Translating Paralinguistic and Onomatopoeia: An Analysis on the Novel “Bumi Manusia” by Pramoedya Ananta Toer and its Translation ”This Earth of Mandkind” by Max Lane


  • Erna Wiles Universitas Triatma Mulya Stenden



This article is a descriptive qualitative study that aims to describe the challenges and strategies in translating paralinguistic and onomatopoeias. Data were collected from a novel by Pramoedya Ananta Toer “Bumi Manusia” and its translation “This Earth of Mankind” by Max Lane. Content and discourse analyses were performed through reductions, codings, displays, and verifications. The analyses came to a conclusion that paralinguistic (and non- linguistic) as well as onomatopoeic features are culturally bound. Ones can exist in a language community but may not in another, and the adoptions can also differ; thus, the equivalence cannot be fully maintained. Analyses on "Bumi Manusia" and its translation on its paralinguistic and non-linguistic features including onomatopoeia showed that to achieve the optimum equivalence, some steps need to be conducted. For paralinguistic and non-linguistic features two steps are needed i.e., following the target language syllabication system and adding more descriptions/illustrations on the scene to emphasize the clarity of the context; while four steps are needed to translate onomatopoeias i.e., by using onomatopoeias of the target language with the closest meaning to that of the source language, combining several onomatopoeias, lexicalizing, and using an onomatopoeia of different part of speech.

Keywords: translation, paralinguistic, onomatopoeia


Abrams, M. H., and Geoffrey Galt Harpham. 2012. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 10th ed. Boston, MA, The USA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Assaneo, María Florencia, Juan Ignacio Nichols, and Marcos Alberto Trevisan. 2011. “The Anatomy of Onomatopoeia.” PLoS ONE.

Baskin, Wade. 2004. Course in General Linguistics: Ferdinand de Saussure.

Bolinger, Dwight L. 1963. “The Uniqueness of the Word.” Lingua 12 (2): 113–36.

Bowen, Glenn A. 2009. “Document Analysis as a Qualitative Research Method.” Qualitative Research Journal.

Crystal, David. 2018. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 3rd ed. Cambridge, The UK: Cambridge University Press.

Dingemanse, Mark, Damián E. Blasi, Gary Lupyan, Morten H. Christiansen, and Padraic Monaghan. 2015. “Arbitrariness, Iconicity, and Systematicity in Language.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 19 (10): 603–15.

Dofs, Elin. 2008. “Onomatopoeia and Iconicity: A Comparative Study of English and Swedish Animal Sound,” 1–28.

Elisabeth, Mary. 2021. “What Is Onomatopoeia? (With Pictures).” Wisegeek. 2021.

Eliza, Tiara. 2019. “An Analysis of Onomatopoeias in Garfield Comic.” Vivid: Journal of Language and Literature 2 (2).

Ephratt, Michal. 2011. “Linguistic, Paralinguistic and Extralinguistic Speech and Silence.” Journal of Pragmatics 43 (9): 2286–2307.

Fruhholz, Sascha, Erik Marchi, and Bjorn Schuller. 2016. “The Effect of Narrow-Band Transmission on Recognition of Paralinguistic Information from Human Vocalizations.” IEEE Access.

Hockett, Charles F. 1958. A Course in Modern Linguistics. New Jersey, NJ, The USA: The Macmillan Company.

Journal, I Nternational, O F English, Saly Kurnia Octaviani, and Suryanti Galuh Pravitasari. 2020. “THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DEBATING METHOD IN TEACHING ADVANCED ENGLISH SPEAKING FOR” 2 (2): 90–101.

JSTOR. 1972. “IXth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences.” Current Anthropology 13 (3/4).

Kamus Pusat Bahasa. 2008. Kamus Bahasa Indonesia. Jakarta, Indonesia: Pusat Bahasa.

Kridalaksana, Harimukti. 2007. Kelas Kata Dalam Bahasa Indonesia. Jakarta, Indonesia: Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

Laing, Catherine E. 2017. “A Perceptual Advantage for Onomatopoeia in Early Word Learning: Evidence from Eye-Tracking.” Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Lea, Diana, and Jennifer Bradberry. 2020. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. 10th ed. Oxford, The UK: Oxford University Press.

Roach, Peter, Richard Stibbard, Jane Osborne, Simon Arnfield, and Jane Setter. 1998. “Transcription of Prosodic and Paralinguistic Features of Emotional Speech on JSTOR.” Journal of the International Phonetic Association 28: 83–94.

Schuller, Björn, Stefan Steidl, Anton Batliner, Felix Burkhardt, Laurence Devillers, Christian Müller, and Shrikanth Narayanan. 2010. “The INTERSPEECH 2010 Paralinguistic Challenge.” In Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2010.

Tavarez, David, Xabier Sarasola, Agustin Alonso, Jon Sanchez, Luis Serrano, Eva Navas, and Inma Herńaez. 2017. “Exploring Fusion Methods and Feature Space for the Classification of Paralinguistic Information.” In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH.

Toer, Pramoedya Ananta. 2002. Bumi Manusia. 9th ed. Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Hasta Mitra.

Toer, Pramoedya Ananta, and Max Lane. 1996. This Earth of Mankind. Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling. Vol. 53. New York, NY, The USA: Penguin Books Ltd.

Wharton, Tim. 2012. “Prosody and Meaning: Theory and Practice.” Educational Linguistics 15 (February 2012): 97–116.

Widarwati, Nunun Tri, Arin Arianti, and Ratih Wijayava. 2019. “Analysis of Translation Techniques and Translation Quality of 2019 Solo Calendar of Event.” International Journal of English Linguistics, Literature, and Education (IJELLE) 1 (1): 1–7.

Widayati, Mukti. 2021. “The Uses of Honorifics by President Candidate in The Campaign News Text on National Newspapers.” International Journal of English Linguistics, Literature, and Education (IJELLE) 2 (2): 116–30.




How to Cite

Wiles, E. (2021). Translating Paralinguistic and Onomatopoeia: An Analysis on the Novel “Bumi Manusia” by Pramoedya Ananta Toer and its Translation ”This Earth of Mandkind” by Max Lane. International Journal of English Linguistics, Literature, and Education (IJELLE), 3(1).