• Onie Adriatien N. Z., Etik Istikomah





Onie Adriatien N. Z (153211056) and Etik Istikomah (153211070)


The study is focused on the contextual meaning of each word, phrase or sentences. The aim of this study is giving the explanation and finding the contextual meaning inside the translate Little Red Riding Hood as Gadis Kecil Berkerudung Merah. The study is using descriptive qualitative to show the exact data of the findings. The data are taken from Indonesian Fairy Tale Published on November 11, 2016 in YouTube. The analysis based on the dubbing of Indonesian version and the English subtitle within the video to facilitate the study. The data finds 2 noun phrases or 4 words of contextual meaning from 30 sentences of each source language and target language. This result indicates that children’s story rarely used contextual meaning; basically literal meaning is used regularly to children’s story.

Keywords: contextual meaning, Little Red Riding Hood, translation


Communication is important to each other and using language as a bridge to intertwine relationship, many kind of language makes people just stuck in their circles. Every person who uses the language, for example Bahasa Indonesia, must understand the system well (Umi Pujiyanti, 2006). The reliable system accepted sentences to make a good translation and translation as a way giving a description about something considered from source language into the target language and based on all of the valid aspects and the rules of translation.

  1. Meaning

As word meanings may change from context to context, some uses are only meaningful in certain contexts, not in others (Zhaohui Luo, 2011). In , Armstrong and Ferguson cite that different contexts require different kinds of vocabulary and different expressions that are suitable to that particular context. Such context can be classified according to ‘genres’ such as narrative, recount, ex position, procedure, protocol, report, explanation, and interview (Butt, Fahey, Feez, Spinks, & Yallop, 2000). It means that meaning in different genre cannot be equal with other genres. In a brief, all of the meaning depend on the contexts and genres.

Meaning will also be changed according to the development of culture and society. It is very important for translator to understand the cultures of the source texts and target texts. For example the term of “Thanks giving”, if the translator did not know the culture of United States, it will be translated to Indonesian as “” and that will change the real meaning of the term. In fact, the true meaning of “Thanksgiving” is a day that celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in United States. It will be appropriate if the translator translates it as term of “” in Indonesian culture.

  1. Types of Meaning

In the book of Basic Semantics (Rambaud, 2012) divided the types of meaning into:

(1) Descriptive and non-descriptive meaning. Cruse, based on Langacker, sticks to Lyons’ terminology and maintains the term for what others have labelled as or meaning. Cruse offers an extensive treatment of the different dimensions of descriptive meaning, such as quality and intensity, and he also explains the main characteristics of non-descriptive meaning.

(2) Functional meaning and content meaning, a further distinction can be identified between lexical and grammatical meaning. While lexical meaning is related to an open-set class of items or content words, grammatical meaning refers to a closed-set class of items or grammatical words.

(3) Literal and non-literal meaning. Non-literal uses of language are traditionally called figurative and are described by rhetorical terms such as metaphor, irony, metonymy, synecdoche, hyperbole and litotes. The difference between literal and non-literal meaning is also studied in relation to extensions of meaning.

(4) Contextual meaning. The fact that meaning varies from context to context is one of the most context to context is one of the most evident problems in semantics.

(5) Extension of meaning: metaphor and metonymy. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines metaphor as “The use of a word or phrase to mean something different from the literal meaning”. The role of metaphor as a mental mechanism has been recognized since the Greeks, although in the classical tradition, metaphor was considered essentially as a stylistic device. (Margarita Goded Rambaud, 2012)

  1. Contextual meaning

Contextual meaning is formed from the relationship with other words that are used in the text (Catford called as textual meaning) (Machali, 2000). Or there are times when the relationship (ie context) is found outside the text, namely the immediate context. The approach used is that every text is an act of communication, not the text that appeared without any purpose and intent. As an act of communication, text producers would wish to have meaning that can be understood by the recipient (whether the listeners or readers). The purpose is packaged in a sense, while its shape can vary depending on the purpose (for what, such as; to explain, to tell, to urge), the readers (e.g age, a group of scientists, the public, etc). (Djuria Suprapto, 2010).

Briefly, contextual meaning depends on the context of information and relates to the situation. This is supported by Rambaud in that meaning varies from context to context is one of the most evident problems in semantics. Example : How can any addressee clearly understand what kind of the speaker is referring to when he hears and This is something that is intuitively solved because the context; the linguistic context in this particular case, leads you to the appropriate interpretation. That is, the context disambiguates the problematic interpretation of the word. There is no need to have an extensive variation of meanings, if their interpretation can be fixed by the context in which the word is uttered. Language, as a system of communication, maximises its resources in the most economical way. (Margarita Goded Rambaud, 2012)

  1. Translation and Methods

Translation is changing the source text into target text which has the closest meaning to the source text. According to Eugene A. Nida, translating consists in reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent of the source-language message, first terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style (Nida & Taber, 1982:12). Translation process according to Nida can be illustrated below:

Source Language Receptor Language

Text Translation

Analysis Restructuring


Table 1: Process of Translation

According to the table 1, after got the source text, the next step that translator must do is analyzing the text. After that, translator starts to transfer the analysis into restructuring the text. The final step is gives the closest natural equivalent of the translation to the readers.

Newmark therefore proposed two groups of translation methods (Machali, 2000). The first group is the methods that more oriented or emphasized the source language and the second group is more stress to the target language. The translators of second group do not only consider to the discourse, but also consider to other matters relating to the target language. The first group consists of: (1) Word-for -word translation, (2) Literal translation, (3) Faithful translation, and (4) Semantic translation. While the second group consists of: (1) Adaptation, (2) Free translation, (3) Idiomatic translation, and (4) Communicative translation (Djuria Suprapto, 2010).

  1. Communicative Translation

This method is such a contextual meaning of reproductive effort that both aspects of the language and the content can be understood directly by readers. Therefore, the target language version can immediately be accepted. This method emphasizes the principles of communication which related the audience and the purpose of translation. Through this method, a version of the source text can be translated into several versions of the target text in accordance with the principles above. The purpose of communicative translation is to make the readers or audiences get a clear image of the story so that the readers or audiences can feel that they are involved in the story.

Contextual meaning is the full set of normality relations which a lexical item contracts with all conceivable contexts Cruse (1995:16). The sense of an expression is its place in a system of semantic relationship with other expression in the language (Hurford, 2007:29) and he also mention when person understands fully what is said to him, it is reasonable to say that he grasps the sense of the expressions he hears, according by his sentences it reveal that expression and voices could identified by the audience to analyze what is the actually means inside.

This article focuses on the discussion in 'contextual translation'. The translation of contextual meaning of Little Red Riding Hood will be examined, which one is a word or phrase that has several meanings translated into Indonesian, with words which have equivalence to the meaning in the story, so the meaning of the story according to the source language and the story becomes interesting for the Indonesian children readers. Little Red Riding Hood is legend children stories that adapted in many language and version.Indonesian Fairy Tale YouTube channel as a bridge for Indonesian to introduce many culture of children’s story by other country.


In studying the translation of "Little Red Riding Hood", descriptive qualitative method is employed in the study. The data comes from Indonesian Fairy Tale published on Nov 11, 2016 in YouTube, analyzed the content from the dubbing of Indonesian version and there is subtitle within the video to facilitate the study by finding, make a transcription, assembling, and analyzing the data and the visual of the video. In the story there are 2 noun phrases or 4 words of contextual meaning. The researchers used Merriam Webster dictionary to prove the data to be more relevant to transfer the source language into the target language.



Source and Target Language

Words observed

Translation Target Language based on dictionary

Contextual Translation in Target Language



‘At last I find you, you old sinner! , I have been looking for you since a long time.’

Old sinner

(n) Pendosa tua

Makhluk jahat


‘Akhirnya aku menemukanmu makhluk jahat, aku sudah lama sekali mencari-carimu.’



‘Oh yes granny he is the real god for us today and I will sing my most favourite song for him.’

Real God

(n) Dewa, Tuhan yang sesungguhnya

Penyelamat hidup


‘Oh iya nenek dia adalah penyelamat kita hari ini dan aku akan menyanyikan lagu kesukaanku untuknya.’


The video’s screenshot from:


  1. Old sinner translated as makhluk jahat.

In the visual and translated trough the sentence of ‘At last I find you, you old sinner I have been looking for you since a long Time’ Mr. Woodcutter said. Based on the dictionary ‘old’ means used to talk about or ask about a person's age, but in the story explain the meaning of ‘old’ based on the utterance by the woodcutter indeed ‘old’ is about how the woodcutter have been waiting for the wolf for a long time that using the time to revealed the age of something, accident in the past makes the woodcutter has a bad necessity until he found the wolf to repay his revenge and used ‘sinner’ to clarify that the wolf has a bad character. Whereas the meaning of ‘sinner’ itself is someone who has done something wrong according to religious or moral law: someone who has sinned.

It revealed that the wolf has a bad habit that damaged the woodcutter in the past which could not be apologized by the woodcutter. It could be contextual meaning because it translated as makhluk jahat, the translator using makhluk to represent that old is about the creature and the wolf itself as a part of creatures and refer as an animal, the translator position it as universal and does not only human, despite of ‘old’ is usually refer to human. Whereas ‘sinner’ translated as jahat, it is more ears catching by Indonesian because pendosa rarely used in Indonesian word. Jahat described about something bad and broke the rule of religious which makes sins. In the context of children story it is better using a language to convey the meaning to match with children’s mind.

  1. Real God translated as ‘penyelamat kita’.

Based on the dictionary ‘real God’ is a spirit or being that has great power, strength, knowledge, etc., and that can affect the nature and the lives of people: one of various spirits or beings worshipped in some religions.

It revealed that the source text explain about the person who has a great power, strength, knowledge but, in the context of human being. It is not the source text which said that the Woodcutter is the real God, the Little red just impressed for what she saw based on the perspective as a child who imagine about God that could help her in every situation because the Woodcutter saved her and her grandmother, she really appreciated the braveness of the Woodcutter who took after the role of God divide by her. It is much easier for children to understand the God’s characters by applied it on the human’s characters.


In conclusion from discussion above, context in translating is very important and cannot be separated in translating from the source text to target text. The translation should be suitable with the background knowledge, culture, and appropriate ages of the reader. Translating also should consider the method that will be used. With descriptive qualitative method the result can be shown as a fact by giving explanation to the reader about contextual meaning applied in the story. The final result of the discussion and data above is founded 2 noun phrases or 4 words of contextual meaning from 30 sentences of each source language and target language. It means that children’s story rarely used contextual meaning; basically literal meaning is used regularly to children’s story.


Armstrong, E.M, & Ferguson, A. (2010).Language, meaning, context, and functional communication.Aphasiology, 24(4),480-496.

Rambaud, M.G. (2012). BasicSemantics. Madrid: www.uned.es/publicaciones

Suprapto, Djuria. (2012). Jurnal Lingua Cultura Vol.4 No.1 Mei 2010: 1-11

Pujiyanti, U. Budaya: Unsur Pembeda dalam Penerjemahan (Cultures: Distinctive Feature in Translation)



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