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Response Paper on Translation and Ideology

Roza Puspita/186332026

Linguistic approach is not the only aspect to analyze translation. There is another

aspect that has more influence on translation: cultural turn. Due to the cultural turn,

translation has been affected more by the ideology. In relation to ideology, there two aspects

that is interesting to be discussed. These aspects are the ideology of translating ad the

translation of ideology. In relation to these aspects, we also have the re-translation and the

hybridity or the third place.

The ideology of translating refers to what a translator thinks in viewing the source text.

The suitability between the source text and the target text; the use of speech act and its

relevancy with the TT and also how the reader can understand with the terminology used in

the ST translated into TT. A good example of this aspect is about domestication and

foreignization which insdicate ethical attitudes towards a foreign text and culture, ethical

effects produced by the choice of a text for translation and by the strategy devised to

translate it, whereas the terms like ‘fluency’ and ‘resistancy’ indicate fundamentally

discursive features of translation strategies in relation to the reader’s cognitive processing.

On the other hand, the translation of ideology refers to the mediation supplied by a translator

of sensitive text; translator intervention in the transfer process. A good case for this situation

can be found in the Venuti sample translation from Latin to English.

I will provide the example for these two ideologies so then it will be clearer:

1. Domestication.

It is translation of Indonesian poem (Toety Heraty) translated into English by John McGlynn;

Surat dari Oslo


lalu kini, siraman air kembang dahulu, midodareni

Sebelum esok menghadap penghulu-

Tarub, janur, gamelan dan gending kebogiro

Penganten bertemu, berlempar sirih, wijidadi,

Sindur ibu, pangkon ayah, dulangan, kacar-kucur

Sesuai adat upacara Jawa.

Aku mohon pada yang Maha Kuasa supaya terkabul semua keinginan mereka, dan …..

Letter from Oslo


And now, the sprinkle of the water from an earthen jug-

Before facing God and his servant tomorrow

The nuptial awning, woven palm leaves, the orchestra

and wedding songs

the bridal couple meets, betel leaves thrown in exchange

a red sash for the bride’s mother , asking father’s blessing,

the ritual exchange of food, symbol of obedience

and property distributed, all in keeping with Javanese tradition

I pray to the Most Power

That all their wishes are granted, and after that ….

There are some terms that being localized by the translator to make it closer to the reader

although the sense of the Indonesian culture could be eradicated. In the first line, the

translator translates siraman air kembang, midodareni into the sprinkle of the water from an

earthen jug. By doing so, the translator makes the reader understand and get the point of

the poem but because of the difference in the culture then the reader cannot really get the

picture of the sense of midodareni. It also happens in the line three where here we can see

also the interpretation of the different culture that being localized. The term gamelan dan

gending kebo giro is being translated into the orchestra and wedding songs. Basically,

Gamelan and orchestra are two different thing but then again to get the idea the translator

use the term orchestra although the culture will never be understood here.

2. Foreignization.
These are some conversation in the Davinci Code books translated by Isma B.


ST: "I'm sorry," Langdon said, "but I'm very tired and"

"Mais, monsieur," the concierge pressed, lowering his voice to an urgent whisper. "Your

guest is an important man."

(Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, hal 8)

TT: “Maaf,” ujar Langdon, “Tetapi saya sangat letih dan _”

"Mais, monsieur,” penerima tamu itu memaksa, seraya merendahkan suaranya menjadi

bisikan yang mendesak. “Tetapi tamu anda orang penting.”

(Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, terjemahan hal16)

The translator tries to resist the French atmosphere and cultural sense by do not localized

the "Mais, monsieur” so then the reader still can feel the French sense in the story.

3. The example of the translation of ideology can be seen in this example.

Teks bahasa latin:

Stipendia prima in Asia fecit Marci Thermi praetoris contubernio; aquo ad accersendam
classem in Bithyniam missus desedit apud Nicomeden, non sine rumorem prostratae regi
pudicitiae; quem rumorem auxit

Hasil terjemahan (teks bahasa Inggris)

Caesar first saw military service in Asia, where he wentas aide-de-camp to Marcus Thermus,
the provincial governor. When Thermus sent Caesar to raise a fleet in Bithynia, he wasted so
much time at King Nicomedes court that a homosexual relationship between them was
suspected, and suspicion gave place to scandal

According to Venuti the English translation mentioned above was oriented towards the target

community, the British community, the homophobia, which at that time, in 1977, was still very

dominant. The word rumorem is not translated as rumors, but with a harder word, namely

suspicion [in this context, was suspected]. Pudicitae regi prostratae phrase instead

translated by his modesty surrendered to the king by the equivalent of more open, ie
homosexual relationship. Then, the phrase rumorum exit which means the rumour spread is

translated as suspicion gave place to scandal. Venuti concludes from the example of this

translation that there is mediation towards domestication based on negative views about


Then, the third aspect is re-translation. One thing that we should bear in mind is that

re-translation is different from back-translation. In back-translation, we only translate the

target text back into the source text in order to see, let’s say, the equivalence. On the other

hand, in the re-translation, we translate again the whole translation product in order to be fit

into the present context. A good example for this aspect can be the Bible translation. If we

pay attention closely, there have been several versions of the Bible translation such as

American King James Version and Names of God Bible in King James Version. From all of

these versions, the frequently cited bible is the King James Version because it has

considered as the most accurate translation. Last but not the least, the fourth aspect is

hybridity. Hybridity here refers to the unstable border of cultures between the source text and

the target text. In the way I see it, hybridity can also be Mixed language. Mr. Soekarno also

made use of this hybridity in his speech on the birth of Pancasila, notably June 1st, 1945. We

can see how he made use of this hybridity very clear in the following text:

ST : Kita melihat dalam dunia ini, bahwa banyak negeri-negeri yang merdeka, dan banyak

diantara negeri-negeri yang merdeka itu berdiri di atas suatu "Wettanschauung".

Hitler mendirikan Jermania di atas "national-sozialistische Weltanschauung", - filsafat

nasional-sosialisme telah menjadi dasar negara Jermania yang didirikan oleh Adolf

Hitler itu.

TT : We have witnessed throughout the world that there are many independent countries

and many of these independent countries have been standing on “Wettanschauung.”

Hitler established Germania upon “national-sozialistische Weltanschauung”, - a

philosophy of national-socialism had been the basis of Germania establishment by

Adolf Hitler.

In sum, translation and ideology is inseparable. The relationship between both of them

has even been stronger than usual. One thing that we should bear in mind is that when we

deal with any translation project we should be aware either we are in the ideology of

translating or we are in the translation of ideology. By seeing the difference between both

aspects we can arrive to a good translation product.


Hatim, Basil & Jeremy Munday. Translation: An Advanced Resource Book. Routledge, 2004.

Wikipedia. List of English Bible Translation. Accessed November

12nd, 2018

Sumardiono. Ideologi penerjemahan dan penerjemahan ideologi.2009, http://dion- Accessed

November 12nd, 2018

Tempo.Co. KAA 1955, Ini Pidato Lengkap Sukarno dalam bahasa Indonesia, 2017,

1955. Accessed November 12nd, 2018.