjemahan. Di sinilah sisi yang perlu diperhatikan dan masih perlu pemecahan mengenai iedologi yang dianut, dsb.
Seiring dengan kemajuan teknologi, penerjemahan tidak hanya melibatkan ‘manusia’ sebagai ‘pelaksana’ penerjemahan. Ada perangkat lunak yang bisa membantu manusia dalam menerjemahkan suatu teks. Bidang teknologi ini merupakan hal yang tidak bisa dilupakan dalam pelatihan dan pendidikan penerjemah.


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Gentile, Adolfo et al, Liaison Interpreting, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
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Ginori, Luciano, Introduction to Interpreting, Sydney: Lantern, 1995
Machali, Rochayah, Pedoman bagi Penerjemah, Jakarta: Grasindo: 2000.
Machali, Rochayah, Redefining Textual equivalence in Translation, Jakarta: PPUI, 1998
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Snell-Hornby (1999) dalam Schäffner (1999), Editorial: Globalisation, Communication, Translation, Current Issues in Language and Society, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1999.
Thomas. Noel et al, Interpreting as a Language Teaching Technique, London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and research, 1985.
Seleskovitch, D., Interpreting for International Conferences, Washington: Pen and Booth, 1978.


A World in Edgeways (Interpreting in health contexts), Melbourne: Training, Health &
Educational Media Pty Ltd, 1989.
Walking a tightrope: interpreting for professionals, Canberra: National Accreditation
Authority for Translators and Interpreters [distributor], 1984.
Interpreting ethics: ethical issues for community interpreters, Sydney: Open Training and
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Moving towards meaning: interpreting techniques, Adelaide: International Languages and
Tourism, Adelaide Institute of TAFE, 1998.
At the headmaster’s office: Mrs. Lam – Cantonese

HM= Headmaster; I = Interpreter; M= Mother (Mrs. Lam)

HM: How can I help you?
M: …………………………..
I: I want to see you today because I want to talk to you about my son’s study plan.
HM: Tell Mrs. Lam she’s got nothing to worry about. Kar is doing well in all of his subjects.
I: …………………………..
M: …………………………..
I: Yes, all except Math.
HM: Math IS one of his weakest subjects, but it’s above the average, and is improving all the time.
I: ( to M) …………………………..
M: …………………………..
I: (to HM) But we want him to do dentistry and we think he should do 4 Unit Math and I have heard that these difficult subjects are scaled up, so Karr would get better marks? Is that true?
HM: No, I think he should concentrate on his stronger subjects. And it’s common perception that scaling increases your TER score. Now what actually happens is that all courses in the HSC are given the mean percentage. This applies, whether the courses are Math, Math in Society or 4 Unit Math.
I: (to M) …………………………..
HM: (cont) Scaling depends upon the mean and ability of the course candidates. And it may be true that students who choose to do Math in practice are of the lesser ability than students who choose to do 4 Unit Math. So if the course has students in it who are above the average they will be scaled down, and if there are students who are below the average, they will be scaled up.
I: (to M- hesitant, in Cantonese)…. (with subtitles on the screen) scaling depends on the ability of the candidate, but students who choose 4 Unit Math are probably better… Students who are doing worse than others will be scaled up.
M: (in Cantonese — with subtitles) O I see. I’ll take him to 4 unit Math tutoring over the summer break. (…terus mengangguk dan pergi)…….
HM: What did you tell her?



Quality Analysis of Translation of the First Chapter of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita

by Irene Nany K

A Candidate of Master in Applied Linguistics, University of Brawijaya, Indonesia


Lolita is a world famous novel written by Russian author, Vladimir Nabokov in 1955. Originally written in English, this novel is often considered as one of the three most influential novels in history. In penning the story, Vladimir uses numerous wordplay and delicate words that makes this novel not easy to be interpreted, though it has been translated into many languages, including Bahasa Indonesia. There are also dozens of allusions to Poe, Joyce, Flaubert, Shakespeare, Keats, Melville, and so on.

This novel tells about a thirty something widowed man of mixed European origins, initially named “Humbert Humbert”. He was born in Paris in 1910 and fell obsessively and desperately in love with a twelve years old American girl, Dolores Haze (Lolita). We are told, in the first paragraph on the “Foreword,” that “Humbert Humbert” died of a coronary thrombosis on November 16, 1952, just before the start of his trial for murder. His memoir, “Lolita or The Confessions of a White Widowed Male” are actually being presented to us by John Ray, Jr. The novel is comprised of sixty-nine chapters. Although, at first glance, Lolita may seem to be the account of a pedophile and murderer, it is really a love story and a tragic one at that. This novel, however, is notable for its controversial subjects.

The writer mainly chooses to take the first chapter of this novel for in that part the opening story is lyrical and genius. As like fulfilling its role to captivate the reader on the first page, the first chapter is exquisitely succeeded. The use of words show the extravagant passion of “Humbert Humbert” towards Lolita, instead of prose, the first chapter sounds more like poem. Therefore, the writer tries to annotate the translated version of Bahasa Indonesia that is converted by Anton Kurnia and published by Serambi Ilmu Semesta in 2008. On the translated version of Bahasa Indonesia, the writer found some rarely used words like sulbi or boyak. Aside from the word choice by the translator along the novel, the writer tries to annotate the translation product of chapter one using the translation assessment theory mainly from Mashadi Said (Universitas Gunadarma) and Juliane House who deals with Functional-Pragmatic Model of Translation Evaluation (Halidayan Approach).



Translation is a process of delivering or transferring information and message from one language to another. In the process of doing the translation, however, there are many aspects that influencing the translator to lose the poignant meaning, to cause perplexity, and to cause the same effect upon the Target Language reader compared to the Source Language reader. Along with the numerous translation products from foreign literature, translation theory developed fast during the second half of the 20th century, starting with the theory of Nida, Catford, and other theoretician (Hariyanto, 2013). The equivalency of the language meaning therefore, needs to be maintained (House, 2001).

According to Mashadi Said (2002) in his paper Menilai Terjemahan published in Jurnal Ilmiah Sastra Bahasa vol. 7 no. 2 (Dec. 2002), the quality parameter of a translation product depends on its accuracy, properness, and clarity:

Berkualitas tidaknya suatu terjemahan dapat ditentukan melalui tiga sudut pandang yaitu keakuratan, kejelasan, dan kewajaran. Keakuratan berarti sejauhmana pesan dalam teks bahasa sumber (TBsu) disampaikan dengan benar dalam teks bahasa penerima (TBp). Kejelasan berarti sejauhmana pesan yang dikomunikasikan dalam teks bahasa penerima dapat dipahami dengan mudah pembaca sasaran. Makna yang ditangkap pembaca TBsu sama dengan makna yang ditangkap pembaca TBp. Kewajaran berarti sejauhmana pesan dikomunikasikan dalam bentuk yang lazim, sehingga pembaca teks bahasa penerima terkesan bahwa naskah yang dibacanya adalah naskah asli yang ditulis dalam bahasanya sendiri.”

Nida and Taber (1982:13) quoted in Said (2002) argue that in order to maintain the accuracy of the message, a translator can change the grammatical structure of the sentence in the SL text: “… makna harus diutamakan karena isi pesanlah yang terpenting. … Ini berarti bahwa penyimpangan tertentu yang agak radikal dari struktur formal tidak saja dibolehkan, tetapi bahkan mungkin sangat diperlukan.

Among several ways in examining the product of translation, that are written on Said paper “Menilai Terjemahan” the writer mostly uses the feature of ‘back translation’ to examine the accuracy, properness, and clarity aspect of the TL text. For this is a simple method that can directly examine precision of the TL text.

Meanwhile according to Juliane House (2001), who use Halidayan approach in her way of assessing translation product, the process of translation must consider language or text through register (Field, Tenor , Mode ) and its genre:

“The assessment model (House 1997) is based on Hallidayan systemic-functional theory, but also draws eclectically on Prague school ideas, speech act theory pragmatics, discourse analysis and corpus-based distinctions between spoken and written language. It provides for the analysis and comparison of an original and its translation on three different levels: the levels of Language/Text, Register (Field, Mode and Tenor) and Genre.” (p. 247)

One paramount thing in translating text, according to House is the properness or naturalness of language in the TL text. It is the difficult task that needs to be accomplished by every translator in order to produce an excellent translation that is will be well received by the TL reader. To do so, one must have the adept skill and vast knowledge of the language and culture of both SL and TL text:

“Over and above its role as a concept constitutive of translation, “equivalence” is the fundamental criterion of translation quality. In an attempt to make “a case for linguistics in translation theory,” Ivir expresses the inherent relativity of the equivalence relation very well: “Equivalence is…relative and not absolute,…it emerges from the context of situation as defined by the interplay of (many different factors) and has no existence outside that context, and in particular it is not stipulated in advance by an algorithm for the conversion of linguistic units of L1 into linguistic units of L2” (1996: 155).” (p. 247)


In every word choice of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, it is notable that the author put brilliant effort in describing his main character, “Humbert Humbert,” as a luscious and passionate toward Lolita. The main character is not just in love but also deeply in lust. This message that delicately appears on its writing style and language, however, shall be maintained when one tries to translate this novel into the Target Language due to the equivalence aspect of translation (House, 2011).

To apply the translation assessment theory upon the analysis of Lolita’s first chapter, the writer initially discusses the ideational, interpersonal and textual aspects of this novel. According to House (2011), a translator must consider the functional approach (field, tenor and mode) of the text s/he dealing with. As it is written on the foreword, this novel is a memoir of “Humbert Humbert”, more precisely it is a confession of him as a murderer. The first chapter of this novel is written by “Humbert Humbert” to be read by the juries of the court, while the form of his message is written. Furthermore, the translation analysis regarding to the theory of Said (2002) that deals with accuracy, properness, and clarity, upon some prominent issues on the first chapter will be discussed subsequently.

In the first paragraph of the first chapter, even speaking Lolita’s name is a sensual experience for “Humbert Humbert”. It is the alliteration of a literal trip of his tongue through his mouth:

Source Language (English):

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.”

Target Language (Bahasa):

“Lolita, cahaya hidupku, api sulbiku. Dosaku, sukmaku. Lolita: ujung lidah mengeja tiga suku kata, menyentuh langit-langit mulut, dan pada kali ketiga menyentuh gigi. Lo. Li. Ta”.

From this first paragraph, the writer argues that there are some words that are inaccurate. For example, In the TL the translator uses “api sulbi” for “fire of my loins”. Sulbi comes from Arabic language which means coccyx. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary (henceforth MWD) coccyx means “a small bone that articulates with the sacrum and that usually consists of four fused vertebrae which form the terminus of the spinal column in humans and tailless apes.” While loins mean “a: the upper and lower abdominal regions and the region about the hips; b: the pubic region, the reproductive organs” (MWD). In other words, sulbi refers to the bone while ‘loin’ literally refer to the sexual organ, therefore, it refers to passion or lust. For this reason, the use of sulbi to convert ‘loin’ is inaccurate. Hence, the writer proposes the use of word hasrat, meaning ‘passion’ or ‘lust’ to translate the word ‘loin’ (see table: annotated translation).

The next issue form the first paragraph is the depiction of Lolita’s name. The translated version however, looses the intricate aspect that the character wants to express through his description of the process mentioning the name of the one he loves passionately. The translator uses the phrase “..mengeja tiga suku kata..”, if we apply back translation to assess this issue, the meaning will be “…spelling three syllables…” which do not occur in the SL text. The whole process of spelling the name Lolita however, tells the reader something more than just the process of mentioning someone’s name. The author wants to emphasize that even in spelling Lolita’s name, “Humbert Humbert” is aroused. In the Bahasa version the sentences are translated into “…ujung lidah mengeja tiga suku kata, menyentuh langit-langit mulut, dan pada kali ketiga menyentuh gigi.” The phrase ‘taking a trip’ is changed into ‘mengeja tiga suku kata’ or ‘spelling three syllables’ which eliminate the adventurous sense of the action. Hence, the writer suggests the use of word ‘berkelana’ or ‘to wander’ for the phrase ‘taking a trip’.

In the second paragraph, there is one prominent issue on the use of words in the translated version that will be annotated.

Source Language (English):

“She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.”

Target Language (Bahasa):

“Dia adalah Lo yang biasa-biasa saja di pagi hari, setinggi seratus lima puluh senti, mengenakan sebelah kaus kaki. Dia adalah Lola saat mengenakan celana panjang longgar. Dia adalah Dolly di sekolah. Dia adalah Dolores pada data isian bertitik-titik. Namun dalam pelukanku dia adalah Lolita.”


The sentence ‘She was Dolores on the dotted line’ is literally translated into ‘Dia adalah Dolores pada data isian bertitik-titik’. While the phrase ‘on the dotted line’ in English idiomatic expression that refers to official name on the legal documents, to translate it literally will be perplexing for the reader. Due to properness and clarity aspects of translation for the target reader, the writer proposes the use of ‘dokumen resmi’ to transfer the phrase ‘on the dotted line’ (see table: annotated translation).

In the third paragraph, there are two issues to be discussed. The first one relies on the first sentence:

Source Language (English):

“Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.”

Target Language (Bahasa):

“Apakah dia memang seorang titisan? Ya, pasti. Kenyataannya, tak bakal ada Lolita sama sekali jika aku tak pernah jatuh cinta kepada seorang gadis belia pada suatu musim panas di sebuah puri di tepi laut. Oh, kapankah? Bertahun-tahun sebelum Lolita dilahirkan pada musim panas itu. Ah, kalian selalu bisa mengandalkan seorang pembunuh untuk menulis prosa yang indah.”

 The translated version of the first sentence ‘Did she have a precursor?’ into ‘Apakah dia memang seorang titisan?’ is rather inaccurate and unclear. In back translation, the sentence becomes ‘Is she a reincarnation?’ In fact, the author writing style is trying to hold the truth that the main character is going to reveal. It is not clear at first to what precursor the main character refers to. However, the next sentence explains that the precursor here refers to someone that he used to love in the past. Hence, the focus of the sentences is that special person in the past, whose identity is still unveiled. To translate it into ‘Is she a reincarnation?’ will shift the focus to Lolita itself, therefore the writer proposes the use of sentence ‘Apakah dia pernah dilahirkan dalam wujud orang lain sebelumnya?’ or in English it means ‘Had she she ever born before?’ to maintain the focus of the sentence in the SL text.

Still from the third paragraph, the next sentence that is going to be annotated is the sentence ‘…About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer’ which is translated into ‘…Bertahun-tahun sebelum Lolita dilahirkan pada musim panas itu.’ The sentence, however, is ambiguous in the TL text. In back translation the sentence will become ‘Years before Lolita was born that summer’. By the omission of the words ‘my age’ in the TL text, the message is not successfully transferred. The writer, therefore, proposes to provide the detail meaning in that sentence: ‘Kira-kira bertahun-tahun yang lalu, sebelum Lolita berusia sama denganku pada saat peristiwa musim panas itu terjadi.’

In the last paragraph of chapter one, the last sentence will be discussed:

Source Language (English):

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.”

Target Language (Bahasa):

“Para anggota sidang juri yang terhormat, yang mula-mula akan kutunjukkan adalah apa yang dicemburui oleh para malaikat-malaikat bersayap yang telah salah mengerti itu. Sudilah melihat selaksa sulur duri yang rumit membelit ini.”


In the last sentence of the TL text, it is obvious that the translator tries to maintain the characteristic of the author in using the wordplay in its SL text. However, the sentence ‘Sudilah melihat selaksa sulur duri yang rumit membelit ini’ does not sound quite natural in the TL text. The last sentence is actually the opening of the detail story that the main character is going to reveal, therefore the writer suggests to use clearer message in the TL text: “Marilah kita lihat jalinan kisah dari duri-duri yang membelit ini.

SL: English Version TL: Indonesian Version  Suggested Improved Translation
(1) Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. (1) Lolita, cahaya hidupku, api sulbiku. Dosaku, sukmaku. Lolita: ujung lidah mengeja tiga suku kata, menyentuh langit-langit mulut, dan pada kali ketiga menyentuh gigi. Lo. Li. Ta. (1) Lolita, cahaya hidupku, api yang membakar hasratku. Dosaku, sukmaku. Lo-lii-ta: ujung lidahku berkelana menelusuri bagian bawah mulutku dengan tiga sentuhan mengeja namanya, pada sentuhan ketiga, naik menyentuh deretan gigiku. Lo.Lii. ta.
(2) She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores onthe dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.  (2) Dia adalah Lo yang biasa-biasa saja di pagi hari, setinggi seratus lima puluh senti, mengenakan sebelah kaus kaki. Dia adalah Lola saat mengenakan celana panjang longgar. Dia adalah Dolly di sekolah. Dia adalah Dolores pada data isian bertitik-titik. Namun dalam pelukanku dia adalah Lolita.  (2) Dia adalah Lo. Lo yang tampak sederhana di pagi hari, dengan tingginya seratus lima puluh senti, mengenakan kaus kaki sebelah. Dia adalah Lola, saat mengenakan celana panjang longgar. Saat di sekolah, dia adalah Dolly. Dalam dokumen resmi dia adalah Dolores. Namun dalam pelukanku dia selalu menjadi Lolita. 
(3) Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. (3) Apakah dia memang seorang titisan? Ya, pasti. Kenyataannya, tak bakal ada Lolita sama sekali jika aku tak pernah jatuh cinta kepada seorang gadis belia pada suatu musim panas di sebuah puri di tepi laut. Oh, kapankah? Bertahun-tahun sebelum Lolita dilahirkan pada musim panas itu. Ah, kalian selalu bisa mengandalkan seorang pembunuh untuk menulis prosa yang indah. (3) Apakah dia pernah dilahirkan dalam wujud orang lain sebelumnya? Ya, sudah pasti. Kenyataannya, Lolita tak akan pernah ada jika aku tak pernah jatuh cinta kepada seorang gadis belia pada suatu musim panas di sebuah puri di tepi laut. Oh, kapankah itu? Kira-kira bertahun-tahun yang lalu, sebelum Lolita berusia sama denganku pada saat peristiwa musim panas itu terjadi. Percayalah, seorang pembunuh selalu bisa diandalkan untuk menulis sebuah prosa yang indah.
(4) Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns. (4) Para anggota sidang juri yang terhormat, yang mula-mula akan kutunjukkan adalah apa yang dicemburui oleh para malaikat-malaikat bersayap yang telah salah mengerti itu. Sudilah melihat selaksa sulur duri yang rumit membelit ini. (4) Para anggota sidang juri yang terhormat, pertunjukan yang mula-mula akan kuperlihatkan adalah mengenai hal yang telah dicemburui oleh para malaikat-malaikat bersayap yang salah mengerti itu. Marilah kita lihat jalinan kisah dari duri-duri yang membelit ini.



The translated text of Lolita, especially the first chapter, to Bahasa Indonesia by Anton Kurnia, still have some failures in delivering the message from its SL text (English). In one hand, the translator tries to maintain the delicacy of the wordplay used by the author, Vladimir Nabokov, but in the other hand the translator ignores the prominent function of the translation, which is to deliver the full message and to do so in such natural ways in the context of TL readers.



Hariyanto, Sugeng. 2008. Translation Quality Assessment in Translation Studies.

House, Juliane. 2001. Translation Quality Assessment: Linguistic Description versus Social Evaluation. Meta, (on-line journal), XL VI, 2, 2001. Retrieved online June 10th 2013.

Nabokov, Vladimir. 2006. Lolita. London: Penguin Books.

Nabokov, Vladimir. 2008. Lolita. Jakarta: Serambi.

Said, Mashadi. 2002. Menilai Terjemahan. Jurnal Ilmiah Sastra Bahasa vol. 7 no. 2 (Dec. 2002), ISSN: 1410-9077. Retrieved online July 1st 2013.


Laila Sarah Puspita Sari

A Candidate of Master of Applied Linguistics of Universitas Brawijaya


According to Newmark (1988:7), translation is a craft consisting in the attempt to replace a written message and/or statement in one language by the same message and/or statement in another language. Then Nida and Taber (1982:12) propose a rather complete definition of translation, that “Translating consisting of reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalence of source language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in term of style.” Meanwhile, Catford (1965:20) also states that translation is the replacement of textual material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL).

Working on translation, technically, a translator has to know the equivalency in translating the source language to the target one. As we know, translation peers always encounter different changes in equivalence within different language levels ranging from physical forms into meaning. Bell (1991:20) defines the phenomenon as “the replacement of a representation of a text in one language by a representation of an equivalent text in a second language.” Baker (2001:77) defines equivalence as the relationship between a source text (ST) and a target text (TT) that has allowed the TT to be considered as a translation of the ST in the first place. From what the experts’ statement above, we can say that equivalence is the most important element in the process of translation.

This paper discusses translation problems arising from lack of equivalence at word level; what does a translation do when there is no word in the target language which expresses the same meaning as to be source language word? Based on those considerations, this paper deals with one of the types of equivalence that Baker proposed in her study, that is equivalence at word level. The data are taken from one of the Dan Brown’s novel, “The Lost Symbol” (Chapter 1) translation of English into Indonesian.



Baker (2001) explores the notion of equivalence at different levels: equivalence at word level, equivalence above word level, grammatical equivalence, textual equivalence, and pragmatic equivalence. These levels of equivalence are closely related to the translation process, including all different aspects of translation and hence putting together the linguistic and the communicative approach. There is n on-to-one correspondence between orthographic words and elements of meaning within across language (Baker, 2001:11). In her book, Baker also describes common problems of non-equivalence at word level and the strategies dealing with it.

Culture-specific concepts

The source-language word may express a concept which is totally unknown in the target language (abstract or concrete; it may relate to a religious belief, a social custom or even a type of food).

The source-language concept is not lexicalized in the target language

The source language word may express a concept which is known in the target culture but simply not lexicalized, that is not “allocated” a target language word to express it.

The source-language word is semantically complex

The source-language word may be semantically complex.

The source and the target languages make different distinctions in meaning.

The target language may make more or fewer distinctions in meaning than the source language.

The target language lacks a superordinate

The target language may have specific words (hyponyms) but no general word (superordinate) to head the semantic field.

The target language lacks a specific term (hyponym)

More commonly, languages tend to have general words (superordinate) but lack specific ones (hyponyms).

Differences in physical or interpersonal perspective

Physical perspective has to do with where things or people are in relation to one another or to a place, as expressed in pairs of words such as come/go, take/bring, arrive/depart, etc. perspective may also include the relationship between participants in the discourse (tenor).

Differences in expressive meaning

There may be a target-language word which has the same propositional meaning as the source-language word, but it may have a different expressive meaning.

Difference in form

There is often no equivalent in the target language for particular form in the source text.

Differences in frequency and purpose of using specific forms.

Even when a particular form does have a ready equivalent in the target language, there may be a difference in the frequency with which it is used or the purpose for which it is used.

The use of loan words in the source text

Words such as au fait, chic and alfresco in English are used for their prestige value, because they add an air of sophistication to the text or its subject matter. This is often lost in translation because it is not always possible to find a loan word with the same meaning in the target language.

In addition, Baker also proposes some strategies dealing with it as follows:

  • Translation by a more general word (superordinate)
  • Translation by a more neutral/ less expressive word
  • Translation by cultural substitution, which involves replacing a culture-specific item or expression with a target-language item which does not have the same propositional meaning but is likely to have a similar impact on the target reader.
  • Translation using a loan word or loan words plus explanation,which is particularly common in dealing with culture-specific items, modern concepts and buzz words. Following the loan word with an explanation is very useful when the word in question is repeated several times in the text.
  • Translation by paraphrase using a related word, whic his used when the concept expressed by the source item is lexicalized in the target language but in a different form, and when the frequency with which a certain form is used in the source text is significantly higher than would be natural in the target language.
  • Translation by paraphrase using unrelated words. This is done if the concept expressed by the source item is not lexicalized at all in the target language, the paraphrase strategy can still be used in some contexts.
  • Translation by omission is adopted whenthe meaning conveyed by a particular item or expression is not vital enough to the development of the text to justify distracting the reader with lengthy explanations, translators can and often do simply omit translating the word or expression in question.
  • Translation by illustration is a useful option if the word which lacks an equivalent in the target language refers to a physical entity which can be illustrated, particularly if there are restrictions on space and if the text has to remain short, concise and to the point.



In this paper, the data are categorized based on the problems of equivalence at word level.

  1. Culture-specific concepts
  • the 555-foot –> 555 kaki (170 meter)
  • turtlenecks –> Kaus berleher tinggi
  • cravat –> cravat (dasi)
  • fascalia –> fasealia (syal pengikat leher)
  • Staccato –> suara berderak
  1. The source language concept is not lexicalized in the target language
  • austere –> sederhana
  • daybag –> tas bahu
  1. The source-language word is semantically complex
  • unloading platform –> platform untuk menurunkan penumpang
  • collegiate cordovan loafers –> sepatu kulit santai model mahasiswa
  1. The source and the target languages make different distinctions in meaning
  • voice –> aksen
  • read –> membahas
  1. The target language lacks of superordinate
  • leaned –> mencondongkan tubuh
  • saying –> mengucapkan
  • climbing –> naik merayapi ­
  1. The target language lacks of specific term
  • craning –> menjulurkan leher
  • spire –> menara
  1. Differences in physical or interpersonal perspective
  • you –> kau
  • child –> bocah
  • boy –> anak laki-laki
  • boy –> bocah
  • woman –> perempuan
  • your guest –> tamu Anda
  1. Difference in form
  • unexpected –> tak terduga
  • Hate –> tidak ingin
  • background –> latar belakang
  1. The use of loan words in the source text
  • corporate jet –> jet korporasi
  • symbology –> simbologi
  • philanthropist –> filantrop
  • dynasty –> dinasti
  • silhouette –> siluet
  • etymologically –> etimologis


As mentioned in the previous part, Baker in her book “In Other Words” proposed some strategies dealing with the problems that translator may face in translating the English into Indonesian. In this part, the work focuses on analyzing the problem and the strategies that the translator deals with.

Culture-specific concepts

a. Data: the 555-foot –> 555 kaki (170 meter)

ST : The 555-foot marble-faced obelisk marked the nation’s heart.

TT : Obelisk berpermukaan marmer setinggi 555 kaki (170 meter) itu menandai jantung bangsa ini.

It is proper for Western to say foot to describe the measure of altitude or length. The foot is still legally recognized as an alternative expression of length in Canada, officially defined as a unit derived from the metric metre and still commonly used in the United Kingdom, although both have partially metricated their units of measurement. The foot is widely used outside the English-speaking country ( In this phenomenon, the translator decides to translate it into 555 kaki and add explanation (170 meter) in which the measurement of length in meter sounds familiar in Indonesia.

b. Data: turtlenecks –> Kaus berleher tinggi

ST : The woman laughed. ‘Those turtlenecks you wear are so dated. You’d look much sharper in a tie!’

TT : Perempuan itu tertawa. “Kaus berleher tinggi yang Anda kenakan kuno sekali. Anda akan tampak jauh lebih cerdas dengan kemeja berdasi!”

American describes turtleneck as a garment, usually a sweater with a close-fitting, round, and high collar that folds over and covers the neck. Indonesian does not have the equivalence word of turtleneck because it is originally worn by American and Australian. The translator tries to find the cultural substitution for this in order to be more understandable for Indonesian. Therefore Kaus berleher tinggi is the best translation for turtleneck by describing how turtleneck looks like, that is t-shirt with high collar that folds over and cover the neck.

c. Data: cravat –> cravat (dasi)

d. Data: fascalia –> fasealia (syal pengikat leher)

ST: —and despite the headmaster’s romantic claims that the origin of the cravat went back to the silk fasealia worn by Roman orators to warm their vocal cords,—

TT : —Walaupun ada pernyataan romantis dari pemimpin akademi bahwa cravat (dasi) berasal dari fasealia (syal pengikat leher) sutra yang dikenakan para orator Romawi untuk menghangatkan pita suara,—

Western describe cravat is a scarf or band worn around the neck as a tie especially by men. Cravat means the forerunner to the modern tie. Historically, a cravat is a symbol of culture and elegance associated with Croats in the 17th century ( Nowadays cravat is worn by bridegroom of Western style. Again there is no equivalent word for cravat in Indonesian and we only have tie to call kind of long piece of cloth around the neck. In consequence, the translator uses a strategy by keeping the source text and give explanation as an addition, which sounds general or neutral for Indonesian that cravat can be described as the same as tie.

The same phenomenon exist in translating fascalia, there is no equivalence word for fascalia then the translator keeps the word and give explanation in the bracket

The source-language word is semantically complex

  • unloading platform –> platform untuk menurunkan penumpang

ST: Almost there, the boy told himself, craning his neck and looking up at the unloading platform.

TT: Hampir sampai, ujar bocah itu kepada diri sendiri, seraya menjulurkan leher dan mendongak memandangi platform untuk menurunkan penumpang.

In this case, the source text word is semantically complex and the translator decides to translate unloading platform intoplatform untuk menurunkan penumpang. The strategy which is applied is translation by paraphrasing using a related word

  • collegiate cordovan loafers –> sepatu kulit santai model mahasiswa

ST: He was wearing his usual charcoal turtleneck, Harris Tweed jacket, khakis, and collegiate cordovan loafers—

TT: Seperti biasa, dia mengenakan kaus abu-abu tua berleher tinggi, jaket Harris Tweed, celana panjang khaki, dan sepatu kulit santai model mahasiswa

The same problem happens in this part of text. If we translate it word-for-word, it causes a long text to explain one by one the term of that kind of shoes. Then, the same strategies used to transfer the appropriate meaning that is by paraphrasing using related words to get the understandable and acceptable translation.

The source and the target languages make different distinctions in meaning

  • voice –> aksen

ST: ‘Hello! Hello!’ a singsong British voice shouted from across the tarmac. ‘Professor Langdon?’

TT: “Halo! Halo!” teriak sebuah suara merdu beraksen Inggris dari seberang aspal. “Profesor Langdon?”

Literally, voice means sounds made when speaking or singing. For example, she is lost her voice. For this case, the translator considers the addition of information of British in which there is a stress that the character is speaking British English. Cultural substitution is used as the strategy to make it appropriate translation. Therefore he translates it into aksen which is not the literal meaning of voice.

  • read –> membahas

ST: ‘My book group read your book about the sacred feminine and the church!

TT: “Kelompok pembaca buku saya membahas buku Anda tentang sacred feminine dan gereja!

It is a great choice translating read into membahas, whereas the literal meaning of read is membaca. By considering the previous words, it is mentioned already the ‘pembaca’ is used to translate book. Word-for word translation is not the appropriate strategy to solve this problem. Therefore the translator applies the strategy of paraphrase by using the related words by considering some aspects that support the diction choice. The diction choice is acceptable for reader because they have the same information that a book group’s activity is not only reading the book but also discussing the contents of the book.

The target language lacks of superordinate

  • climbing –> naik merayapi ­

ST: Petugas lift sedang mengucapkan sesuatu menenangkan mengenai piston bersambung dan konstruksi besi tempa lift.

TT: Lift Otis yang naik merayapi pilar selatan Menara Eiffel itu dipenuhi turis.

We see that the translator decided to make his translation as natural as possible in Indonesian. He considered his understanding of Eiffel Tower that people can see Paris from above and people already know about it. Meaning that, there is the same knowledge between the reader and the writer. The decision of the collocation used is appropriate dealing with the ‘lift’ . Here ‘lift’ is subject which is climbing with the help of machine. If we translate it into ‘memanjat’, it is not acceptable because we use ‘memanjat’ only for human and some animals. Also the translator makes it more expressive by using naik merayapi. He wants people to imagine what was happening with the lift at that time’

It can be said that it is the strategy of the translator to translate it in two phrases, ‘naik merayap’ intead of ‘naik’. He tends to keep the natural meaning of ‘climbing’ in the text, in which the author describes the ‘lift’ is moving up slowly. Then if he only translates it ‘merayap’, it is less accurate in fact ‘merayap’ can be down, up, right or left.

 The target language lacks of specific term

  • craning –> menjulurkan

ST: Almost there, the boy told himself, craning his neck and looking up at the unloading platform.

TT: Hampir sampai, ujar bocah itu kepada diri sendiri, seraya menjulurkan leher dan mendongak memandangi platform untuk menurunkan penumpang.

In my opinion, the translation of menjulurkan leher fot craning is not appropriate. In Bahasa, menjulurkan is commonly expressed for tongue, menjulurkan lidah. Hence, we need more acceptable word to transfer the meaning of craning. Because of Bahasa lacks of specific term so the strategy used is paraphrase by using related word. The activity which is associated with stretching out one’s neck in order to see something can be called mengulurkan leher in Bahasa.

  • spire –> menara

ST: Outside the window the sun had set, but Langdon could still make out slender silhouette of the world’s largest obelisk, rising on the horizon like the spire of an ancient gnomon.

TT: Matahari sudah terbenam di balik jendela, tapi Langdon masih bisa melihat siluet ramping obelisk terbesar di dunia, yang menjulang di cakrawala seperti menara jam kuno.

A more general word is used as the strategy. Yet, the translator gives lack information to transfer the meaning of spire. He translates spire into menara and the reader will imagine the whole menara (tower), in fact, in his book, the author wants the readers to imagine the special part of the tower that is the spire. In the source text, English has specific word to call the top of the tower that is spire, while in Bahasa it needs two words to call the spire. In my opinion, it is acceptable if the translator translates the word spire into puncak menara in order to get the more specific meaning and information for the reader.

Differences in physical or interpersonal perspective

  • you –> kau

ST: ‘You look pale, son. You should have stayed on the ground.’

TT: “Kau tampak pucat, Nak. Seharusnya kau tetap di bawah.”

The Kau in this dialogue is used as the consideration of poetic term of novel and it is generally used as bound morpheme of engkau. Because of the social status between the speakers, in daily conversation kau sounds rude compared to kamu. In my view, kamu term is more acceptable for Indonesian. Kamu is considered a more familiar way of talking; it stands in the middle of formal and informal. Kamu is used with your sister, brothers, cousins, and other family members of the same age or status.

  • your car –> mobil Anda

ST: ‘If you’ll come with me, sir, your car is waiting.’

TT: ”Ikuti saya, Pak, mobil Anda sudah menunggu.”

Anda is very formal way of talking, like between businessmen, to people that are older, to person that you respect, to teachers, or to strangers. It can also be used as a barrier, because it shows that you have no interests of forming a close relationship with the other person. Considering the relationship between Langdon and the driver shows the different social status between them and the term of Anda is accurate to be used in the translation.

Difference in form

  • unexpected –> tak terduga

ST: The daydream about his late father, Langdon suspected, had been stirred by this morning’s unexpected invitation from Langdon’s longtime mentor, Peter Solomon.

TT: Langdon curiga, agaknya lamunan tentang almarhum ayahnya dipicu oleh undangan tak terduga pagi ini dari mentor lamanya, Peter Solomon.

To describe the minimal formal element of meaning in language, as distinct from word, this may or may not contain several elements of meaning. Thus, an important difference between morpheme and words is that a morpheme cannot contain more than one element of meaning and cannot be further analyzed. The term of tak terduga is an accurate diction for unexpected.

The use of loan words in the source text

  • corporate jet –> jet korporasi

ST: He was sitting all alone in the enormous cabin of a Falcoln 2000EX corporate jet as it bounced its way through turbulence.

TT: Dia sedang duduk sendirian di kabin luas jet korporasi Falcon 2000EX yang berguncang-guncang melewati turbulensi.

In my view, it does not need to keep the loan word in the translation when we have the original word in Bahasa. Corporate can be translated into perusahaan which is more acceptable and understandable for the target reader.

  • symbology –> simbologi

ST: He’d been halfway through reviewing Masonic symbology when his mind had drifted.

TT: Dia sudah setengah jalan meninjau simbologi Mason ketika benaknya tadi berkelana.

Symbology basedon Merriam Webster is the art of expression by symbol, or the study or interpretation of symbol. Bahasa does not have the equivalence word of this term so the translator decides to keep it in his translation and this strategy is exactly appropriate to solve the problem.

  • philanthropist –> filantrop

ST: The fifty – eight-year-oldphilanthropist, historian, and scientist had taken Langdon—

TT: Finlantrop, sejarahwan, dan ilmuwan berusia 58 tahun itu sudah membantu dan membimbing Langdon—

As the same as the previous discussion about using the loan word, in this case the translator does the same thing consider that in Bahasa, we have no term to substitute philanthropist.

  • dynasty –> dinasti

ST: Despite the man’s influential family dynasty and massive wealth,

TT: Walaupun dinasti keluarga Solomon sangat berpengaruh dan kekayaannya luar biasa,

Sometimes translator should not use the loan word to play save in his translation when we have our own term in the target text. When we talk about dynasty, it deals with royal family in a country and the same thing happens in Indonesia. Dinasti term in Bahasa is something like looking back in the China Kingdom era hundred years ago. It is better if dynasty is translated into keturunan because it is more neutral and familiar for Indonesia.

  • clipboard –> clipboard

ST: Langdon looked up to see a middle-aged woman with a badge and clipboard hurrying toward him, waving happily as he approached.

TT: Langdon mendongak dan melihat seorang perempuan setengah baya dengan lencana dan clipboard bergegas menghapirinya, lalu melambaikan tangan dengan gembira ketika Langdon mendekat.

As the same reason and opinion in the discussion above, I propose that the more acceptable translation for clipboard is papan tulis kecil. Some people will not get the same understanding what clipboard is if the translator keeps the English term.



Based on finding the analysis there are eight types of problems found dealing with the equivalence at word level in The Lost Symbol translation of English into Bahasa: Culture-specific concepts, the source language concept is not lexicalized in the target language, the source-language word is semantically complex, the source and the target languages make different distinctions in meaning, the target language lacks of superordinate, the target language lacks of specific term, differences in physical or interpersonal perspective, difference in form, and the use of loan words in the source text. The most problem faced is the use of loan words, found five terms in English which are no equivalence word in Bahasa. The strategy used by the translator is to loan the word because the term is also familiar for the target reader.



Baker, M. 2001. In Other Words: a Course Book on Translation. London and New York: Routledge

Bell, Roger.T. 1991. Translation and Translating: Theory and Practice. London and New York: Longman.

Catford, J. C. 1978. A Linguistic Theory of Translation. London: Oxford University Press

Newmark, P. 1988. A Textbook in Translation. London: Prentice Hall

Nida, Eugene and Charles R. Taber. 1982. The Theory and Practice of Translation. Leiden: E. J. Brill



(Kutipan referensi/citation: Jurnal Linguistik terapan Vol 3/1, Mei 2013)

Iwik Pratiwi



by Iwik Pratiwi

SMK Negeri 2 Malang

Master’s candidate in Applied Linguistics at FIB of Brawijaya University



Rantau 1 Muara is the the last novel of the trilogy is the last trilogy of Negeri 5 Menara, written by Anwar Fuadi. The novel settings include, one of them, the unique life of pesantren. Because it is so unique, the translation into English may face problems as many of the concepts talked about are bound to Javanese or Islamic culture. Thus, it can be predicted that some problems should appear. To prove this, the writer translates one chapter and report the problem and how to solve the problems. This “translator reseacher” kind of research shows that the problems of non-equivalence are resulted from not only the author’s uses of local dialects and Arabic Islamic terms also the lexical and semantic field of the source words or expressions. More specifically the problems include cultural specific context, source text not lexicalized in target text, semantically complex source text, source text and target text making different distinction in meaning, differences in expressive meaning, differences in form, and loan words in source text. To make the translation of the text into English readable and relatable as possible, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic strategies, are adopted.

Keywords: Source Text (ST), Target Text (TT), equivalence, semantic field, lexical set, strategies


In Translation Studies, equivalence is an important concept. There are many levels of equivalence, and word level equivalence is the lowest level. Although translators do not normally work on word-for-word equivalence, the discussion may serve as the basic step in dealing with non equivalence found in the source text.


Baker (1992) defines word as the smallest unit of language which we would expect to possess individual meaning. In translation, everything would be easier if there were a one-to-one relationship between words and meaning in the various languages. But it isn’t so.

According to Cruse, in Baker (1992), there are four types of meaning on words and utterances: propositional meaning, expressive meaning, presupposed meaning and evoked meaning. Presupposed meaning arises from selectional and collocational restrictions, while evoked meaning arises from dialect and register variation which covers field, tenor and mode of discourse. All types of the above lexical meaning contribute to the overall meaning of utterance or a text. In case of problems of non equivalence, Baker suggests that it is useful to view the semantic fields and lexical sets of a language. Understanding the semantic field and lexical sets can be useful to appreciate the value that a word has in a given system and to develop strategies for dealing with non equivalence.



General Overview of the Novel

Rantau 1 Muara is the last trilogy of Negeri 5 Menara, written by Anwar Fuadi, whose writing has inspired millions of people. The trilogy is inspired by the author’s enlightening education experience at Pondok Modern Gontor, an Islamic boarding school in East Java The first novel has been translated into English by Angie Kilbane and published in 2011. The translation of the second and third sequels are still in question. Part 17, Maghrib Terhebat, describes Alif’s first meeting with Dinara, the girl he falls in love with. The author of the novel who puts himself as the main character, is a member of Islamic community and spent some years in Islamic boarding school or pesantren. His utterances are mostly informal mixed with Islamic terms. He also uses many highly expressive items in this part, such as : enaknya, sebel, lega, salah sendiri, ini gawat, gombal, hebat juga dia, etc.

Concept of Islamic Prayers

The title of part 17, The Greatest Maghrib, refers to one of five most well-known Islamic prayers performed daily : at dawn (shubuh), midday (zuhur), afternoon (‘asr), sunset (maghrib) and evening (‘isha). At the five appointed times, a muazin announces a call to prayer (azan), traditionally from a mosque’s minaret. Shalat must always be preceded by ablutions (wudu’) of ritually washing the face, hands, and feet. This can be done with sand when water is not available. (Qur’an 5:6; also 2:222, 4:43.) Shalat is always directed in the direction (qiblat) of the Ka’ba shrine in Mecca. It may be performed individually, but it carries special merit when done with other Muslims (jama’ah). A prayer mat (sajada) is commonly used during the shalat.

When performing salat jama’ah at the mosque, worshippers are aligned in parallel rows behind the prayer leader (imam), who directs them through the rak’as (prescribed postures and recitations). Islamic prayer begins in a standing position with a glorification to God which called takbir, then moves through several simple postures until the supplicant is kneeling.

Specified recitations are said in each posture. The content of prayer is glorification of God, recitations of the Qur’an, and blessings on the Prophet. Shalat concludes with the taslima (greeting), “Peace be upon you,” even when praying alone.

Shalat and other Islamic rituals and practices can be easily observed in various aspect of Indonesian culture. As many other Islamic countries, Indonesian selectional and collocational restrictions are also typical and need to be treated carefully to avoid awkward wording in English, since English does not normally have equivalence for: memimpin doa, shalat berjamaah, mengirim doa, membaca tartil, mengambil wudhu, etc.

Differences in the structure of semantic field in Indonesia and English is notably challenging, therefore, assessing the value of given item in a lexical set is always desirable. The word malu in ST, for example, has at least three different meanings in TT: shy, embarrassed, ashamed. Also, while ST differs sholat from doa, TT has a single equivalent: prayer.



This paper is a report of a small research. This is a kind of annotated translation, where the translator reports the translation problems and how to solve them while she was translating. The data are taken from a novel by Anwar Fuadi, namely Part 17 of the novel: Rantau 1 Muara, by Anwar Fuadi, which entitled Maghrib Terhebat. Because the novel is so unique, the translation into English may face problems as many of the concepts talked about are bound to Javanese or Islamic culture. Thus, it can be predicted that some problems should appear. To prove this, the writer translates one chapter and report the problem and how to solve the problems.

Then, the writer discusses the problems of non-equivalence at word level in the translation she did as well as some strategies for dealing with them. The discussion of the translation is mainly referring to equivalence presented by Baker (1992) in her book, In Other Words, providing the background knowledge and approaches related to non-equivalence before contrasting some typical conceptual and lexical semantic fields to prove that there is a considerable linguistic gap between Indonesian and English. The proposed strategies for dealing with problems of non equivalence are mainly adopted from Chesterman (1997) in Hariyanto (2013). Finally, the writer also presents the result of the translation to show the different side of pesantren that are not widely seen by people throughout the world, especially in the post 9-11 world, when pondok or pesantren often gets unfairly stereotyped.



Problems of Non Equivalence in the Translation

The local dialects and the uses of Arabic widely used in the novel are the main challenge due to non equivalence at word level in the translation of the text into English, that is to say that the TT has no direct equivalent for a word which occurs in ST. The followings are the problems of non equivalence found in ST, referring to Baker’s classification:

  1. Cultural specific context, i.e.: kampungan, bukan basa basi, mengirim doa, membaca secara tartil, sandal jepit, etc.
  2. Source Text (ST) is not lexicalized in Target Text (TT), i.e.: shalat, azan, wudhu, mukena, etc.
  3. The ST is semantically complex, i.e. : saling menjajaki, gombal, enaknya, etc
  4. ST and TT make different distinction in meaning, i.e. : malu (may means shy, ashamed or embarrassed in TT)
  5. Differences in expressive meaning: menambat hatiku, mencuri pandang, bergelung etc.
  6. Differences in form : narasumber, berpikir ulang, kampungan, malasmalasan, etc.
  7. Loan words in ST : Maghrib, tartil, jamaah, (borrowed from Arabic)



To deal with the above problems of non equivalence, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic strategies, following Chesterman (1997) in Hariyanto (2013), are adopted to make the translation of the text into English readable and relatable as possible. The discussion is presented in a table of three columns consisting strategy, hint and example of language item found on ST. The examples are provided with the line number of the language items to provide easier review on the text development. Although only strategies used for dealing with non equivalence at word level will be presented,  a full linguistic account of its meaning is somehow desirable.

Syntactic Strategies

Following Chesterman (1997) ten syntactic strategies which involve pure syntactic changes 1) literal translation, 2) loan: Calque, naturalization, 3) transposition, 4) unit shift, 5) phrase structure change, 6) clause structure change, 7) sentence structure change, 8) cohesion change, 9) level shift and 10) scheme change), the translation of the text applies the followings:

Table 1: Samples of Syntactic Strategies

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Semantic Strategies

Chesterman suggests changes mainly related to lexical semantics and sometimes aspects of clause meaning such as emphasis which includes:  1) synonyms, 2) antonyms, 3) hyponyms, 4) converses, 5) abstraction change, 6) distribution change, 7) emphasis change, 8) paraphrase, 9) trope change and other semantic changes.

Table 2: Samples of Semantic Strategies

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Pragmatic Strategies

Unlike the previous strategies which manipulate meanings, these strategies manipulate message and tend to involve bigger from the ST, and typically involve syntactic and /or semantic changes as well. Chesterman (1997) categorizes pragmatic strategies into : 1) cultural filtering, 2) explicitness, 3) information change, 4) interpersonal change, 5) illocutionary change, 6) coherence change, 7) partial translation 8) visibility change, 9) transediting, and 10) other pragmatic changes.

Table 3. Samples of Pragmatic Strategies

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The translation of part 17 : Maghrib Terhebat, under the principles of equivalence is basically aimed at producing the English version of the text that is equivalent with the source text which is written in Indonesian. The problem of equivalence in translating this novel into English is quite significant not only because the author uses a lot of local dialects and Arabic Islamic terms in his novel, but the lexical and semantic field of the ST also has all kinds of non equivalence. Retaining it as much of the original flavor would be impossible without adequate insight about culture and ability to choose the most equivalent language items.

Although the strategies dealing with the problems of non equivalence is adopted for word level, the discussion of sentence level is unavoidable, since translators are not normally looking at every word in isolation and always expected to present the translation with a full linguistic account of meaning. Other strategies and differences between the ST and TT are preferably studied for further discussion.


Baker, M. 1992. In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation. Routledge: London.

Grundy, P .2000 Doing Pragmatics. Oxford University Press: New York

Halliday, Mathiessen, 1985. Systemic Functional Linguistics.Hodder Education Publisher, New York. Halliday, Mathiessen. Systemic Functional Linguistics.Hodder Education Publisher, New York.

Hariyanto, Sugeng.2007. Globalization and Web Site Translation. Paper presented at the national Seminar and Workshop on Translation in the Globalized World. Politeknik Negeri Malang, 8 December 2007)

Hariyanto, Sugeng.2013. Translation Theoretical Overview and Practical Pointers. Unpublished Handbook.

Fuady, Anwar. 2011. The Land of Five Towers. Translated by Angie Kilbane. Gramedia Pustaka Utama.Jakarta.

Fuady, Anwar. 2013. Ranau Satu Muara. Gramedia Pustaka Utama. Jakarta




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