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A. Research Background

English plays an important role in the world. As an international language, it is used to diseminate any information dealing with modern science and technology. To our country, English gives many advantages that it helps Indonesian people to keep up with the development of the world, especially in broadening their knowledge, not only in scientific and technological fields but also in art, literature, and entertainment.

With respect to the use of English in producing and communicating many kinds of information, the effort to get those information easier can be done by translating the source text into the target text. Through translation, it will be easier for readers to understand the content of the information given in English, especially for those who do not master English well.


Considering the function of translation in conveying certain information to the readers, it can be seen that translating is not an easy task because it deals with transferring thoughts and ideas from one language to another. These thought and ideas have to be conveyed accurately so that the contents of the message or the information are understandable for the target readers. That is why the important thing for a translator is to find the best way to make his translation accurate, acceptable, and readable.

Another thing which makes translation becomes a complex task is because translation or translating always involves two languages, the source and the target languages, which must have so many differences. The most possible thing found in two different languages is the difference of system. The different linguistic system can cause some problems for a translator. The problems faced by the translator in translating process can eventually cause the inaccurate, unacceptable or unreadable translation.

In translating process, the translator has to deal with two different languages expressed in the forms of words, phrases, clauses or sentences. The translator must concern himself with finding the target language translation equivalents. That is why in every stage of translating process, a translator often finds some difficulties which can be classified into: (1) difficulties in the analysis and understanding of the source language, (2) difficulties in the process of transferring and in finding target language equivalents, and (3) difficulties in restructuring the transferred material to get the best result of translation (Soemarno, 1991: 1). Dealing with these difficulties, to make a good translation, a translator sometimes has to make several adaptations or adjustments.

One of the causes which makes a translator difficult to produce a good translation is different grammatical structure of the source and the target languages. As stated by Baker, differences in the grammatical structures of the source and the target language often result in some change in the information content of the message during the process of translation (1992: 183). For example: the different grammatical structure between English and Indonesian.

Nowadays, most best-seller novels written in English are translated into Indonesian. One of them is John Grisham’s novel entitled “Skipping Christmas”, which is translated into “Absen Natal”. An interesting thing in novels or stories is the use of the direct speech or quoted speech which is indicated by the use of inverted commas (‘…’) or (“…”) at the beginning and at the end of the sentences. In the novel and its translation, direct speech is mostly translated in the same form or arrangement, but the researcher finds several changes occur. For example:

1. ST: “Where’s Frosty?” she asked.

“Same place he’s been since January. Why?” (p. 54).

The above passage is translated into:

TT: “Di mana Frosty kita?” Nora bertanya.

“Ya di basement, sejak Januari. Kenapa?” (p. 61).

In a conversation between Luther and Nora (the main characters in the novel) in page 16 as shown in the above example, it can be seen that the translator translates the part of the sentence ‘same place he’s been’ into ‘ya di basement’. The translator seems to give additional information to the readers that Frosty has been in the basement since January. Undoubtedly, this adjustment can be said as one of the translator’s strategies to make a good translation.

2. ST: “You bought five last year, Mr. Krank.”

“Can you do it again?” (p. 98).

TT: “Anda membeli lima tahun lalu, Mr. Krank.”

“Sekarang mau lima juga?” (p. 105).

In this second example, the translator alters the meaning of the direct sentence “Can you do it again?” into “Sekarang mau lima juga?”, instead of translating it into “Bisakah anda melakukannya lagi?”. It can be seen how the translator conveys the message in the source text to the target readers.

3. ST: “I wouldn’t drive too fast.”

“Why not?” (p. 147).

TT: “Sebaiknya jalannya jangan terlalu cepat.”

“Kenapa?” (p. 157).

In the above example, the translator does not only shift the sentence from negative into positive, but he also omits the subject ‘I’ in his translation. The translator changes the direct speech in the form of declarative sentence (statement) into an imperative sentence. Considering the content of the message in the source text, the meaning of the message conveyed in the target language does not deviate from the source meaning. But still, the translator actually can translate more accurately if he chooses more appropriate diction.

Based on such phenomena shown in the three examples above, the researcher is interested in studying the translation of the direct-speech sentences in John Grisham’s novel “Skipping Christmas” and its translation. Therefore, she conducts a research entitled ANALYSIS OF DIRECT SPEECH TRANSLATION IN “ABSEN NATAL” TRANSLATED FROM JOHN GRISHAM’S NOVEL “SKIPPING CHRISTMAS”.

B. Problem Statements

Based on the research background described previously, the proposed problems are:

1. How are the direct-speech sentences in “Absen Natal” translated from the novel “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham?

2. How is the accuracy of those direct-speech translations?

C. Research Objectives

The objectives of this research are:

1. To find out how the direct-speech sentences in “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham are translated into Indonesian.

2. To find out the accuracy of those direct-speech translations.

D. Research Significance

This research is expected to give some contribution to:

1. The students of English Department who are interested in finding out about the direct-speech translation from English to Indonesian.

2. The translators as an additional information to improve their ability in translation.

3. Other researchers who are interested in conducting further researches related to direct-speech translation.

E. Research Limitation

Research limitation is needed to give a focus to this research. In this research, the researcher will only take the sentences in the forms of declarative sentences in the novel “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham and its translation “Absen Natal” as the data. Here, the sentence means an independent linguistic form, not included by virtue of any grammatical construction in any larger linguistic form (Bloomfield dalam Fries, 1952: 21), not only the sentence as defined by Blumenthal in The English Language as a group of words expressing a complete thought and containing at least a verb and its subject” (Blumenthal, 1963: 249).

F. Research Method

This research uses descriptive method in which the researcher collects and analyzes the data, then draws conclusion based on the data analysis. It is defined by Sutrisno Hadi, “suatu penelitian bersifat deskriptif apabila peneliti hanya mengumpulkan data, menyusun, menganalisis dan kemudian menyimpulkan tanpa bermaksud untuk menarik kesimpulan yang bersifat umum (1983: 3). Detail explanation of the research methodology will be presented in Chapter III.

G. Thesis Organization

This research is arranged and divided into four chapters. Chapter I is Introduction. It consists of Research Background; Problem Statements; Research Objectives; Research Significance; Research Method; and Thesis Organization.

Chapter II is Literature Review. It consists of Definition of Translation; Types of Translation; Process of Translation; Problems in Translation; Adjustment in Translation; Sentences; Direct and Indirect Speech; and The Accuracy of Translation.

Chapter III is Research Methodology. It contains Research Method, Data and Data Source, Sample and Sampling Technique, Technique of Collecting Data, Research Design, and Technique of Analyzing Data.

Chapter IV is Analysis consisting of Analysis of Direct-speech Translation and its Accuracy, and Discussion.

Chapter V is Conclusion and Recommendation. It comprises conclusion of the analysis done before and recommendation to other researchers or readers of the thesis.

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