Irene Dinari, Mangatur Nababan, Djatmika Djatmika


Background: This research is conducted by analyzing figurative language as irony and sarcasm in the novel entitled The Return of Sherlock Holmes (TROSH) and its translation in Bahasa Indonesia. The aims of this research are to (1) identify such types of figurative language as irony and sarcasm in the novel TROSH and its translation in Bahasa Indonesia, (2) identify translation techniques used when translating the irony and sarcasm, (3) find out the translation shifts appearing as effects of the application of the translation techniques, and (4) find out the effects of the translation shifts of irony and sarcasm on translation quality considering accuracy, acceptability, and readability.


Method: The method of this study is descriptive qualitative. The source of data is a novel entitled The Return of Sherlock Holmes and its translation. The result of questionnaires from the raters that asses the translations quality also belong to the source of data in this study. The data in this study are phrase, clause, or sentence that contain irony or sarcasm in the novel The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Beside that, the information about the quality of the translation from the raters and informants is also belonged to the data. The technique in conducting the data is done by analysing the document and the questionnaires.


Result: The research findings reveal that (1) 67 data of irony and sarcasm are found in the novel The Return of Sherlock Holmes and are divided into 6 subcategories consisting of ironical understatement, non-ironical falsehood, ironical interjections, illocutionary sarcasm, propositional sarcasm, and lexical sarcasm, (2) Several translation techniques employed are established equivalence, modulation, amplification, variation, transposition, linguistic compression, borrowing, reduction, linguistic amplification, compensation, adaptation, and particularization, while some others are couplets, triplets, and quadruplets, (3) the application of the aforementioned translation techniques leads to three possibilities such as the absence of translation shifts of irony and sarcasm, translation shifts to another figurative language, and translation shifts to nonfigurative language, (4) the translation shifts give moderate positive effects on the translation quality of irony and sarcasm found in the novel The Return of Sherlock Holmes with average score of 2.64.


Conclustion: Conclusion: The result of this study shows that established equivalence is often used in translating irony and sarcasm. The application of this technique gives a good quality in the translation of irony and sarcasm because that technique can be applied based on the context of situations in the target texts. Meanwhile, established equivalence may give a poor result of the translation quality if it is combined with another technique, for examples: reduction, transposition, and modulation. The impact of the quality is caused by the translation shifting of irony and sarcasm into another figurative language or denotative form. From the analysis of this study, it can be cncluded that the translation shifting of figurative language is one of the important thing in figurative language’s translation and translation quality assessment.


Keywords: irony and sarcasm, translation techniques, shift, translation quality

Full Text:



Cordova, Cynthia Yahaira Vazquez. (2013). Subtitling irony in contemporary sitcoms: The case of the big bang theory. Thesis. Universidad Veracruzana Facultad de Idiomas

Griffiths, Patrick. (2006). An introduction to english semantics and pragmatics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd

Kenkadze, Ilona. (2012). Analysis of irony in the view of speech acts. Electronic Bilingual Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Journal “Spekali” of the Faculty of Humanities at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilis State University

Keraf, Gorys. (2010). Diksi dan gaya bahasa. Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Remaja Rosdakarya

Kreuz, Roger J. dan Gina M. Caucci. (2007). Lexical influences on the

perception of sarcasm. Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational

Approaches to Figurative Language, pages 1-4, Rochester, NY, April 26,

Liebrecht, Christine dkk. (2013). The perfect solution for detecting sarcasm in tweets #not, Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Computational Approaches to Subjectivity, Sentiment, and Social Media Analysis, pages 29-37, Atlanta, Georgia 14 June 2013.  2013 Association for Computational Linguistics

Machali, Rochayah. (2009). Pedoman bagi penerjemah. Bandung: PT Mizan Pustaka

Moleong, L. J. (2010). Metodologi penelitian kualitatif. Bandung: PT Remaja Rosdakarya

Molina, L., & Albir, A.H. (2002). Translation technique revisited: A dynamic and functionalist approach. Meta Journal Vol. XLVII

Mounts, Joel. (2012). A history of sarcasm: Effects of balanced use of sarcasm in a relationship. Honor Projects. Paper 155. Grand Valley State University

Nababan, M.R. (2008). Teori menerjemah bahasa inggris. Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar

Nababan, M.R., Nuraeni, A. & Sumardiono. (2012). Pengembangan model penilaian kualitas terjemahan. Kajian Linguistik dan Sastra, Vol. 24 No. 1, Juni 2012:39-57. Surakarta: UNS

Nida, E &Taber, C. (1969). The theory and practice of translation. Leinden: E.J. Brill

Pengpanich, A. (1998). A pragmatic look at sarcasm in thai, in Papers from the Fourth Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, ed. U. Warotamasikkhadit and T. Panakul, pp. 241-250. Arizona State University, Program for Southeast Asian Studies.

Riloff, Ellen dkk. (2013). Sarcasm as contrast between a positive sentiment and negative situation, in Proceedings of the 2013 Conference on Emphirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP 2013). School of Computing, University of Utah

Rosolovska, Yulia. (2011). The perception of irony in newspaper articles in english and ukrainian. Thesis. Departamento de Filología Inglesa I Facultad de Filología Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Salik, Teivi. The Translation of Verbal Irony in the Estonian Subtitles of House M.D. Tartu: Thesis. University of Tartu, Department of English Language and Literature

Santosa, Riyadi. (2012). Metode penelitian kualitatif kebahasaan. Surakarta: UNS

Spradley, James P. (2007). Metode etnografi. Yogyakarta: PT Tiara Wacana

Suryawinata, Z, & Hariyanto, S. (2003). Translation: bahasa teori dan penuntun paktis menerjemahan. Yogyakarta: Kanisius

Sutopo, H.B. (2006). Metode penelitian kualitatif. Surakarta: UNS Press

Tarigan, Henry Guntur. (2009). Pengajaran gaya bahasa. Bandung: Penerbit Angkasa

Tarjana, Sri Samiati. (2012). Semantik. Surakarta: UNS Press

Tsoory, et al. (2005).the neuroanatomical basis of understanding sarcasm and its relationship to social cognition. Neuropsychology 2005 Vol. 19

Wilson, Deirdre dan Dan Sperber. (1992). On Verbal Irony. Lingua 87

(1992) 53-76. North-Holland, licensed for use at University College

London for the Pragmatic Theory Online Course

Yang, Chan. (2010). A study of translating irony in cao yu’s sunrise. Thesis. School of Language & Comparative Cultural Studies, the University of Queensland. Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English and Chinese)

Yao, Qin. (2010). Contribution of cooperative principle to the interpretation of irony. School of Foreign Languages, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol. 1, No. 6, pp. 852-857, November 2010 © 2010 ACADEMY PUBLISHER Manufactured in Finland. doi:10.4304/jltr.1.6.852-857


  • There are currently no refbacks.