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Translating CSI
to English requires the writer to apply some strategies in order to achieve the
equivalence between source language text and target language text. In this
sense, the translator has to fully understand the knowledge of the source
language and target language Cultural Specific Items such as name of places,
person, weapon, and some utterances. In this project, namely, Ayo dolan
neng Magelang, the writer described a
lot of culture in Magelang using Javanese as the source language. Then, in
order to create the equivalence translation in English, the writer employed
some strategies based on Newmark (1991) and Munday and Hatim (2013). It covers
the text-to-text translation and the whole text translation. The strategies cover
from transference, descriptive equivalence, synonym, transfonym and adjustment. In this booklet, the writer employed
transference and synonym as the main procedures. Hopefully, the writer could
deliver the message and values in Javanese to all English readers reading the

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Keywords: Strategy, CSI, SL, TL, booklet


Ayo Dolan neng
Magelang is a booklet that depicts the information
about Magelang Regency, Central Java. The booklet containing the information
related to coat of arm, districts, slogan, landmark, people, points of
attraction, cultural event, traditional songs, culinary, local fruits, rites of
passage, folklore, legend, taboos, riddle, proverb, endemic and animal of
Magelang regency is presented for those who are curious about Magelang. The
nature of this booklet is inviting people to explore Magelang. This book
presents some highlights of Magelang culture and interesting place in Magelang
that is worth to be studied and visited.

The reader of
this booklet will find two languages, namely Bahasa Jawa and English, presented
in this booklet to depict the richness of the Javanese culture in Magelang. The
writer presents two texts on the same page. Therefore, this booklet could
become a good reference for those who are learning English and Javanese since
the language on this booklet preserves some Cultural Specific Items.

Naturally, this
booklet is a translation project especially dealing with the Cultural Specific
Items in local language (Javanese) translated into English.  This process could be so challenging since many
translators, experts and readers might be questioning whether it is possible or
not to translate cultural terms or in this study called as Culture-Specific
Items (CSI). Indeed, CSI is considered as a challenge for a translator since a
translator should have adequate knowledge of cultures in both languages. This
knowledge is crucial since a translator need to convey the message from the
source language (SL) and translate it to the target language (TL) in an
appropriate equivalent to the message or information (Hilman, 2015).

Some studies
state that CSI is somehow unable to be translated since that equivalent may not have the same concepts the target language (Mendoza, 2008).   It may deal
with cultural untranslatability causes by the absence in the TL culture of a
relevant situational feature for the SL text (Bassnett, 2005).  However, Newmark (1998)
states that local and cultural text is actually possible to be translated. Further,
the writer’s of this booklet first language is Javanese, thus, the writer has
those specific knowledge related to CSI. Therefore, the writer could deal with
the problem and hopefully be able to transfer the message from a local language to English well. This paper is
dealing with the research question below:

translation strategies applied in translating CSIs in the booklet of “Ayo Dolan
neng Magelang”?

Nature of translation

Translation is,
in fact, “a converting process” (Guo, 2012, p. 1) and it is not just a process of changing one language, in this case source language, into another language;
target language. There are two different way of seeing translation. First, translation is considered to be an art product by a creative artist who ensures the
continuity and diffusion of culture in source
language into the target language (Bassnett, 2005). On contrast, translation is
dealing with power which can be seen from
the “hegemonic power of images created by the target culture” in the mechanics
of textual production (Paz, 1992 in Bassnett, 2005, p. 4). Bassnett also shows that in the post-colonial perception the
product of translation (target language) is superior to the source language. However, the new perception emerges as both
original and translation are considered as “equal products of the creativity of
writer and translator”, and it depends on the writer to how to make the ideal
language which can be considered natural in the target language (Paz, 1992).

translation is considered more about the “negotiation between texts and between
cultures”(Bassnett, 2005, p.6). Thus, the task of a translator is to become the mediator of the
transaction between texts and languages. It is imperative for the translator to
achieve cultural equivalence between the source language and the target
language and how to make up semantic zero caused by culture. The cultural
equivalence, in this case, mainly refers to semantic equivalence and pragmatic
equivalence (Guo, 2012). Further, a translator is required to have a skill and
a sense for his own language. Indeed, it is not dealing with ‘sixth sense’ but
intelligence, sensitivity and intuition, as well as of knowledge (Newmark, 1991). Thus, a good translation makes the reader of the product get same
interpreting as when readers, in this case the native speakers, read the
original one. Here is the dynamics of translations offered by Newmark in 1992:

Furthermore, Hatim & Munday (2013) offer highlight the main
issues of translation which is related to linked to the strategies of literal
and free translation and form and content. They mention that the translators
have to be aware the comprehensibility and transability
issue. First, translatability is related to the fact that in translation,
despite obvious differences in linguistic structure (grammar, vocabulary,
etc.), the meaning can still be adequately expressed across languages. It also
deals with the referential and connotative meaning. Nida (1964) suggests that
in translating the referential meaning, semantic analysis, hierarchical
structuring and componential analysis are needed especially in understanding
the broad meanings of a words in SL and
TL.  While in connotative meaning, the
translators have to understand the meaning of the sentences as a whole and also
be sensitive to the emotion embedded in the sentences.

comprehensibility deals with the condition where the translation of meanings considers
some factors such as target audience, communicative and translation purpose. It
especially deals with entire chunks or some unique SL values needed to be
translated across cultural and linguistic boundaries. However, it is always
possible to bridge the cultural gaps (Hatim & Munday, 2013).

After dealing
with transability and comprehensibility, translators must deal with the meaning
and the message on the source language. The translations must focus on the
message both the form and its content for whatever purpose (Nida, 1964). In
this sense, Hatim and Munday (2013) consider this as the formal equivalence.
Translators may do nothing in order to preserve in order to preserve effects of
utterances in source language especially when it is considered that it is no
need to interfere the formal arrangement of words, structure, etc. However, it
should be a conscious act and for the sake of good reason not for any other
purpose (Hatim & Munday, 2013). Hatim and Munday (2013) emphasize that the aim of doing so is
bringing source language linguistic or cultural preferences to target reader.
However, when SL explication and adjustment is needed in translating the SL to
TL, translators should move to dynamic equivalence where they could provide
rich varieties of contextual values and effects. Further, in some occasion,
adjustment by restructuring message in SL is needed in order to preserve the
linguistic and stylistic appropriateness (Hatim & Munday, 2013).

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