Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Language, Literature, Culture and Education 2017

Thematic Progression in the Translation of Student Translators

Rudy Sofyan, Bahagia Tarigan

University of Sumatera Utara, Indonesia


Organizing ideas often constitutes a problem for translators, particularly student translators, because translation is a process of reproducing a text in another different language. As a matter of fact, a good target text (TT) should contain well-organized clauses showing how the ideas are related one another. Such good ideas organization can be reflected through their thematic progression, i.e. the progression from theme to rheme, or vice versa. Every clause, according its textual metafunction, contains a message composed of theme, the starting point of the message, and rheme, the rest of the message. This article is aimed at finding out the thematic progression of the TT written by the student translators. This is a descriptive qualitative study taking 15 (fifteen) student translators as the participants who were asked to translate a news item text from English into Bahasa Indonesia. The data were collected using Translog and were analyzed using a content analysis method. Based on the results of the data analysis, it was found that: (i) hypertheme progression (theme progression with derived themes) was dominantly used by the student translators in their TT; and (ii) ideas organization was still a problem in the student translators’ TT. The finding of this study confirms the important role of thematic progression as the tool assisting in producing a well-organized text.


Ideas organization, news item text, thematic progression, student translator, theme and rheme