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Indonesian Translation Quality of Children Literature “Little Quack Bedtime”

Aya Nova Annisa & Nadia Musdalifah

Islamic State Institute of Surakarta, Indonesia


This research analyzes the children literature translation in the story of “Little Quack’s Bedtime” with the purpose is to analyzing the quality of translation per sentences that found in the children’s literature “Little Quack’s Bedtime”. All of the data were analyzed by using the theory of Nababan. Based on the theory, there are three parameters to analyze the quality of translation; Accuracy, Acceptability, and Readability. The analysis is started by collecting the data and then continued with the quality of the text translation which is decided of the result of assessment in accuracy, acceptability, and readability of the text translation are done by the raters with some determinate. The findings reveal from 45 sentences data, the quality analysis on accuracy aspect, there are 82.2% accurate and 17.8 less accurate. On the acceptability aspect we found 30% Acceptable, 60% less acceptable, and 10% unacceptable. And for readability aspect there are 82.9% readable and 17.7% less readable. It means that the quality of “Little Quack’s Bedtime” translation is qualified with the assessment.

Key Words : Children’s Literature. Translation, Quality

  1. Introduction

  2. 1 Background of The Study

There are many children’s literature comes from others countries that liked by many children in Indonesia such as Cinderella, Snow White and other Disney stories. B. Nurgiyantoro (2005:6) states that children’s literature is the literature of psychological emotionally can be addressed and understood by children from concrete facts that can be imagined. It explains that children literature is a pleasure thing for children and important to help their growth. Indeed, the children literature is always has a happy ending. As Thomson (2003 : 241-249 ) states that Children’s literature idealizes world as the only “happy” one in which people find their true selves, free from any material constraints and in the end the children had to meet “heroes” with the positive characters. In the case of the research, the children literature books comes from western countries are used English language and it needed to translate into Indonesia language for easier to understand by children.

Translation is a process in replacement language. Catford states that translation is the replacement of textual material in one language by equivalent textual in another language (in Machali, 2000:5). The problem of reach translation equivalence usually is differences cultural background between SL and TL. In the case of the research, the researcherss meets the difference social-cultural background about children in Indonesia and Western Countries. Fitriana (2013) states that children who read a children literature are 6 – 13 years old. Indeed, based on Depkes RI (2009) stated that children age is 5-11 years old. The theory of Psychology J. Piaget mentions that children with the range of 0 – 11/12 years old can understand something that is concrete, such as an imagination and fantasy. Thus, the children literature can be focused in children 0-11/12 years old. Although the term “children” has a same age about 0 – 13 in every country, but the children’s reading interest in Indonesia is lower than children’s reading interest in Western.

Translating children literature is not easy as translating others genres books. It needs more attention because the target reader is a children. As Lefevere in Stolze (2003:1) states that the starting point of an approach to translating for children is often a view of translation as rewriting for different audiences in different times, places, and cultures. Moreover, the children have a different reading comprehension than an adults. Based on that, the translator should be careful in transferring meaning in the target language. It is a challenge for translator because the translator have to use the easy word to create an easy sentence structure so that the children can understand the story easily.

Translation quality assessment is needed to asses a translation product and know how strength and weakness of the translation in a product. According to Newmark (1988) states that by the translation assessment, a translation can improve the capability in translation because the translator will learn from mistake in the previous translation and revise them in the next translation. The qualified translation has 3 aspects, there are an accurate aspect, an acceptable aspect, and readable aspect (Nababan, 2012:44). Accuracy deals with the content in target language, whereas the source text is transferred correctly in the meaning of target text. Acceptability deals with a natural in target language, it is mean the target text delivered as natural as the target language. The target text is not like a translation when read by the readers. The readability is mean the target text is can be read and easy to understand by the readers.

The good translation product is assessted by the meaning of SL in TL. Nababan (2003: 47) states that the purpose of translation is the transfer of meaning from the source language to the target language. Meaning in children literature book can be represented by the sentences. Based on the steatment the research is assesst the quality of translation in “Duckling” book with the level is sentences.

  1. 2 Research Question

  2. How the Accuracy assessment on the translation of Little Quack’s Bedtime?

  3. How the Acceptability assessment on the translation of Little Quack’s Bedtime?

  4. How the Readability assessment on the translation of Little Quack’s Bedtime?

1.3 Goal of The Study

The goal of the research is to know how the Accuracy, Acceptability and Readability aspect of the quality assessment on the translation of Little Quack’s Bedtime.

  1. 4 Scope of The Study

The research focuses on three of the aspect Translation Quality Assessment on the translation of Little Quack’s Bedtime. The assessment using quality of translation theory by Nababan.

  1. Theoretical Framework and Review of Literature

  2. Children Literature

According to B. Nurgiyantoro (2005:6) children’s literature is the literature of psychological emotionally can be addressed and understood by children from concrete facts that can be imagined. Lukens (2003) defined a work of children’s literature that offers two main things: pleasure and understanding. Indeed, Heru Kurniawan (2009:22) similar to what is conveyed by a poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Italy argues that the double "Dulce Et Utile" (Entertaining and meaningful)

  1. Translation

Some expert defines translation in many ways. Larson (1984) describes that translation is basically a change of form. In translation, the form of the source language is replaced by the form of the target language. Catford (1965:20) states that translation is the replacement of textual material in one language by equivalent textual in another language. While, Nida and Taber (1982:12) stated that translation consists in 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. Both of them explain that translation should be equivalent with the meaning between the source language and the target language.

  1. Quality Assessment of Translation

According to Nababan (2012:44) states that the qualified translation has 3 aspects, there are an accurate aspect, an acceptable aspect, and readable aspect. Nababan et al (2012:49) mention that quality of translation definite by level of accuracy in transfer message or meaning, level of acceptability from the source language text into the target language text and level of readability of the target language text.

Accuracy deals with the transfer of meaning from the source language into the target language. Acceptability deals with the target language system and its culture, in other words is how the translation feeling so natural. While, Nababan (1999:62) states readabilty it is how easily written materials can be read and understood

  1. Review of Literature

The title of this book is “Little Quack’s Bedtime” written by the creator of the New York Times best seller Little Quack, Lauren Thompson and pictures by Derek Anderson.This children’s book published in New York London Toronto Sydney 2005. The book tells us about Mama Duck who has five little ducklings. When the night comes, the little ducklings worries about everything they saw and look. Mama Duckling explains those patiently. The book translated by Anisa Hasyim, the apprentice student in Ganesha Library.

  1. Research Methodology

  2. Research Design

The research uses a qualitative research design. The assessment of accuracy, acceptability and readabilty of the data used Nababan’s theory.

  1. Data Collection

The data source was taken from the of Little Quack’s Bedtime book. The book contains of the source text (english) and the target text (indonesian). In the first the researchersss reading the source language text and target language text in Little Quack’s Bedtime book. Then, the researchersss taking the data of SL and TL text.

  1. Data Analysis

Translation assessment is used to assesst the quality of the translation product. In the research assesst three of aspect are accuracy, acceptability and readability of the data. After the data are gathered, the researchersss assesst the accuracy and acceptability aspect of the translation. Then, readability aspect are assessted by the childrens. The children are Rima 8 years old, Shofia 8 years old and Putri 9 years old. The researcherss ask the children to read the books and doing an interview to assesst the assessment.

  1. Research Findings

There are 45 data sentences that found in the Children’s Literature story titled Little Quack’s Bedtime and its translation Waktunya Tidur Little Quack written by Anita Hasyim that we want to analyze the quality of the sentences. There are three aspect of quality translation based on Nababan theory, they are accuracy, acceptability and readability. The following are the table quality of the sentences translation.






Less accurate


Not accurate





Less Acceptable


Not Acceptable





Less Readable


Not Readable


  1. Accuracy

  • Accurate

SL: Mama Duck listened, and then she said, “Those are the reed saying ‘hush’ to the night.

TL : Mama Duck mendengarkan, dan kemudian dia berkata, “Itu adalah alang-alang yang sedang berkata ‘hush’ pada malam.

The example above is accurate because the message from SL to TL haven’t distortion. The TL translated accurate.

  • Less Accurate

SL: “Now it’s sleepy time, little ducklings.”

TL: “Sekarang waktunya tidur, anak-anak bebek.”

The example is less accurate because there are distortion message from SL to TL. The phrase “anak-anak bebek” should be translate into “anak-anakku” to make the readers get the message clearly that the ducklings are her children.

  1. Acceptability

  • Acceptable

SL = “Look, Mama, look!” they cried.

TL = “Lihat, Mama, lihat!” mereka berteriak.

The translation sounds natural.

  • Less Acceptable

SL = Day was done, and Mama Duck said, “Snuggle close, and shut your eyes.

TL = Hari sudah malam, dan Mama Duck berkata, “Merapatlah dan pejamkan mata kalian.

The word “merapatlah” is clumsy if it is used on the dialogue between the mom to her childs. It should be replaced with the word “mendekatlah” because the dialogue between mom and childs have to use familiarities feeling in the way speak.

  • Unacceptable

SL = Now it’s sleepy time, little ducklings.”

TL = Sekarang waktunya tidur, anak-anak bebek.”

The word “anak – anak bebek “ is very clumsy ifit is used in the dialogue between mom to the children. The translator It should be replaced with “anak-anakku”. The mom calls her childs with “anak – anak bebek”, its not have a familiarities feeling and it sounds not natural.

  1. Readability

  • Readable

SL = It’s sleepy time, little ducklings!”

TL = Ini waktunya tidur, anak-anak bebek!

Even the dialogue is unacceptable because SL translated into TL with “anak-anak bebek” but the childrens understand the dialogue easily.

  • Less Readable

SL = Those two little ducklings heard swish! swish! swish! “Listen, Mama, listen!” they cried.!

TL = Dua anak bebek itu mendengar suara gemerisik. “Dengar, Mama, dengar!” teriak mereka.

The word “gemerisik” is not appropriate for children. 2 of 3 children say that they don’t know the meaning of “gemerisik”.

The accuracy aspect is dominated accurate (82,2%) and the score is 2,82. The acceptability aspect is dominated with translation are less acceptable (60%) and the score is 2,19. The readability aspect is dominated with readable (82,9%) and the scores is 2,8.

  1. Conclusion

The analysis of translation quality of the children literature titled “Little Quack Bedtime” by Anisa Hasyim uses Nababan (2005) theory. The research found the accuracy assessment is 2,82, acceptable assessment 2,19 and readability assessment 2,81. Overall, the result of quality per sentences children literature “Little Quack Bedtime” is 2,97. It conclude that they are qualified translation.


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Nababan, Nuraeni & Sumardiono. 2012. Pengembangan Model Penilaian Kualitas Terjemahan. Jurnal KajianLinguistik Dan Sastra, Vol 24. No.1, Juni 2012:39-57.

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Stolze, R. 2003. Translating for Children – World View or Pedagogics?, Meta : Translator’s Journal. XLVIII, 1-2, 2003

Thomson-Wohlgemuth, G. (2003). Children’s literature and translation under the east German regime. Meta: Journal des traducteurs/Meta: Translators' Journal, 48(1-2), 241-249.

#TranslationQualityAssessment #UmiPujiyanti

© English Letters IAIN Surakarta 2016


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