Identifying Meaning Components in the Translation of Medical Terms from English into Indonesian: A Semantic Approach

I Gusti Agung Sri Rwa Jayantini, Ida Bagus Putra Yadnya, I Nyoman Suparwa, Ida Ayu Made Puspani


This paper focuses on identifying meaning components in the translation of English medical terms into Indonesian. The data used in this study are the English medical term disorder and its Indonesian equivalent penyakit (disease). The two terms are purposively chosen as the data of the present study, which is a comparative research on the lexical meaning investigation in two different languages. The investigation involving a particular term in one language and its equivalent in the other language is worth doing since the lexicons in every language have their own specific concepts that may be synonymous, yet they are not always interchangeable in all contexts. The analysis into meaning components is called decomposition by means of several semantic theories to analyse the meaning of a lexical item (Löbner 2013). Here, the meaning components of the two compared terms are demonstrated through a semantic approach, particularly Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) supported by the investigation on their synonyms and how the terms are used in different contexts. The results show that the meaning components of a particular term in one language like the English term disorder are not always found in the Indonesian term penyakit, or, conversely, some of the meaning components of the Indonesian term do not always exist in the English term.


Meaning Components, Natural Semantic Meta-language, Semantic Approach

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