Zulprianto Zulprianto


This article seeks to describe literalness in translating English texts into Indonesian. The foci of literalness observed in this study are of word order and of word choice. Data are translations of twelve respondents asked to translate a given English text, which is approximately 500 words in length, into Indonesian. The respondents are senior students of English Department Students of Andalas University. Therefore, there are twelve comparable texts collected. During the translation process, the respondents were given a plenty of time and were also allowed to use any kinds of translation aids such as dictionary, encyclopedia, etc, but disallowed to use machine translation without human editor. The analysis, by making comparison between the English source text (ST) and the twelve translated texts (TT), shows that the respondents tend to apply literal methods or strategies in their translations especially in terms of word order or syntactical constructions, to be more general. These tendencies in general do not necessarily produce inadequate translations, but to some degree, may produce less natural target texts. In addition, the respondents make some considerable literalness somehow leading to inaccuracy in choosing the equivalence for several words/phrases of the source text. The inaccuracy they make occasionally end them up with producing poor translations. The output obtained from this research is worth noting in the effort to improve translation quality when it is used either as an alternative method of foreign language teaching or language testing.


translation, literalness, word order, lexical

Full Text:



Chung, Sandra. (2007). Indonesian Clause Structure from an Austronesian Perspective. Santa Cruz: University of California.

Crystal, David. (1987). The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

Hassall, Timothy. (2011). ‘English is Changing the Indonesia Grammar’. Online available at: (accessed 15th June 2013)

Kaplan, Jeffrey P. (1989). English Grammar: Principles and Facts. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Larson, M. (1984/1998). Meaning-Based Translation: A Guide to Cross-Language Equivalence. Lanham, New York & London: University Press of America.

Mogahed, M.M. (2011). ‘To Use or not to Use Translation in Language Teaching’. Online available at: (accessed 14th June 2013)

Munday, Jeremy. (2001). Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications. Oxon: Routledge.

Parera, Jos Daniel. (1988). SINTAKSIS. Jakarta: PT Gramedia.

Quirk, Randolph & Sydney Greenbaum. (1973). A University Grammar of English. Essex: Longman.

Sneddon, James Neil. (1996). Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar. London: Routledge.

Stack, Maggie. (2005). Word Order and Intonation in Indonesian (LSO working papers in Linguistics 5). Madison: University of Wisconsin. Online available at: (accessed at 22nd April 2008).


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Proceedings of ISELT FBS Universitas Negeri Padang

This Proceedings is Currently indexed by:

Google Scholar.

The Proceedings of International Seminar on English Language and Teaching is registered at LIPI