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IDEOLOGIES USED IN TRANSLATING CULTURAL WORDS

IN THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION OFAYU UTAMIS SAMAN


Yasinta Deka Widiatmi
Perbanas Institute
sinta.permadi@yahoo.com
Abstract
Translating literary work is not an easy job since there are not always any equivalent meanings in the
source language that can be found in the target language. What the translators have to do is to find
the closest natural equivalent words of the source language in the target language. They have to know
the culture of both languages, i.e. the source language and the target language, in order to deliver the
right message in translating literary works. Since the culture of the source language and the target
language have its own uniqueness, problems relating cultural words will appear in translating
literary texts. Translators usually follow some guidance in translating the texts. One of the guidance
is the ideologies. Ideologies are principles that must be believed by certain communities in certain
societies. There are some ideologies in translating literary texts, whether the translation is acceptable
and unacceptable or whether it is right and wrong. The main objective of this study is to find out
which ideologies used by translator when the translator translated cultural words in English
Translation of Ayu Utamis Saman.
Keywords: literary translation, cultural words, ideologies
1. Introduction
Reading a well-known literature novel is delightful. It tells about specific real life condition at the
time when the novel was written, especially if the novel is highly appreciated by the readers all over
the world. Therefore, it is the job of a translator to bring the same feeling of the source language (SL)
readers to the target language( TL) readers so that the readers TL will also feel the greatness of the
novel.
Ayu Utami is a famous controversial author of Saman, who describes the real events
happened in Indonesia during Soehartos New Regime in. It was launched few weeks before Soeharto
resigned from his 32nd sovereignty in 1998. It tells vividly about Soeharto policies, labors case,
religions, sexuality.
1.2. Statement of Problem
The problem in this paper is which ideologies are used by translator in translating cultural words in
English translation of Ayu Utamis Saman.
2. Theoretical Review
2.1. Theories of Culture
Newmark (1988: 94-95) defines culture as the way of life of manifestations that are peculiar to a
community that uses a particular language as its means of expressions. Koentjaraningrat (1974: 6-8)
taking the idea of Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn mentions that culture has seven universals elements.
They are called cultural universals, meaning elements in a certain culture can also be found in other
culture in the world. The seven main elements in cultural universals are equipment and technological
system; occupational system; organizational system; language system; arts; knowledge system; and
religion system. Based on the definitions above, culture consists of two main parts, i.e. behaviour and
ideas. Behaviour consists of the seven elements of cultures. Ideas reside in someones thought and
concepts. Therefore, translators should have an in-depth understanding of the elements of culture and
take into consideration those aspects in translating literary works. Connecting words and culture,
Newmark (1988:193) defines cultural words as words that denote a specific material cultural object.
2.2. Literary Translation
There are several principles in translating literary texts. First, translation is a process in transferring
the message from source language into target language. Second, translating literary texts, translators
should translate not only understand the usual meaning of the words or sentences but also aspects
related to aesthetic functions of the literary texts compromising among others rhymes, tones, and

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sound-effects. Third, translation is an act of communication that crosses cultural and linguistic
boundaries. Fourth, in translating a text, translators should understand the readers. Fifth, translation
process should pay attention on the differences from both languages and cultures. Sixth, translator
should focus on the certain purposes. Seventh, a translator has the major role in translating the text.
Eight, translators must have a good knowledge not only of both languages but also their respective
cultures.
Some requirements should be followed by translators in translating cultural words. First,
translators must fully understand the language and the culture of the target language. Second, Nida
(1964:156) mentions, there can be no absolute correspondence between language. Nida and Taber
(1974) also say that translation consists of reproducing the text in the target language the closest
natural equivalent of the source language in terms of meaning and style. In other words, there is no
exact equivalent of cultural words of each language. Therefore, translators should be very careful in
translating cultural words.
2. 3. Translation Ideologies
Ideologies are principles that must be believed by certain communities in certain societies. There are
some ideologies in translating literary texts, whether the translation is acceptable and unacceptable or
whether it is right or wrong. Venuti (1995) says that publishers are the main subjects who have
power to decide the ideologies used in order to fulfill economic or non-economic purposes. There are
two ideologies used in translating the literary texts. They are domestication and foreignization.
The first ideology focuses on the target language. The right, acceptable and good translation
occurs if the readers read the translation as their own language or they read the text as if it is not the
translation but as if it is the original text. Nida and Taber (1982: 12) also say that translator must
strive for equivalence rather than identity, the best translation does not sound translation, and a
conscientious translator will want the closest natural equivalence.
According to Venuti (1995), Nida and Taber use transparency and domestication. The three
keys of this ideology are fluency, transparency and domestication. Venuti (1995:17) cited in Hoed
(2006: 85) describes the meaning of transparency is rewriting them in the transparent discourse that
prevails in English and that selects precisely those foreign text amenable to fluent translation. The
point of this ideology is the translation should be read as if the translation is the original text. It is
acceptable in the target language. For example: (1) si cantik is translated into Beauty. (2) si ganas is
translated into Beast.
The second ideology focuses on the source language. The right, acceptable and good
translation happens if the readers and publishers want the foreign culture to be included in the
translation. Venuti (1995: 20) cited in Hoed (2006: 87) calls this ideology foreignization. He describes
foreignization as an ethnodeviant pressure on those values to register the linguistics and cultural
difference of the foreign text, sending reader abroad. Relating on Newmarks diagram V in figure 2,
the translation emphasizes on the source language, i.e. faithful translation and semantic translation.
For example:
(3) Mak is translated into Mak.
(4) Arjuna is translated into Arjuna.
3. The Methodologies
3.1.The Method
This study is qualitative research. Qualitative research also relies on the researchers interpretation.
This research is intended to analyze the text based on the theoretical framework, not interviewing the
translator.
3.2. Data Sources
Title
Saman
Saman
Author
Ayu Utami
Pamela Allen
Year of publication

1998

2005

Publisher

Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia

PT Equinox Publishing Indonesia

Number of pages

197

180

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4.Findings and Discussions


4.1.Findings

Cultural Words Ideologies


FOREIGNIZATION
4%
NO IDEOLOGIES
1%

DOMESTICATIONS
95%

Figure 1
Based on the figure one, there are 809 cultural words or 95 % are translated using domestication
ideology. There are 35 cultural words or 4 % are translated using foreignization ideology while there
are 7 cultural words or 1 % are not translated by the translator.

IDEOLOGIES
DOMESTICATIONS
142

14 3

FOREIGNIZATION

171

140

115
73

25

NO IDEOLOGIES

25

53

42
13 0

11

157

13 8

Figure 2. Ideologies
Based on the figure, for the equipment and technological system, the translator mostly used
domestication ideology for 142 cultural words or 89.3% and 14 cultural words used foreignization
ideology or 8.8%. The cultural words not translated are 3 or 1.9%. In occupational system, the
translator mostly used domestication ideology for 171 cultural words or 94.5% and 7 cultural words
used foreignization ideology or 3.9%. The cultural words not translated are 3 or 1.6%. In
organizational system, the translator mostly used domestication ideology for 115 cultural words or
94.3% and 2 cultural words used foreignization ideology or 1.6%. The cultural words not translated
are 5 or 4.1%. In language system, the translator mostly used domestication ideology for 25 cultural
words or 75.7% and 5 cultural words used foreignization ideology or 15.2%. The cultural words not
translated are 3 or 9.1%. In arts, the translator mostly used domestication ideology for 42 cultural
words or 76.4% and 13 cultural words used foreignization ideology or 23.6%. In knowledge system,
the translator mostly used domestication ideology for 140 cultural words or 98.6% and 13 cultural
words used foreignization ideology or 7.3%. The cultural words not translated are 8 or 4.5%. In
religion system, the translator mostly used domestication ideology for 157 cultural words or 88.2%
and 13 cultural words used foreignization ideology or 6.3%. The cultural words not translated are 23
or 2.6%.

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4.2.Discussions
4.2.1. Equipment and Technological System
These are the example of domestication ideology used by the translator in equipment and
technological system, as follows:
(5) bilik
house
6) kerangkeng
cage
(7) stoples
a glass of jar
8) pantolan
trousers
(9) ketela
yams
These are the example of foreignization ideology used by the translator in equipment and
technological system, as follows:
(10) Pedussi Inn
Pedussi Inn
(11) singlet
singlet
(12) satin
satin
(13) pretzel
pretzel
(14) bakmi GM
bakmi GM
4.2.2. Occupational System
These are the example of domestication ideology used by the translator in occupational system, as
follows:
(15) tengkulak
middlemen/broker
(16) KUD
cooperative
(17) pedagang
merchant
(18) sundal
whore
(19) gembel
tramp
These are the example of foreignization ideology used by the translator occupational system, as
follows:
(20) ronggeng gandrung
rogeng dance on demand
4.2.3. Organizational System
These are the example of domestication ideology used by the translator in organizational system, as
follows:
(21) hamba
servant
(22) pemda
young man
(23) ayah
` father
(24) bocah
kid
(25) mbah putri
grandmother
These are the example of foreignization ideology used by the translator in organizational system as
follows:
(26) mak
mak
(27) sultan
sultan
4.2.4. Language System
These are the example of domestication ideology used by the translator in language system, as
follows:
(28) Kidung Raja Salomo
The Song of Solomon
(29) sembah sujud
your devoted son
(30) babi lokal
bastards
(31) anjing pribumi
native mongrels
(32) Tuhanlah gembalaku
The Lord is my shepherd
These are the example of foreignization ideology used by language system, as follows:
(33) lumen de lumine
lumen de lumine

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(34) Allahu Akbar


(35) lela ledhungyen ing tawan ana
(36) Requiem.Requie, aeternam

Allahu Akbar
lela ledhungyen ing tawan ana
Requiem.Requie, aeternam

4.2.5. Arts
These are the example of domestication ideology used by the translator in arts, as follows:
(37) gurat-gurat
verse
(38) alamanak
journals
(39) kepodang
Javanese rhyme
(40) sinom
pattern
(41) arca batu
stone statue
These are the example of foreignization ideology used by the translator in arts, as follows:
(42) tayub
tayub
43) gamelan
gamelan
(44) wayang orang
wayang orang
(45) rebab
rebab
4.2.6. Knowledge System
These are the example of domestication ideology used by the translator in knowledge system, as
follows:
(46) teologi pembebasan
doctrine
(47) hamil anggur
phantom pregnancy
(48) selaput dara
hymen
(49) pupuk
fertilizer
(50) jerami
straw
These are the example of foreignization ideology used by the translator in knowledge system, as
follows:
(52) Raflessia Arnoldi
Raflessia Arnoldi
4.2.7. Religion System
These are the example of domestication ideology used by the translator in religion system, as follows:
(53) Tuhan
God
(54) azab
torment
(55) roh kudus
holly spirit
(56) rekoleksi
retreat
(57) pater
father
These are the example of foreignization ideology used by the translator in religion system, as follows:
(58) Romo Daru
Romo Daru
(59) altar
altar
(60) Nyepi
Nyepi
5. Conclusion
The ideology that the translator mostly applied is domestication. The total is 95 %. It means that the
translation of cultural words focuses on the Target Language (TL) of the readers.

References
Baker, Mona. 1991. In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation. London: Brimingham and Collins
Publishers
Hoed, Benny Hoedoro. 1992. Kala dalam Novel, Fungsi dan Penerjemahannya. Yogyakarta: Gadjah
Mada University Press
---------------------------------2006. Penerjemah dan Kebudayaan. Jakarta: Pustaka Jaya

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Koentjaraningrat, Prof. Dr. 1967. Beberapa Pokok Antropologi Sosial. Jakarta: Dian Rakjat
----------------------------------2009. Pengantar Ilmu Antropologi. Jakarta: Rineka Cipta.
Newmark, Peter. 1988. A Textbook of Translation. Great Britain: Prentice Hall International English
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Nida, Eugene A. 1964. Toward Science of Translating. Leiden: E.J.Brill
---------and Charles R. Taber. 1982: The Theory and Practice of Translation. Leiden:
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---------2001. Context in Translating. Amsterdam: John Benjamin Publishing Company
Utami, Ayu. 1998. Saman. Jakarta: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia
---------------2005. Saman (translated by Pamela Allen). Jakarta: PT Equinox Publishing Indonesia
Venuti, Lawrence. 1995. The Translators Invisibility. A History of Translation. London/New York:
Routledge

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