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A Study of Misleading Translation Encountered in Indonesian Subtitles Black Swan


This chapter discusses some points related to research questions, purposes of the study, significance of the study and previous related study. These points are elaborated below.

1.1 Background of the Study Nowadays, people can get entertainment much more easily and frequently than in the past times because of technology has made people live a better life. For instance, almost all people can get entertainment easily by watching television or surfing internet anytime, anywhere as one representation of the development of technology. Before television was invented, they could only get entertainment by radios. People can find many English spoken or utterance by watching films either on television or on movies, even not all of them have the ability to understand the language uttered directly by the speakers. For Indonesian people whose daily language is not the same as in the films, watching programs without subtitles of foreign language will be confused for them. If this problem comes up, they need translation. Larson (1998: 3) states that Translation consists of transferring the meaning of source language into receptor language. Thus, the viewers can understand foreign language or text through translation. Sometimes translation can be wrong. The mistaken in translation, according to Newmark (1993: 29-30) can be categorized in two types based on the significance of the mistake, they are misleading and nuanced. The misleading divided into two, they are referential and linguistic. While, nuanced consist of stylistic and lexical. In this study, the writer would like to focus on the first type of translation mistakes, in this case misleading because they are more significant in changing the meaning of the original text than nuanced. Nuanced may be harmless, make little difference and sometimes they are concerned with the style or taste of the translator (p. 30). The object of this research would be the audiovisual media translation focusing on subtitles. According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, subtitles are words printed over a film in a foreign language to translate what is being said. The Indonesian subtitles of an English movie entitled Black Swan would be the centre of the present study. Black Swan is

a psychological thriller horror movie directed by Daren Aronofsky in 2010. This movie was set mainly in London. The movie was selected because this movie received many responses from the public. It is proved by gaining a lot of awards. This movie got four Golden Globe nominations and twelve Critics Choice Award nominations.

1.2 Research Questions The research is to describe the misleading translation of Indonesian subtitles occur in a movie entitled Black Swan. The research questions for this study are: a. What type of misleading translation occurs in Indonesian subtitles in Black Swan? b. What is the frequency of occurrence of each misleading translation in Indonesian subtitle in Black Swan?

1.3 Purpose of the Study In doing this research, the writer wants to find out type of misleading translation occur in Indonesian subtitles in Black Swan. The misleading can be identified by analyzing the subtitles that do not convey the original meaning. The writer also wants to know the frequency of occurrence of each misleading in Indonesian subtitles of a movie entitle Black Swan.

1.4 Significance of the Study By doing the research on the subtitle, the writer wants to know how many translation mistakes that occur of an English movie entitle Black Swan. After knowing the mistakes, hopefully the reader and translators can be more aware of the mistakes in translating subtitle from English to Indonesian. The writer also hopes that this research can give some contribution for those who want to conduct further study.

1.5 Previous Related Study A similar study has been done by Astri Herawati Samidi (2009) entitled The Misleading Translation Mistakes of Indonesian Subtitles in the Movie Love Actually where the writer analyzed the strategies in the movie. In that study, the writer used a descriptive qualitative approach and she using the translation mistakes of Newmark (1993) that consist of misleading and nuanced. Then she analyzed from the strategies above. The writer analyzed the English

utterances and the Indonesian subtitles to find mismatch between them. The writer also found that misleading mistakes occurred with percentage. The result of the analysis showed mistaken subtitles had the original meaning of the dialogue but were stated in incorrect spelling, choice of word and order. The position of this study is to explain further and continue the previous study.


This chapter covers several points of the studies on translation, problems of translation, categorization of translation mistakes, studies on subtitling, and studies on movie.

2.1. Studies on Translation 2.1.1. Definition of Translation Talking about translation, some experts like Catford, Newmark, Larson, Nida and Taber define translation is. Catford (1965) states that Translation is the replacement of textual material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL). Newmark (1988: 5) describe that Translation is rendering the meaning of a text into another language in the way that the author intended the text. Larson (1984: 3) said that Translation is studying the lexicon, grammatical structure, communication situation, and cultural context of the source language text, analyzing it in order to determine its meaning, and then reconstructing this same meaning using lexicon and grammatical structure which are appropriate in the receptor language and its cultural context. While Nida and Taber (1969) says that translation means shifting the contents of a text in the source language (SL) into the target language (TL) in such a way that people who read (or heard) message that the target language get the same impression with the impression of people who read (or hear) the message in source language. Based on those four definitions, it can be concluded that translation is the process of translating words or text from one language into another. 2.1.2. Process of Translation 2.1.3. Methods of Translation

2.2. Problems of Translation The origin of a translation error or mistakes (Nord, 1996) is usually a translation problem that has not been solved or has not been appropriately solved. Based on Nida and Taber (1982, pp. 106-110), the commonest problems of translation arise from the eight areas, they are:

2.4.1. Idioms Nida and Taber (p. 106) state that idioms are some of the most obvious candidates for semantic adjustment, for the fact that it is unlike that the same type of distinctive form will have the same meaning in another language. Idioms are frequently shifted to non-idioms in the process of translation. In certain instances, it is possible to match one idiom to another and also non-idiom to idiom.

2.4.2. Figurative Meanings As in case of idioms, there are three situations in which figurative expression are involved in transferring one language to another (p. 107). Firstly, shifts from figurative to nonfigurative usage. Secondly, shifts from one type of figurative expression to another figurative expression. Thirdly, non-figurative expressions change to figurative ones.

2.4.3. Shift in Central Component Meaning According to Nida and Taber (p. 107), the shifts in central component meaning have become some of the most dangerous types of modification.

2.4.4. Generic and Specific Meaning Nida and Taber (p. 108) also state that some of the most common shifts in meaning are modifications which involve specific and generic meaning. Languages commonly tend to have general words but lack of specific ones.

2.4.5. Pleonastic Expressions There are a number of phrases which seem quite awkward and unnecessarily repetitious when translated into a receptor language. For example, the tongue in my mouth speaks is rather ludicrous in some languages, for where else can one have a tongue than in ones mouth (Nida and Taber, p. 108).

2.4.6. Special Formulas

Nida and Taber (p. 109) state that the epistolary formulas, for example Roman 1:1-7, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3, are troublesome elements for the translator, for they inevitably require some short of modification in the process of transfer. Certain other formulaic expression may also need to be altered, e.g., blessing I will bless thee, in some language become, I will surely bless you.

2.4.7. Redistribution of Semantic Components The distribution of semantic components is two principal types: (a) Analytical, i.e., expansion or distribution of the components over a number of different words. (b) Synthetic, i.e., grouping several semantic components into a single term. For example, brothers and sisters may be reduced to a single term meaning siblings (Nida and Taber, 1982, p. 109). 2.4.8. Provision for Contextual Conditioning It may be necessary to provide a certain amount of contextual conditioning, when there are distinct differences between cultural forms or functions of Biblical referents and the corresponding receptor language parallels (pp. 109-110). From the problems above, it can be interpreted where translation mistake originate. The next section will discuss about translation mistakes and the categorization of them.

2.3. Categorization of Translation Mistakes Newmark (1993. Pp. 29-30) states that they are two procedures in evaluating a translation namely globally and analytically. Both procedures are evaluating a translation namely globally and analytically. Both procedures are useful and complement each other. Globally, it involves the overall structure of a sentence and analytically affects a particular constituent (Burt and Kisparsky, 1974, p. 73). Analytically may describe mistakes as misleading or nuanced. According to Newmark (1993, p. 30), there are two types of misleading: (a) Referential mistakes which are misstatement of facts. They are about facts, the real world, propositions not linguistics (1995, p. 189).

(b) Linguistic mistakes are grammatical or lexical incorrectness including words, collocations or idioms (1995, p. 189). Nord (1997, p. 75) also stated that the linguistic mistakes include tense and voice. Nuanced are divided into two types (p. 30): (a) Stylistic mistakes which can be define as mistakes of usage or of register, where inappropriate language is used for a particular topic or occasion. (b) Lexical mistakes happen where unnecessary synonyms or paraphrase is used.

In this research, the writer only analyzed the subtitle analytically with one type or mistake that is misleading which consists of referential mistake and linguistic mistake. The writer analyzed analytically because it is more interesting and detailed. Analytically, the research will be thoroughly examined to its component. While globally, it only evaluate in general so the analyses will not be as detail as analytically.

2.4. Studies on Subtitling In general, subtitling

2.5. Studies on Movie 2.5.1. Definition of Movie A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects. The process of filmmaking has developed into an art form and industry. Films are cultural artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment and a powerful method for educating or indoctrinating citizens. The visual elements of cinema give motion pictures a universal power of communication. Some films have become popular worldwide attractions by using dubbing or subtitles that translate the dialogue into the language of the viewer. Films are made up of a series of individual images called frames. When these images are shown rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion that motion is occurring. The viewer

cannot see the flickering between frames due to an effect known as persistence of vision, whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Viewers perceive motion due to a psychological effect called beta movement. The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact that photographic film (also called film stock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture, picture show, moving picture, photo-play and flick. A common name for film in the United States is movie, while in Europe the term film is preferred. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema and the movies.

2.5.2. Psychological Thriller Movie Psychological thriller is a specific sub-genre of the broad ranged thriller with heavy focus on characters. However, it often incorporates elements from the mystery and drama genre, along with the typical traits of the thriller genre. In addition to drama and mystery, many psychological thrillers contain elements of, and often overlap with, the horror genre, particularly psychological horror. The characters are no longer reliant on physical strength to overcome their brutish enemies (which is often the case in typical action-thrillers), but rather are reliant on their mental resources, whether it be by battling wits with a formidable opponent or by battling for equilibrium in the character's own mind. The suspense created by psychological thrillers often comes from two or more characters preying upon one another's minds, either by playing deceptive games with the other or by merely trying to demolish the other's mental state. (Retrieved in accessed on 9/4/2012, 20.00)

2.2.3. Synopsis of the Movie Black Swan was released in 2010, which directed by Daren Aronofsky. Black Swan is a American psychological thriller horror film. The movie tells about a ballerina to play both the innocent White Swan and the sensual Black Swan. The story begins from one dancer, Nina Sayer (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company, lives with her mother, Erica (Hershey), a former dancer who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decided to replace prima ballerina Beth Macintyre (Ryder) for the opening production of their new season Swan Lake, Leroy wants the same

ballerina to portray both the innocent, fragile White Swan and her dark, sensual twin, the Black Swan. Nina competes for the part. Although her audition goes badly, she asks Thomas to reconsider. He tells her she is ideal for the White Swan but lacks the passion necessary for the Black Swan. When he forcibly kisses her, she shows some spirit and bites him, and lands the part. After that, an intoxicated Beth angrily confronts Thomas and Nina. She is later hit by a car and seriously injured in what Thomas suspects was a suicide attempt. Nina begins to witness strange happenings. Thomas, meanwhile, becomes increasingly critical of her "frigid" dancing and advises her to stop being a perfectionist and lose herself in the role. Thomas points to Lily (Kunis), another dancer in the company, whom he describes as lacking Nina's flawless technique but possessing a sensual quality that Nina has not shown. In this event, the relationship between the two dancers is cool because of Lily's indiscretions, but Lily invites Nina to a night out. Nina is hesitant at first but decides to go against her mother's wishes. At a nightclub, Lily offers Nina a capsule to help her loosen up. Though reassured its effects will only last a few hours, Nina turns it down. Lily later slips it into her drink while she is absent. When she returns home late, Nina has another fight with her mother, barricades herself in her room, and has sex with Lily. Next morning, Nina wakes up alone and late for rehearsal. When she arrives at the studio, she finds Lily dancing as the Swan Queen. Furious, she confronts Lily and asks her why she did not wake her up that morning. After Lily tells her she spent the night with a man whom she met at the club, Nina realizes she imagined the encounter. Nina's hallucinations become stronger as she sees Thomas and Lily have sex in a backstage area and Beth stabbing herself in the face at the hospital with a nail filer which Nina drops bloodied in the elevator. She has a violent argument with her mother, after which Nina passes out. Concerned about Nina's erratic behavior, her mother tries unsuccessfully to prevent her from performing on opening night; enraged, Nina stands up to her mother and forces her way out of the apartment. Since her mother had called to say Nina was sick, Thomas assigned understudy Lily to take over, but reluctantly gives way when Nina insists on performing. The first act goes well, until Nina is distracted by a hallucination during a lift, causing her partner, playing the Prince, to drop her. Distraught, she returns to her dressing room and finds Lily there. As Lily announces she is to play the Black Swan, she transforms into Nina's double. Nina shoves her into a mirror, shattering it. She grabs a shard of glass and stabs her rival in the

stomach, killing her. The corpse transforms back into Lily. Nina hides the body and returns to the stage to dance with passion and sensuality. Sprouting feathers, her arms become black wings as she finally loses herself and is transformed into a black swan. At the end of the act, she receives a standing ovation. Offstage, Thomas and the rest of the cast congratulate her on her stunning performance. Nina takes Thomas by surprise and kisses him. Back in her dressing room before the final act, Nina is congratulated by Lily, showing that their fight was imaginary. The mirror, however, is still shattered. She removes a shard from her own body and realizes she had stabbed herself. Dancing the last scene, in which the White Swan throws herself off a cliff, Nina spots her mother weeping in the audience. As Nina falls backward onto a hidden mattress, the theater erupts in thunderous applause. Thomas and the rest of the cast gather to congratulate her only to find that she is bleeding to death. She whispers, "I felt it. Perfect. It was perfect.