KnE Social Sciences | The 1st Annual International Conference on Language and Literature (AICLL) | pages: 551–561


1. Introduction

An agent uses a language to communicate a message to a reciever and vice vesa. A recievier recieves a massage which has meaning in a certain language. The meaning of a message consists of a grammar. It influences a meaning of the message of a sentence. It has elements or lexical categories and a structure rule of a sentence. The change of lexical categories makes the changes of meaning in a sentence. Ambarita, (2017a: 14) notes that the changes of the lexical identity can be shown by the elaboration of semantic features of the word.

A lexical identity which used at the initial of a sentence has a meaning. Halliday and Matthiessen (2004: 160) explain the theme consists of textual Theme (conjunctive Adjunct), interpersonal Theme (comment Adjunct, mood Adjunct, Finite, Vocative), topical Theme (Subject, Complement, circumstantial Adjunct; Predicator in an `imperative' clause, WH- element in a `wh- interrogative clause) – or as Rheme.

Halliday and Matthiessen (2004: 64-65) further point out theme is the starting point of departure of meaning and it is usually at the initial part of a clause. It can be as ideational, interpersonal or textual theme. McCabe and Heilman (2007: 140) point out that Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) is that language serves three main purposes: the experiential (or ideational), through which language users express their view of the world; the interpersonal, through which language users establish and maintain social contact; and the textual, which allows for the first two to be brought together and organized in a way that is communicatively effective.

Kang (2016: 1053) explains theme identification is usually based on order, it is the element which comes first in the clause, Rheme is the part that follows in which Theme is developed. It is different with the other elements of the sentences, morphological analysis for example, language is viewed from the internal structure of the word. The structure of the word deals with the elements and forms of the word itself (Ambarita, 2017b: 131). This study focused on textual theme in maba belo selambar dialogue as the source language (SL) and translate them into the target language (TL). The textual theme of the SL has its characteristics as the cultural identity of Karonese society. Maba belo selambar dialogue is conversational bound culturally.The researchers would like to argumentate this culture by systemic functional linguistics analysis, translation analysis and cultural analysis.

2. Literature Review

Sembiring (2014: 11) indicates translation is the process of transferring the message and form of a written SL text into an equivalent TL text. Message consists of culture and the form refers to linguistic. Both linguistic and culture are the center of analysis in the process of translation.

In the process of translating textual theme in the dialogue of maba belo selambar in Karonese society into English, the researchers translated them equivalently, based on the reference and the cultural semantic equivalent.

The textual theme in the dialogue of maba belo selambar cover material and social culture, politeness. Brown and Levinson (1994: 61) defined face is as: the public self-image that everyone claims himself consisting of two related aspects:

  • negative face: the basic claim to freedom of action and freedom from imposition;

  • positive face: positive self-image and the desire that this self-image be appreciated and approved of.

Nida and Taber (1982: 12) explain translating consists of reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent of the source language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style.

Nida and Taber (1982: 33) argue that the system of translation consists of three stages:

  • analysis: the surface structure, (i.e. the message, as given in the SL) is analyzed in terms of: (a) the grammatical relationships and (b) the meanings of the words and combinations of words.

  • transfer: the analyzed material is transferred in the mind of the translator from the SL to the TL.

  • restructuring: the transferred material is restructured in order to make the final message fully acceptable in the TL.

Halliday and Matthiessen (2004: 30-31) points out the three metafunctions of language, i.e. the ideational, the interpersonal and the textual, and there are also different types of theme, which are topical, interpersonal and textual. Halliday and Matthiessen (2004: 64-65) emphasize the theme as the element which serves as the point of departure of the message, that which locates and orients the clause in its context. They add as a message structure, therefore, a clause consists of a theme accompanied by a rheme, and the structure is expressed by the order – whatever is chosen as the theme is put first.

3. Research Method

This study was applied by qualitative research and suported by translation analysis and cultural analysis. The data of this study was collected from maba belo selambar dialogue in Adat Karo Sirulo (2005) written by M.U Ginting and the researchers' participation observation. The texts of maba belo selambar dialogue, firstly, analyzed by using the Theme-Rheme framework to examine the textual theme. Secondly, the researchers translate them into the TL and classified them into its types. Finally, the researchers apply the cultural analysis to understand the material and social culture used in this dialogue.

4. Discussions

This study is in interdiciplinary approach they are cultural, systemic functional linguistic and translation analyses. They are applied in analysing the data. The continuative adjunct and conjunctive adjunct are found in the dialogue of maba belo selambar of Karonese society.

The dialogues are guided by each Anakberu Tua of the bridegroom. If Anakberu tua of each party has an intention, he should talk to his kalimbubu's senina kuranan as a mediator of their communication.

Anakberu Tua siempo asked for Senina kuranan to call all their anakberu. Anakberu tua si empo is the wife taker of the broom who has been as the chair of anakberu in organizing the cultural activity for their kalimbubu. Anakberu tua is not translated, instead it is explained in the TL to get its meaning. Anak beru are wife givers, they may have the same clans or different clans, but they have the same function to serve their kalimbubu. Kalimbubu are wife givers and they may have different clans in Karonese society.

  • SL: `Eak mpal.... lebuhken dage kami kerina anak berundu....'TL: `Eak us all your anakberu..'

  • SL: ` kam kerina anak beru kami.... anak beru Ginting mergana.... apai pe kam laerndobah.... baik anak beru kami si ibas kuta enda.... bagepe kam kerina anak beru kami sidarat nari.... reh kam kerina kutengah enda.... gelah cakapkendu ranan kami enda....'TL: `Eak....dear all our anakberu.... anak beru Ginting mergana.... all of you either who live in this village or those who come from outside of this village.'

  • SL: `Eak.... nake.... man banta kerina anak beru Ginting mergana.... reh kita kerina ku tengah enda.... enggo erlebuh kalimbubunta.... bage pe kam kerina si beru Ginting bagepe siberu Gintingken, reh kita kerina kutengah enda kunduli amakta, gelah sibenai percakapen enda'TL: `Eak.... nake.... for us all anak beru Ginting mergana...let us all come to the center of the hall..our kalimbubu have called us.....and all beru ginting, let us sit down on our mats.'

  • SL: `Eak.... man kam kerina anakberu kami, anakberu Ginting mergana apai pe kam laerndobah.... kam anak beru kami sidarat nari begepe anak beru kami si ni bas kuta enda, reh kam kerina ku tengah enda kunduli amakndu, gelah ialo-alondu kalak sireh enda....'TL: `Eak....dear all our anakberu, all of you Ginting's anakberu who live in thisvillage and those who come from other villages, come here and sit on the seats.

  • SL: `Eak mpal.... cuba tatapndu kami anak berundu.... enggo me kami pulung....?'TL: `Eak mpal....kindly please pay attention on us your anakberu....have we been here all....?

  • SL: `Eak mpal.... enda enggo kami ercakap-cakap ras kalak sireh enda, kerna kai kin sura-surana, maka nina asa bancina pulung nge min kerina sangkep nggeluh Karo mergana maka kami erbelas.TL: `Eak impal....... we have talked to broom's relatives who came, what they want first all karo mergana relatives gather before start talking.Most of the dialogues in maba belo selambar are started by the textual theme. Eak is commonly used in SL by the speakers at the beginning of the dialogues.Sembiring (2014: 138) asserts eak in SL and well in TL are continuatives and they are usually at the beginning of the clause. Both of them are used to express to start or to change the topic of dialog. There is no translation of Eak in Karonese language because it doesn't show the lexical meaning.

  • SL:.... Emaka.... uga ngenda kepulungenndu kam kalimbubu kami Karo mergana ras temanndu sendalanen arih kam.TL: So...... what about your presence the Karo mergana with your teman sendalanen please pay attention.Emaka is usually used at the initial of the sentence and that is about someone to continue the action. It is a continutative as textual theme in the SL and was translated to with then it in the TL, the translation was done literally.

  • SL: `Eak.... ma.uga... nge perpulungndu kam kalimbubu kami.... kam kalimbubu telu sendalanen, singalo bere-bere, singalo perkempun ras singalo perninin.... cuba arih kam....?'TL: Eak.... ma. uga... nge what about your presence of you Karo mergana with your teman sendalanen

  • SL: `Cuba.... sungkuni sembuyakndu ena.... uga kin pengatakenna....?'TL: Please ....ask your many guests were invited?

  • SL: `Ibas wari si sendah.... bagenda denga kin nge ngenca pengataken kami”.TL: Today....we invited only such guests.

  • SL: `Eak nak.... embahken dage ngepar kampelta ena ndai....'TL: Well nak....hand our kampil to the bride's anakberu

  • SL: Bagenda.... impal.... kuakap.... kam pe enggo me angka ndu.... kam saja pegedang-gedangsa....TL: Actually, impal I think you already know...and predict itself.There is shift bagenda in SL and translated with actually. Bagenda in the textual theme in SL and translated with like this. It is translated literaly. The initial of the sentence changes to be I think as interpersonal theme in TL. It is better I think you already know....and predict itself.I think in TL is Interpersonal theme as mood adjunct: optional

  • SL: `O.... e, merandal silih adi kerehendu enda maba belo selambar,....TL: Ye...s.....well silih if your coming is maba belo selambarLiteral translation procedure was applied in translating textual theme in SL into TL. `o.... e in SL and ye..s in TL are usually used at the beginning of expression. O..e and yes are continuative signaling a new move as textual theme.

  • SL: Siapai kin nge sienggo ersada arihna ras kalimbubundu e....?TL: Which one has agreed with your kalimbubu one?The literal translation of the SL of data number 14 is which one has agreed with your kalimbubu. This cluase is better translated with which one of your kalimbubu would like to get married?

  • SL: `o....e.... e.... enggo begi kami silih.... ertima kam lebe kentisik.'TL: Y e s..we've heard it silih....please wait a momentYes inTL and o...e...e in SL are continuative adjunct as a sign to move to new starting point.

  • SL: `Eak nake, enggo me sibegi cakap anak beru sireh enda ndaiTL: Eak nake, we have heard the explaination of the bride's anakberu.

  • SL: Ma sisungkuni nge lebe permenta ah.... ntah labo kari payo bagi katana ah.... entah ban-banna kin nge kari.... pe'TL: Let's us ask our permen....the reality of what the broom's anakberu statement...we are not sure whether it is true on not.

  • SL: `E payo.... sisungkuni lah lebe.TL: That's true....let's ask first.E payo in SL and that's true in TL are continuative adjunct as a sign to agree and move to new starting point.

  • SL: `Eak.... man kena bibina.... dilo dage permenta ah ndai gelah siorati'TL: Well...dear her our permen in order we can ask her for truth the broom statementBy saying eak the conversation started in SL and it is translated literally with well in TL.

  • SL: “Eak permen.... enda enggo kidah lit kalak sireh ku rumah enda....TL: “Eak permen.....the groom relatives have come to this house.

  • SL: Maka.... bekas arihndu nge ras sekalak anak perana, maka kalak enda reh....TL: it your planning with the groom, to make his relatives come here.Maka is textual theme used at the initial of the clause and it is as a conjunctive adjunct in SL and was translated to be so it in TL, the literal translation method was done in translating SL into TL.

  • SL: hTL: Have you known the clan of the groom..what is his bere-bere.....where is his village we are afraid you are cheated.Ma is applied to make sure the message in the SL. It does not emphasize the message of the question clause in TL.

  • SL: “Enda ngisap kam pa....aku si empo e....aku pe anakndu nge....”TL: Please have a I am the groom.... I am also as your son nge”Enda is singular demonstrative which near to the speaker means `this' and pe is translated with `also'.

  • SL: Sipemena “....engkai maka engko ersura-sura muat permen kami enda man labo atem man pembantum....?”TL: First, why do you want to marry our permen... won't you make her as your servant?Pemena is conjunction as textual theme in SL and first is a conjunction as textual theme in TL. It was translated literally.

  • SL: “Sipeduaken....ndai engko enggo ngaku jadi anak kami,TL: Secondly, have admitted that you are as our son.Sipeduaken is conjunction as textual theme in SL and secondly is a conjunction as textual theme in TL. It was translated literally.The bride's anakberu asked the groom to his seat.

  • SL: “Eak....enggo kena banci mulih ku jabu kena....baba isapmu enda....”TL: ”Well... you may go back to your is your cigarette.”Eak is as a conjunctive adjunct in textual theme. The translation of eak in SL is well in TL and it is as a conjunctive adjunct. It is translated with culture equivalent procedure. There are many shifts in translating SL into TL. Baba isapmu is literally taranslated with bring your this cigarete but it does not sound in good English. Instead equivalent is used to be translated with here is your cigarette. Mulih ku jabu kena, literal translation is come back to your house. But the imperative of the SL is to ask them go their seats.

  • SL: “adi bage kita pe enggom meriah ukurta....”TL: If they agree, we are so happy.There is the shift structure in the process of translating theme in SL into theme in TL. Adi bage consists of adi means if and followed by so means kalimbubu and anakberu agree. If it was translated literarly it did not work because it does not show the same context and meaning. For the reason of the previous dialogue, bage in SL refers to the previous statement. Therefore the translation of bage in SL is they agree.If is the consequence of condition as textual theme. So is the cause of the reason or as result, therefore the translation of bage refers to the previous theme.Most the textual themes in the SL are E...ak and they are translated with well. These textual themes are as conjunctives adjuncts. They are usually used at the initial of the clauses. Eak has no lexical meaning and it is only as the opening of the dialogue in maba belo selambar. The problem for the researchers was the equivalence of textual theme of SL in TL. It is untranslatable. Textual themes in Karonese culture are difficult to transfer into TL because they have different cultures. Therefore textual theme in SL should be explained in TL.The problems in translating the SL into the TL are untraslatability and the shifts. To solve the problems of untranslatable textual theme in SL, Newmark's methods of literal translation was applied to solve this problem. It was applied because textual theme are found at the initial of clauses and can be solved with Newmark's methods of translation. Two methods which proposed by Newmark, were applied in this study they are literal and semantic methods.The shifts of the SL into the TL in the process of tranlstion are explained in TL to get its meaning.

The polite linguistic

There are polite linguistic and polite culture in SL. Kam in SL is polite linguistic, it is the second language in SL. There is no equivalent of kam in English.

Table 1

The polite linguistic.

SL TL Polite/impolite
itenahke ndu are invited Polite
itatap ndu pay attention Polite
perpulung ndu your representative Polite
sembuyak ndu your sembuyak Polite
anakberu ndu your anakberu Polite
kalimbubu nta our kalimbubu Polite
“o....e....ertima kam....” Yes, please wait Polite

The personal pronoun kam is found in SL, and it is translated with you in TL. But you in TL does not have any sense of polite linguistic.

The personal pronouns ndu and ta are found as possessives and suffixes in SL, and translated with possessive but they are not as suffix in TL.

The polite culture

Table 2

The polite culture.

No Clause SL Polite/Impolite TL
1 ndudurken kampil polite hand the kampil
2 ndudurken isapen polite hand the cigarette

The cultural politeness of ndudurken kampil and ndudurken isapen in SL are translated literally, there is no equivalent of this culture in TL. Ndudurken isapen is translated with hand the cigarette, the groom should perform the positive face as Brown and Levinson's concept.

Some cultural terms in the SL are not found in the TL. This condition causes the problem in translating SL into TL, that is how to translate cultual terms implied in the SL and finding the appropriate equivalence conveying these cultural terms successfully in the TL.

The problems of cultural terms are overcome by using Newmark's translation procedures of descriptive culture equivalence and translation method of literal translation. In clause 27 “adi bage, kita pe enggom meriah ukurta....” is translated with if they agree, we are so happy.

Dependent clause in SL of clause number 27, adi bage kita pe enggom meriah ukurta....”. Adi bage, means if all of our kalimbubu and anakberu agree is dependent clause. The cultural problem in this clause is the cultural word kalimbubu and anakberu, has no equivalent in the TL. It was translated with the wife givers but they do not have any clans in TL. This situation does not exist in TL and they do not have the similar culture, so the explaination was needed in TL.

5. Conclusions

In summary, these results show that the data analysis indicated that the textual themes of continuative were used more than conjunction. This study supported by systemic functional linguistic, cultural and polite analyses.

The researchers translate textual theme, of maba belo selambar dialogue in the SL into the TL. While translating SL into TL, the researchers applied Newmark's translation methods and procedures. His translation methods and translation procedures are selected to resolve the problems to translate the textual themes of maba belo selambar dialogue. The researchers found that continuative are important to connect the ideas of arguments. Eak is mostly used in the SL of maba belo selambar dialogue.

The results reveal two translation methods and three translation procedures are applied in translating the textual themes of maba belo selambar dialogue in Karonese society. They are translation methods of literal and semantic. And for the translation procedures, they are descriptive equivalent, transposition/shift, and cultural equivalent.

However, more research on translating on topical and interpersonal themes need to be undertaken and more clearly understood for the future researches.


This study is funded by Directorate General of Research and Development



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