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TRANSLATION: Definition, Kinds of Translation and Equivalence

April 30, 2012 sangapitu97 english




The Definition of Translation

There are some definitions of translation. Nida states that translation consist of
reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalence of the source
language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style[1].
Newmark in Rudi Hartono states that translation is rendering the meaning of a text
into another language in the way that the author intended the text.[2]
From the definition above the translation has the same term equivalence. The
meaning, context, though, or message of both source of reproducing in the receptor
language, the closest natural are equivalent to the message of source language. The
first is meaning and secondly is style. The message of source language must
equivalent. The reader of translation who knows the target language only will be
confused if the target language is influenced by the source language.
Meanwhile the result of translation must be transferring the meaning of the source
language clearly. In order to make the clear meaning of source language, it is
expected that the meaning of target language can be understood by the readers. So,
the result of translation must be readable. In target language, readability is needed,
because it makes the readers easier to catch the content of the translation text,

conversely when the translation text is not readable. It will make the readers
difficult to understand the content of the text well.
Based on many definitions above, the writer assumes that the translation is a
process of transferring thoughts and message from the source language to the target
language, in the form of written or spoken.

The kinds of translation

Practically, there are some kinds of translation that have their own characteristics
and forms. Some kinds of translation are found because of the differences and
similarities of the source structures, different kinds of text that are going to be
translated and different purpose of translation. Newmark states that translation
methods relate to whole texts, translation procedures are used for sentences and the
smaller units of language.[3]
Roman Jakobson in Hatim and Munday makes a very important distinction
between three types of written translation[4]:1)Intralingual translation,translation
within the same language, which can involve rewording or paraphrase, 2)
Interlingual translation,translation from one language to another,3)Intersemiotic
translation,translation of the verbal sign by non verbal sign for example music or
Nababan differentiates kinds of translation, such as word for word translation, free
translation, literal translation, dynamic translation, pragmatic translation, aesthetic-

poetic translation, ethnographic translation, linguistic translation communicative

translation and semantic translation[5].

The Process of Translation

The process of translation can be defined as the activity of translation. The
translation process usually is used by a translator as a guide in translating text from
the source language into the target language.
The process of translation consists of three steps, analyze texts of source language,
transfer, restructuring[6]

Figure 1. Process of translation

(Nida and Taber)

The first stage is analysis, translator analyzes about grammatical relationship and
meaning of the word. In the transfer stage, translator analyzes material of source
language and target language that is transferred base on the mind of translator. The

material that has analyzed (X) is transferred to receptor text (Y), and then it is
restructured to make final message that is acceptable in receptor language.


Translation Equivalence
Base on oxford dictionary equivalence is equal or interchangeable in value,
quantity, significance, etc.[7] Vinay and Darbelnet as cited in Munday, stated that
equivalence refers to cases where languages describe the same situation by
different stylistic or structural means[8].
Equivalence consists of the concept of sameness and similarity; it has the same or a
similar effect or meaning in translation.
There are types of equivalence defined by Nida, which are also called two basic
orientations of translation[9]:


Formal correspondence
It focuses attention on the message itself, in both of form and content. Once is
concerned that the message in the receptor language should match as closely as
possible the different elements in the source language.


Dynamic equivalence

It is the principle equivalent effect, where the relationship between receptor and
message should be substantially the same as that which existed between the
original receptor and the message. The goal of the dynamic equivalence is seeking
the closest natural equivalent to the source message. This receptor oriented
approach considers adaptations of grammar, of lexicon, and of cultural reference to
be essential in order to achieve naturalness.
Vinay and Darbelnet view that equivalence-oriented translation as a procedure
which replicates the same situation as in the original, whilst using completely
different wording. Equivalence is therefore the ideal method when the translator
dealing with proverbs, idioms, clichs, nominal or adjectival phrases and the
onomatopoeia of animal sounds.[10] According to Jakobsons theory, translation
involves two equivalent messages in two different codes. Jakobson goes on to say
that from a grammatical point of view languages may differ from one another to a
greater or lesser degree, but this does not mean that a translation cannot be
possible, in other words, that the translator may face the problem of not finding a
translation equivalent.[11]
An extremely interesting discussion of the notion equivalent can be found in baker
who seems to offer more detail list of conditions upon which the concept
equivalent can be defined at different levels as follow:


Equivalence that can appear at word level. Baker gives a definition of the
term word since it should be remembered that a single word can be regarded as
being a more complex unit or morpheme, and it discuss about lexical meaning.[12]


Above word level equivalence, when translating from one language into
another. In this section, the translator concentrates on the type of lexical pattering,
they are collocation, idioms, and fixed expression.[13]


Grammatical equivalence, when referring to the diversity of grammatical

categories across languages. Baker focuses on number, tense and aspects, voice,
person and gender.[14]. In the process of translation; such differences between SL
and the TL often imply some change in the information content. When the SL has a
grammatical category that the TL lacks, this change can take the form of adding
information to the target text. On the other hand, if it is the target language that
lacks a category, the change can take the form of omission.


Textual equivalence when referring to the equivalence between a SL text and

a TL text in terms of thematic and information structure.[15] She also adds the
discussion in this section about cohesion.[16]


Pragmatic equivalence, when referring to implicaturs and strategies of

avoidance during the translation process.[17]

Vinay and Darbelnet, Jakobson, Nida and Taber, Catford, House, and finally is
Baker. These theorists have studied equivalence in relation to the translation
process, using different approaches.
C.Grammatical Equivalence
Grammar is the set of rules which determine the way in which units such as words
and phrases can be combined in a language. Grammar has two main dimensions:
morphology and syntax, morphology concern the structure of single words, the
way in which their form varies to indicate specific contrast in the grammatical
system (example: singular/plural, number, present/past), syntax concerns the
grammatical structure of groups of words (clauses or sentence),the linear sequence
of classes of words (noun, verb, adverb, adjective, etc).
Different grammatical structures in the SL and TL may cause remarkable changes
in the way the information or message is carried across, these changes may induce
the translator either to add or to omit information in the TT because of the lack of
particular grammatical devices in the TL itself, amongst these grammatical devices
which might cause problems in translation.[18]
As far as translation is concerned, the most important difference between
grammatical and lexical choices is that the former are generally obligatory while
the latter are largely optional. In the process of translation, such different between
source language and the target language often imply some change in the
information content. When the source language has a grammatical category that the

target language lacks, this change can take the form of adding information to the
target text. On the other hand, if it is the target language that lacks a category, the
change can take the form of omission. grammatical rules may vary across
languages and this may pose some problems in terms of finding a direct
correspondence in the TL.

Number is the inflection of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives and determiners to
show singular, dual, or plural forms. Distinguished three classes of number:
singular (one), dual (two), and plural (more than two).[19] The idea of
countability is probably universal, but not all of language have grammatical
category of number, even if they might make distinctions at the lexical meaning.


The term gender, usually attributed to Protagoras in Shery Simon, is derived from a
term meaning class or kind and referred to the division of Greek nouns into
masculine, feminine and neuter.[20]Gander is grammatical category according to
which a noun or pronoun is classified as masculine or feminine.


Morphological category of the verb used to mark the singular and plural finite verb
forms as speakers (first person), addressees (second person), or a person, state
or thing referred to in the utterance (third person).[21]Subgroup of pronouns

which refer to persons is as the speakers (I, we),addressees (you) or other

persons/things (he, she, it) (inclusive vs. exclusive).The category of person relates
to the notion of participant roles.

Tense and Aspect

English has two way tense systems, so that in place of the past tense form was, we
could use the corresponding present tense form is.[22] Aspect is a term used to
describe the duration of the activity described by a verb whether the activity is ongoing or completed.[23] In those languages which have these categories, the form
of the verb usually provides two types of information: time relations and aspectual


Voice is grammatical category that defines the relationship between subject and
verb. It calls the active clauses if the subject have role responsible to performing
action, and it call passive clause if the subject is the affected entity.[24]



Translation Procedure

Translation procedures or translation shifts are defined as the smallest linguistic

changes occurring in translation of ST (source text) to TT (target text).[25]
Translation is a field of various procedures. Translation procedures are use to get

equivalence between source language and target language in translation process.

There are many kinds of translation procedure, but the writer want to explore some
procedure that must be use by translator to conform to the stylistic demands and
grammatical conventions of the target language. These possibilities are expanded

Additional information
The change can take the form of adding to the target text information which is not
expressed in the source language, if the target language has the grammatical
category which the source language lacks.[27] Information which is not present in
the source language text may be added to the target language text.


Deletion information
Baker refers to deletion as omission of a lexical item due to grammatical or
semantic patterns of the receptor language.[28] In the process of translating, the
change of information content of message can be done in the form of omitting
information in the source language, if the target language lacks a grammatical


Structural adjustment
Structural adjustment is another important strategy for getting equivalence between
source language and target language. Structural adjustment is also called shift, or
transposition, or alteration. Newmark states that A shift (Catfords term) or

transposition (Vinay and Darbelnet) is a translation procedure involving a change

in the grammar from SL to TL. There are four types of transposition:[29]

Type 1: the change from singular to plural (and vice versa), or in the position
of the adjective.
Example of change from singular to plural:
SL: a pair of glasses
TL :sebuah kacamata [30]
Example of change in the position of adjective:
SL: black ink


TL: tinta hitam

Type 2: the change in grammatical structure from SL to TL because SL

grammatical structure does not exist in TL.
SL: Tas situ aku letakan diatas meja
TL: I placed the bag on the table
This example shows that except for sentences in passive voice or a particular
structure, the concept of placing of object in the beginning of the sentence in
Bahasa Indonesia (TL) is not recognized in the English (SL) grammar; hence it is
transposed into a simple sentence.


Type 3: an alternative to when literal translation of SL text may not accord

with natural usage in TL. Such alternatives include:
1) Noun/noun phrase in SL becomes verb in TL.
SL: to study their history for better understanding of their behavior. {Noun
TL: mempelajari sejarah mereka untuk lebih memahami perilaku mereka.
2) The joined form of adjective participle (i.e. adjective formed from a verb) and
noun, or noun phrase in SL becomes noun + noun form in TL.
SL: engineering technique {adjective + noun}
TL: teknik perekayasaan {noun + noun}[31]
3) Clause in the form of participium (i.e. verb form sharing the functions of a
noun) in SL is expressed into its direct form in TL.
SL: The house designed by my father is being built.

TL: Rumah yang dirancang oleh ayah saya sedang dibangun.


Type 4: the replacement of a virtual lexical gap by a grammatical structure.

The emphasis in SL is shown through TL regular grammatical construction.
SL: This is the book Ive been looking for all this time.
TL: Buku inilah yang kucari selama ini.
There are many kinds of translation procedures. Translation procedures will make
easily to get grammatical equivalence between source language and target
language in the process of translation.

E. Assessment in Translation Studies

Assessment in translation therefore goes beyond the evaluation of particular
translations and must take into account other instruments. In this research, the
writer uses the form of equivalent assessment according to Nababan:[32]


The meaning of word, phrase, clause and sentence of source language

can be transferred to the target language accurately, there no found
distortions in meaning.

Large section the meaning of word, phrase, clause and sentence of

source language had be transferred to the target language accurately,
but there still found any distortions in meaning or ambiguity translation
which influences message.

The meaning of word, phrase, clause and sentence of source language

can be transferred to the target language inaccurately or deletion

Table 1. Assessment of Equivalence


6. Kesepadanan
Kesepadanan (equivalence) sering digunakan dalam proses penerjemahan
khususnya dalam kasus penggunaan struktur dan makna yang seluruhnya
berbeda dari teks bahasa sumber selama fungsi situasi komunikasinya masih
sama. Penerjemahan dengan metode ini biasanya digunakan ketika penerjemah
menghadapi teks yang sama dengan bentuk-bentuk idiom dan pepatah. Bell
(1991: 71) juga menyebutkan bahwa metode penerjemahan dengan metode
kesepadanan adalah metode yang menekankan pada kesepadanan fungsi suatu
unit linguistik seperti peribahasa, idiom, dan lain-lain.
7. Penyesuaian
Metode penerjemahan dengan penyesuaian (adaptation) adalah metode yang
melakukan penyesuaian karena adanya perbedaan latar belakang budaya di
kedua bahasa sehingga konsep yang diacu oleh istilah bahasa sumber tidak
terdapat dalam bahasa sasaran (Bell 1991: 71). Prosedur ini diambil ketika
objek atau situasi yang berkaitan dengan budaya yang ada pada bahasa sumber

tidak diketahui dalam bahasa sasaran. Dalam hal ini penerjemah harus
menemukan istilah baru atau ungkapan baru yang sesuai dengan konteks
c. Kesepadanan Penerjemahan
Padanan adalah suatu bentuk dalam bahasa sasaran dilihat dari segi semantik
sepadan dengan suatu bentuk bahasa sumber. Kemungkinan adanya suatu
kesepadanan didasarkan atas keuniversalan bahasa dan budaya. Namun
demikian masalah kesepadanan bukanlah identik dengan kesamaan karena
perdebatan mengenai kedua konsep tersebut lebih banyak terkait dengan
penerjemahan karya sastra khususnya puisi yang melihat kesepadanan sebagai
tuntutan untuk menghasilkan kesamaan (Lihat Machali, 2000: 106).
Kesepadanan dalam kajian terjemahan selalu dikaitkan dengan fungsi teks dan
metode penerjemahan. Konsep kesepadanan dalam penerjemahan telah
dianalisis, dievaluasi dan diperbincangkan dari berbagai perspektif yang
berbeda. Pluralitas perspektif tersebut diwarnai oleh berbagai pendapat seperti
Vinay dan Darbelnet, Jakobson, Nida dan Taber, Catford, House, dan Baker.
Kesepadanan merupakan isu sentral dalam penerjemahan karena menyangkut
perbandingan teks dalam bahasa yang berbeda.
Vinay dan Darbelnet (1995) dalam Leonardi (2000) memandang penerjemahan
yang beorientasi mencari padanan (equivalence-oriented translation) sebagai

suatu prosedur menciptakan kembali replika situasi yang sama sebagaimana

situasi aslinya dengan menggunakan ungkapan yang berbeda. Perspektif
perpadanan Jakobson dalam Venuti (2000: 113) didasarkan atas konsepsinya
tentang terjemahan, yakni intralingual (dalam satu bahasa, berupa parafrasa,
interlingual (antara dua bahasa) dan intersemiotic (antar sistem tanda), dan
menyatakan bahwa penerjemahan menyangkut dua pesan yang sepadan dalam
dua kode (code) yang berbeda.
Nida dan Taber membedakan kesepadanan dalam terjemahan ke dalam 2 jenis
(1) kesepadanan formal dan (2) kesepadanan dinamis. Kesepadanan formal
pada dasarnya dihasilkan dari proses penerjemahan yang berorientasi pada
bahasa sumber dan diarahkan untuk mengungkap sejauh mungkin bentuk dan
isi dari pesan asli. Oleh karena itu dalam proses penerjemahan segala usaha
ditujukan untuk mereproduksi elemen formal termasuk (1) unit gramatikal,
ketaatasasan penggunaan kata dan (2) makna yang sesuai dengan konteks eks
Berlawanan dengan kesepadanan formal, kesepadanan dinamis berorientasi
pada prinsip kesepadanan efek yang diperoleh melalui pemusatan perhatian
dalam penerjemahan lebih utama ke arah tanggapan penerima mencapai
tingkat kealamian pesan bahasa sumber. Padanan alami ini mengandung
pengertian sesuai dengan (1) bahasa dan budaya target, (2) konteks pesan

tertentu, dan (3) khalayak pembaca bahasa target.

Berbeda dengan Nida dan Taber, pendekatan Catford terhadap kesepadanan
dalam penerjemahan lebih bersifat linguistik. Catford membedakan tiga jenis
terjemahan dalam tiga kriteria yang berbeda, yakni (1) berdasarkan jangkauan
penerjemahan (terjemahan penuh (full translation) vs terjemahan tidak penuh
(partial translation), (2) berdasarkan rank gramatikal pada tataran mana
kesepadanan penerjemahan dibangun (rank-bound translation vs unbounded
translation), dan (3) berdasarkan tingkatan bahasa yang dicakup dalam
penerjemahan (total translation vs restricted translation).
Dalam kaitannya dengan perpadanan, Catford mengidentifikasi dua jenis
kesepadanan, yaitu (1) kesepadanan formal (formal equivalence) yang
selanjutnya dirubah ke dalam istilah korespondensi formal (formal
correspondence) dan (2) kesepadanan tekstual (textual equivalence) yang
terjadi bila suatu teks atau sebagian dari teks bahasa target dalam siatuasi
tertentu sepadan dengan teks atau sebagian teks bahasa sumber. Sebagaimana
yang dikutip oleh Lionardi, konsep kesepadanan House berorientasi pada
House membedakan kesepadanan dalam kesepadanan semantik dan pragmatik
dan berargumentasi bahwa dari segi fungsi kedua teks sumber dan teks target
haruslah sebanding (match). Konsep kesepadanan yang lebih rinci

dikemukakan oleh Baker. Dia melihat pengertian kesepadanan dalam berbagai

tataran dalam hubungannya dengan proses penerjemahan termasuk berbagai
aspek penerjemahan yang mengintegrasikan pendekatan linguistik dan
komunikatif. Dengan mengutip Culler, Baker dalam bukunya In Other Words:
A Course Book on Translation (1992: 10) mengungkapkan bahwa bahasa
tidaklah nomenclature dengan pengertian bahwa suatu konsep dari suatu
bahasa bisa jadi berbeda sama sekali dengan bahasa lainnya karena setiap
bahasa mengartikulasikan dunia secara berbeda.
Selanjutnya Baker juga menjelaskan dengan berbagai ilustrasi bahwa masalah
kesepadanan bisa muncul dalam berbagai tingkatan. Menurutnya kesepadanan
bisa terjadi pada tingkat (1) kata dan di atas kata seperti kolokasi, idiom dan
ungkapan, (2) gramatikal, (3) tekstual, dan (4) pragmatik. Penerjemahan itu
sendiri menyangkut pemilihan padanan yang paling mendekati untuk unit
bahasa sumber dalam bahasa target. Berdasarkan pada tingkat unit bahasa yang
akan diterjemahkan Riazi mengelompokkan pendekatan terhadap
penerjemahan menjadi (1) penerjemahan pada tataran kata (word for word
translation), (2) penerjemahan pada tataran kalimat, dan (3) penerjemahan
konsepsual (unit terjemahan bukan pada tingkatan kata atau kalimat) 10 Secara
garis besar terdapat beberapa kemungkinan kesepadanan dalam penerjemahan,
yakni (1) sepadan sekaligus berkorespondensi, (2) sepadan tapi bentuk tidak

berkorespondensi, dan (3) sepadan dan makna tidak berkorespondensi karena

beda cakupan makna.