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Putu Vicky Nadenka Shintabella

English Departement, Faculty of Arts Udayana University


This writing is entitled English-indonesian translation of idioms in the novel This Girl by
Colleen Hoover. The aims are to find out and analyze the strategies that being used on
translating idioms from English to Bahasa Indonesia in the novel This Girl based on Larson
theory. This writing focused on idioms in This Girl novel written by Colleen Hoover. The data
in this writing were collected by intensive reading, skimming, and note taking. Based on the
theory of Larson, there are two kinds of translation strategy, literal translation and idiomatic
translation. Both of those translation types could be used as long as it could maintain the
meaning from the source language.

Keywords: idiom, translation, translation strategy

1. Background
Language is a mean of communication. Each person communicates with others using
different language depends on where they stay. There are about 6,500 languages used
around the world, including English.

English has become the universal language. It means English is the most dominant
language spoken by billion people all around the world. People who are able to
understand English and speak it fluently tend to be easier to connect with other people
from another country. That is why the students in Indonesia have to learn English even
since they are in kindergarten in order to be able to communicate with foreigners or
receive more information from other country. Sadly, even if they study English in school,
most of Indonesians are not a fluent English speaker because they use Bahasa Indonesia
as their mother language in daily life. In order to help non English speaker to know the
meaning in English, translation is needed.
Basically, translation is a process of changing the form of a language into another
language. Translation consists of transferring without distortion the meaning of the source
language into the target language, meaning which must be kept constant, even when the
form of the source language changes as it is turned into the form of the target language
(Larson, 1998:181). According to that, a good translation should be able to convey the
same meaning from the source language to the target language.

Idiom is a group of words that have different meaning from the dictionary meaning.
Idioms can be found in daily life, from informal conversation to formal written text.
However, idioms have meanings that sometimes depart from the literal meaning. That is
why it is important to understand what are idiom, how idiom carries meaning and what
translator does to maintain that meaning in other language.

2. Problems of the Study

Based on the background above, the problems are formulated as follows:
a. What strategies of translation applied in the novel This Girl into Gadisku?
b. How is the meaning of idioms translated into Bahasa Indonesia?

3. Aims of the Study

Based on the problems above, the aims of this writing are divided into two:
a. To find out the translation strategies applied in the novel This Girl into Gadisku.
b. To analyze how the meaning of idioms in This Girl translated into Gadisku.

4. Scope of Discussion
Idioms take many different forms or structure. In this writing, the form of idioms
refers to words, phrases, or clauses. In the process of translation, the meaning should be
transferred from source language to the target language based on the semantic analysis,
not the form. The meaning itself must be maintained, whereas the forms may be
modified. Based on the previous statement and because of the limit of my knowledge I
would like to take only some of the idiomatic expressions and to focus the analysis on
how the process of translation is and how English idiomatic expressions are classified and

5. Research Method
5.1 Data Source

All data were taken from the novel This Girl by Colleen Hoover which has
been translated into Bahasa Indonesia by Shandy Tan with the title, Gadisku. This
novel was used because there are many idioms written in it and the story quite
easy to understand. Other than that, This Girl by Colleen Hoover has become New
York Times Best Sellers.

5.2 Method and Technique of Collecting Data

Documentation method was applied to collecting data in this writing. There

were three steps needed to do this method. First, reading the novel and its
Indonesian translation. After that, skimming was required to find the idiomatic
expressions. Last, note taking and listing the idioms based on its type.

5.3 Method and Technique of Analyzing Data

This writing was used descriptive qualitative method in analyzing data.
Qualitative method was applied because the data in this research are in the form of
words, phrases and clauses. Then the data were descriptively analyzed with
translation procedures proposed by Mildred L. Larson (1998) in her book,
Meaning-Based Translation and theory from Makkai (1994) in his book entitled
Idiom Structure in English. In addition, this observation will not involve any

5.4 Method and Technique of Presenting Data Analysis

In order to analyze the data clearer, data were presented in the form of words
using informal method. Some different types of idioms and its translation were
mentioned along with the descriptive analysis.

6. Discussion
In this chapter, the problems which are formulated in the previous chapter
are discussed. The discussion related to the idiomatic expressions which are found in
the novel This Girl and its translation.
According to Larson (1998), there are two main kinds of translations. One is
literal translations which attempt to follow the form or structure of the source
language. A literal translation is mainly use in a linguistics study and little to do with
this writing. It is make little sense in English. Except for the function in interlinear
translations, a very literal translation is uncommon. Most translators tend to use
modified literal translation in the terms of literal translation. They modify the
structure and grammar enough but the lexical features are translated literally. The
second type is idiomatic translation. This kind of translation makes every effort to
transfer the meaning of the source language text in the natural form of the receptor
language. The main idea of idiomatic translation is to re-express the meaning.
Therefore, it does not sound like a translation.

In order to know how the translator translated the meaning of idiomatic

expressions, five data which contain idiomatic expressions were taken from the novel
This Girl.

(6.1) SL. “I didn’t break up with you,” she says defensively.

TL. “Aku tidak putus denganmu,” Lake membela diri.
From the translation above, we can see how the translator discovers the
equivalence of the SL text into the TL text. In this case the translator translated the
sentence well by using modified literal translation by erasing the word says in TL text
and translated defensively into membela diri. The idiom break up by dictionary means
to end a relationship which the meaning is memutuskan suatu hubungan in
Indonesian. Break up is an inseparable phrasal verb idiom which composes verb and
adverbial particle and cannot be added object after verb. In this case, the idiom break
up is translated into putus, which has the same meaning in idiom in the source text.
Putus is equivalent to memutuskan suatu hubungan, but putus is more natural and
more acceptable.

(6.2) SL. I catch myself staring at her, deep in thought.

TL. Kupandangi ia seraya merenung.
Deep in thought consists of adjective + adverbial particle + noun. It is a transitive
phrasal compound idiom because it can be added an object between the word deep in
and thought. From the translation above, the idiom deep in thought is translated into
merenung, which exists in Indonesian instead of pemikiran yang dalam. This idiom is
used to describe a person who has a very meaningful thought. The translation is an
idiomatic translation because the structure is changed in order to make the target
language text become natural. As we can see, the sentence I catch myself staring at
her in SL text became kupandangi ia seraya in TL text, whereas the grammatical
features are changed.

(6.3) SL. Her unexpected response makes me laugh under my breath.

TL. Jawaban tak terduga itu membuatku menahan tawa.
In this case, the translator translated the sentence well by using modified literal
translation because she only modified some of the structure. As we can see, there is an
addition of itu in TL text to refer the context. The idiom under breath means spoken
in such a soft, quiet voice that others cannot hear it distinctly which the meaning in
Indonesian is berbisik or berkata dengan suara perlahan-lahan. Under breath is
phrasal compound idiom which consists of adverbial particle and noun. In this
sentence, noun breath becomes the head of phrasal compound. In this translation, the
idiom laugh under my breath is translated into menahan tawa, which has the same
meaning in idiom in the source text. Menahan tawa is equivalent to tertawa dengan
perlahan but it is a little bit innocent.

(6.4) SL. “I’ll get her number tomorrow,” Eddie says. “Is next Saturday night okay?
You two could double date with us.”
TL. “Akan kuminta nomor telepon Taylor besok,” kata Eddie. “Sabtu malam
nanti oke? Kita akan kencan ganda.”
From the data above, there are some modified of grammatical features which can
be found. The word her in SL text translated into Taylor which is the name of the
person who is being talked. There is an attempt in re-expressing the meaning by
changing the form if we look at the sentence you two could double date with us which
translated into kita akan kencan ganda instead of kalian berdua akan kencan ganda
bersama kita in order to make it make sense. This kind of translation is a modified
translation because although there are some structure modified, but still the translator
used the big pattern of source language into the target language. The idiom double
date consists of adjective and noun. Double date is a phrasal compound idiom that
belongs into inseparable phrasal which is cannot be added an object between the word
double and date. In this translation, the idiom double date is translated into kencan
ganda, which has the same meaning. There is a shift of word order to make it more
acceptable in the target language.

(6.5) SL. I bring my hands up to meet her cheeks and I look her in the eyes, then I
say the hardest words that I’ll ever have to say. “You are not falling in love
with me. You cannot fall in love with me.”
TL. Kuangat kedua tangan untuk memegang pipinya dan menatap ke dalam
matanya, lalu kuucapkan kata-kata yang paling sulit kukatakan seumur
hidupku. “Kau tidak akan jatuh cinta kepadaku. Kau tidak boleh jatuh cinta
The idiomatic expression in the source language above is one type of phrasal verb
idiom. It consists of verb + adverbial particle + noun. In this case, the translation of
the idiom in the SL text can be predicted into the form of idiom in TL text because it
has the same meaning in the Indonesian expression. The expression of fall in love is
translated into jatuh cinta in Indonesian. If it is translated literally the meaning will be
meaningless as seen in the following. Fall in means jatuh kedalam and love means
cinta. In this case, from the meaning of each word, perhaps we can predict the
meaning of that idiom. But here, the translator used the phrase jatuh cinta instead of
jatuh kedalam cinta to make sense. The translation above is a modified literal

7. Conclusion
After analyzing the translation of the English idioms into the Indonesian idioms found
in the novel This Girl and its translation Gadisku, some conclusions can be drawn as
In order to reproduce meaning in terms of the source context, the translator attempts
to make adjustments in the idioms, he adapts the statement proposed by Larson (1998).
“Sometimes it will be necessary to translate idiom with a nonfigurative expression, but
sometimes a good TL idiom may be used”.
Both literal and idiomatic translation is applied in this novel. But, the translator tend
to use the modified literal translation more because it is required to modify some of the
form or grammatical features in order to maintain the meaning.
In general, it can be concluded that it is not a must to translate the idiom literally. The
translator can change the grammatical features, the word class or the word order as long
as the meaning is maintained and the form is natural and acceptable.


Hoover, Colleen. 2013. This Girl. New York: Atria Books, a Division of Simon &
Schuster, Inc.

Hoover, Colleen. 2014. Gadisku. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama

Larson, Mildred L. 1998. Meaning –Based Translation. A Guide to Cross Language

Equivalence. Lanham, Maryland: Second Edition. University of America, Inc.

Makkai, Adam. 1994. Idiom Structure in English. Netherlands: Mouton & Co. NV

Meriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2011. Meriam-Webster Online 14 November 2018