Categories of  semantic  shift proposed  in  Mujiyanto  (2001);  generalization, specification, substitution, reversal, deviation.  The description each categories are as follow;

1.    Substitution 

The  following  semantic  shift  appeared because  the  specific  words  or  sentence  in  the source  language  are  substituted  with  the  target language  item  in  the  process  of  translation  in order to adapt the source text (ST) with the rules of  language  which  is  acceptable  in  the  target language.  Substitution occurs when  the  translator  replaces  a  specific  item  or expression  of  source  language  with  a  target language  item.
The examples of substitution such the word ‘make’ in the source text (ST) actually means ‘membuat,mencapai’  if  it  translated  literally.  In order to convey the original message  from the source text (ST), the word ‘make’ is translated into ‘keburu’.   The word ‘make’ in the context of the sentence means to manage to reach something or go to a place or position. Then, it is translated into ‘keburu’ (reach).

2.    Specification 

Specification is the change of word from specific to general one. Example; Specification In the sentence  ‘It must be a couple miles to Eastdown’ , the  translation  of  the word  ‘a couple  miles’  shows  semantic  shift  that  is specification  if  we  compare  the  product  of translation in the column of back translation (BT) and the column of source text (ST). It is translated into ‘tidak jauh lagi’ (not much longer) in the target language.  The  word  ‘a  couple  miles’  has connotation  almost  finish,  or  almost  arrive  in  the context  of  this  sentence.  

3.    Generalization  

Generalization is the change of word that has specific meaning into general one. Generalization  happens  when  the  translators transfer the specific word in the source language into  general  word  in  the  target  language.
Example ; the word ‘in trouble’ is translated  into  ‘kenapa’(why)  in  the  target  text (TT).  After looking  at  back  translation  (BT),   there  is  no  significant  gap  between  source  text (ST) and target text (BT) in the first sentence. The word ‘in trouble’ indicates whether something bad is  going  on.  Whereas,  in  the  context  of  the sentence,  ‘in  trouble’  is  used  in  interrogative  to show that the speaker gives attention to someone. Then, it is translated into ‘kenapa’ which has more general meaning and wider context in the target language. The word ‘kenapa’ (why) is used in any imperative sentence and it does not only refer to any particular problem. It can be used to inquire reason, even asking about what is going on.

4.    Reversal 

Reversal means a change of meaning to the opposite of what it was. Reversal emerges because the words used between source language and target language are in the opposition or contrary.
Example; Sentence  ‘stay  where  you  are’  actually means  ‘tetap  di  tempat’,  but  it  is  translated  into ‘jangan  bergerak’  (don’t  move)  in  the  target language. The sentence shows us that there is the change of meaning  from  positive  to  negative.

5.    Deviation 

The last category of semantic shift is deviation. Deviation involves shift in meaning that entails different aspects between source language and target language. Deviation is the change of word from course or turn away something what is unusual. It occurs when there are changes in focus and other kinds of possible change or lack correlation between form and meaning.
Example; The word ‘fool’ in the sentence ‘you can’t fool me’ is translated into ‘tutup mulut’ (shut up) in the (TT). Although the message that would like to be conveyed  is  the  same,  but  in  the  process  of translation deviation is appeared. ‘Tutup mulut’ or ‘shut  up’  with  ‘you  can’t  fool  me’  have  different concepts. Actually, it is possible if it is translated into  ‘kamu  tidak  bisa  membodohiku’.  Maybe  the translator would  like  to give more expression  in this  sentence.  Then  it  is  translated  into  ‘tutup mulut’.


Mujiyanto, Y. 2001. Modulasi dalam Penerjemahan; Kasus  Peng-Indonesia-an  Tindak  Tutur Directive Berbahasa  Inggris. Lingua Artistika. Tahun  XXIV. No.  1 Hlm.  40-54.  Semarang: Universitas Negeri Semarang.

Penulis ; 

Diar ajeng agustine

Journal ; 

Rainbow: Journal of Literature,  Linguistics and Cultural Studies 3(1); p.18-26, 2014

Judul : 


Background : 

Penulis memulai dengan pernyataan bahwa dalam penerjemahan melibatkan  dua atau lebih bahasa. banyak aspek yangdiperhatikan dalam penerjemahan. Sehingga, dalam penerjemahanya, menimbulkan pergeseran makna dari bahasa sumber kebahasa target. Menghindari pergeseran makna menjadi keharusan bagi seorang penerjemah. Perbedaan ataupun pergeseran terjadi dikarenakan budaya dan konsep bahasa yang berbeda.


  • Baker  (1992:4)  states  that  “Almost  every aspect  of  life  in  general  and  in  the  interaction between speech communities in particular could be considered relevant to translation, a discipline which  had  to  concern  itself with  how meaning was generated within and between various groups of people in various cultural settings”.
  • Hatim and Mason (1990) in the Machali (2000:5) state that “Translation is an activity that can prove clearly about the role of language in the social life.
  • In  this  new  communication activity,  the  translator  makes  efforts  to  build bridge between meaning of  the  source  text  (ST) and the target text (TT).
  • The translator has to do all of his  best  to  transfer  the  original  meaning  from source  language  into  target  language. Nida and Taber  (1969)  in  Suryawinata  (1989:2)  say  that translation consists of reproducing in the receptor language  the  closest  natural  equivalent  of  the source  language  message,  first  in  term  of meaning, and secondly in terms of style. 
  • The  researcher  classified  the data  based  on  categories  of  semantic  shift proposed  in  Mujiyanto  (2001);  generalization, specification, substitution, reversal, and deviation. 
  • In this step, the writer used some dictionary; they were Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary and English-Indonesian dictionary by John Ecol and Hasan Sadili, and Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia.  Then, make the back translation (BT) of the target text (TT) by using translation machine. 


  • Descriptive qualitative method is used in conducting this research.
  • Object of study  is a comic,  the basic  step  in analyzing  the data was reading the comic in the both version first to find the data  which  were  related  to  the  topic. The second step was identifying.  After getting the data, the writer identified all of the data related to the problems. After identifying the data, the data were inventoried in a table. The last step in collecting the data was classifying. The data were classified in a table to make the writer easy  to analyze  the  data.  
  • After classifying, the data were ready to analyze. There are some steps of analysis. First,read and reread the book in both versions to get the meaning and  find  the data. Reread the data one by one and focus on the words that would be analyzed.  After that, find the meaning of the words which would be analyzed. In this step, the writer used some dictionary; they were Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary and English-Indonesian dictionary by John Ecol and Hasan Sadili, and Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia.   Then, make the back translation (BT) of the target text (TT) by using translation machine. After finishing back translation (BT), the writer compared the source text (ST) with the column of back translation (BT) therefore she can decide the category of semantic shift which were found.


There are five categories of semantic shift found in the object of study. They are substitution, specification, generalization, reversal, and deviation.
  • First, substitution occurs when  the  translator  replaces  a  specific  item  or expression  of  source  language  with  a  target language  item.  It is found 33 data (55%) in the object of study.
  • Second, specification is the change of word from specific to general one. In this case, the writer only found 11 data (18,3%). 
  • Third, generalization  happens  when  the  translators transfer the specific word in the source language into  general  word  in  the  target  language.  The writer found 6 data (10%) in the object of study.
  • Fourth, reversal emerges because the words used between source language and target language are in the opposition or contrary. The writer found 6 data (10%) of reversal in the object of study.
  • The last category is found in the object of study is deviation. It occurred only 4 times (6,7%)  in the translation  process. Deviation is the change of word from course or turn away something what is unusual.  It occurs when there are changes in focus and other kinds of possible change or lack correlation between form and meaning.


An Evaluation of Output Quality of Machine Translation (Padideh Software vs. Google Translate)


Haniyeh Sadeghi Azer  and Mohammad Bagher Aghayi (Corresponding author) 

Journal of; 

Advances in Language and Literary Studies, ISSN: 2203-4714, Vol. 6 No. 4; August 2015, Australian International Academic Centre, Australia  


-    Every people, all over the world need a language to communicate with others, But Sometimes people do not know each other’s language, so a person or a tool is needed to translate the source Language into the target language.
-    human  translators  are  not  always  available  and  easy  to  find. Also,  the  amount  of  written material  that  a person can  translate  in a specific  time  is very  limited. The translation process is very time consuming, and moreover, having a human translator is costly. Therefore, searching for alternative methods for translation is crucial.
-    Using computers for translation proposes a solution for all these costly and time consuming processes which have to be done by human translator. Machine translation’s purpose is to reduce the cost of the translation process and increase the quality of the translated material.
-    Translating a language into another one through computer is not an easy task. A human language is a very complicated system, so Machine translation involves a great deal of complicated analysis and manipulation, and despite the advances that are done in this field but it is not accomplished yet.
-    The evaluation of machine translation systems is an important field of research, for optimizing the performance of MT systems and their effectiveness.  There  are  a  range  of  different  evaluation  approaches  for  evaluating MT systems; progress  in  the  field  of  machine  translation  relies  on  assessing  the  quality  of  a  new  system  through  systematic evaluation.  The evaluation strategy adopted in this study is human evaluation.


The aim of the research is  to  find  out  which  program  produces  a  relatively  better  output,  in  dealing  with  diverse  text-types  in  translation direction from English to Persian, and its acceptability and usability for end-users.
to evaluate  the  translation quality of  two machine  translation systems  in  translating six different  text types,  from English  to  Persian. The evaluation was based on criteria proposed by Van  Slype (1979). The proposed model for evaluation is a black-box type, comparative and adequacy-oriented evaluation.
To conduct the evaluation, a questionnaire was  assigned  to  end-users  to  evaluate  the outputs  to  examine  and determine,  if  the machine-generated  translations are intelligible and acceptable from their point of view and which one of the machine-generated translations produced by Padideh  software and Google Translate  is more acceptable and useful  from  the end-users point of view.


-    The focus is on manual corpus analysis and human judgments on machine-generated translation. It intends to report an evaluation of the output quality of two prevalent English-Persian MT programs, named, Padideh software and Google translate.
-    Most of the time, users of MT cannot select proper MT systems compatible to their needs and their purpose for using MT.
-    Arnold,  et  al  (1994)  indicates  that  the purchase of  an MT  system  is  in many  cases  a  costly  affair  and  requires careful  consideration.  It  is  important  to understand  the organizational  consequences  and  to be  aware of  the  system’s capacities. Evaluation of MT systems helps to inform about the usability and acceptability of them.  
-    The research design, employed in this study is build on previous work conducted by Van Slype  (1979). Criteria of evaluation are established by Georges Van Slype (1979) Method for evaluating the quality of Machine Translation from the perspective of acceptance and usability for the end-users.
-    The  evaluation  made  in  this  research  focused  on  the  quality  of  the  output,  i.e.,  the  translation  of two  prevalent English-Persian  MT  programs.  The  evaluation  of  these  two  different  translation  programs  will  be  established  by implementing Van Slype (1979) method, for evaluating machine translation.
-    In 1979, Van Slype compiled a comprehensive critical review of MT evaluation methods on behalf of Bureau Marcel van Dijk for the Commission of the European Communities, who had set up a program aimed at “lowering the barriers between the languages of the Community” (Van Slype, 1979, p.11). The purposes of this study were: to document the kinds  of  methodologies  being  employed  at  this  time  in  MT  evaluation;  to  make  some  recommendations  to  the Commission, amongst other things, on the methodology it should use when evaluating its machine translation systems; and  to  conduct  research  which  would  help  in  the  long  term  with  the  efficiency  of  these  evaluations. 
-    The report distinguished between two levels of evaluation: macroevaluation (or total evaluation) determines the acceptability of a system, compares the quality of two systems or two versions of the same system, and assesses the usability of a system; while microevaluation (or detailed evaluation) determines the improvability of a system.
-    Macroevaluation ; This  level of evaluation concerns  itself with  the assessment of  the system’s overall performance. It aims  at  examining  the  acceptance  of  a  translation  system,  comparing  the  quality  of  two  translation  systems  or  two versions of the same system and/or assessing the usability of a translation system (Van Slype, 1979, pp.12 and 21).
-    Van Slype (1979) broke down the various criteria into ten classes, assembled in turn into four groups according to the level at which they approach the quality of the translation.
•    Cognitive level (effective communication of information and knowledge).
  1. Intelligibility
  2. Fidelity
  3. Coherence
  4. Usefulness
  5. Acceptability
•    Economic level (excluding costs).
  1. Reading time
  2. Correction time
  3. Translation time
•    Linguistic level (conformity with a linguistic model)
•    Operational level (effective operation).

Description of criteria and methods of macroevaluation, used in this study:
 Cognitive level: 

1. Intelligibility: 

Van Slype (ibid) defines the criteria as: Subjective evaluation of the degree of comprehensibility and clarity of the translation. Measurement of intelligibility by rating sentences on a 4-point scale.
o    Method:
  • Submission of a  text  sample  in  several versions  (original  text, MT without and with post-editing, human  translation with and without revision) to a group of evaluators; the texts being distributed so that each evaluator:
  1. Receives only one of each of the versions of the texts.
  2. Receives a series of sentences in sequence (sentences in their context).
  • Rating of each sentence according to a 4-point scale.
  • Calculation of the average of the ratings per text and version, with and without weighting as a function of the number of words in each sentence evaluated.
o    Scale of intelligibility:
  • 3: Very intelligible: all the content of the message is comprehensible, even if there are errors of style and/or of spelling,  and if certain words are missing, or are badly translated, but close to the target language.
  • 2: Fairly intelligible: the major part of the message passes.
  • 1: Basely intelligible: a part only of the content is understandable, representing less than 50% of the message.
  • 0: Unintelligible: nothing or almost nothing of the message is comprehensible.

2. Fidelity: 

Van Slype (ibid), defines fidelity as: Subjective evaluation of the measure in which the information contained in the sentence of the original text reappears without distortion in the translation. The fidelity rating should, generally, be equal  to or  lower  than  the  intelligibility rating, since  the unintelligible part of the message  is of course not  found  in  the  translation. Any variation between the  intelligibility  rating and  the  fidelity rating is due to additional distortion of the information, which can arise from:
•    A loss of information (silence) (example: word not translated).
•    Interference (noise) (example: word added by the system).
•    A distortion from a combination of loss and interference (example: word badly translated).
Measurement of fidelity by rating on a 4-point scale:
o    Method:
  • Submission of a sample of original texts, with the corresponding translations, to one or more evaluators. 
  • Successive examination of each sentence, in the first place in the translation, then in the original text.
  • Rating of the fidelity, sentence by sentence.
  • Calculation of the average of the fidelity ratings.
o    Scale of fidelity:
  • 3: Completely or almost completely faithful.
  • 2: Fairly faithful: more than 50 % of the original information passes in the translation.
  • 1: Barely faithful: less than 50 % of the original information passes in the translation.
  • 0: Completely or almost completely unfaithful.

3. Coherence: 

One author only, Y. WILKS (cited in Van Slype 1979), proposes this criterion:
o    Definition of the criterion:
The  quality  of  a  translation  can  be  assessed  by  its  level  of  coherence  without  the  need  to  study  its  correctness  as compared to the original text. Once a sufficiently large sample is available, the probability that the translation should be at the same time coherent and totally wrong is very weak.
o    Method of evaluation:
Y. WILKS does not indicate, unfortunately, how in practice it is possible to rate the coherence of a text. He notes that if an  original  text  may  be  coherent;  this  means  that  any  assessment  of  the  coherence  of  its MT  version  may  not  be absolute, based on the MT, but must be relative, as compared to the coherence of the source text. But then one is once again compelled to use bilingual evaluators. 

4. Usability: 

Definition of the criterion:
One author, W.  LENDERS  (cited  in  Van  Slype  1979),  defines  usability  (which  he  also  calls  applicability)  as  the possibility to make use of the translation. Another,  P. ARTHERN  (cited  in Van  Slype  1979),  defines  usability  as  far  as  a  translation  service  is  concerned,  as revisibility.
o    Method:  B.H.Dostert (ibid): Measurement of the quality by direct questioning of the final users.
5. Acceptability:
Definition of the criterion: Van Slype defines acceptability as “a subjective assessment of the extent to which a translation is acceptable to its final user”  (ibid, p.92). Van Slype maintains that acceptability can be effectively measured only by a survey of final users and this is illustrated in his suggested subjective evaluation, the second of two methods for evaluating acceptability in the report:
o    Measurement of acceptability by analysis of user motivation, and
o    Measurement of acceptability by direct questioning of users.
Measurement of acceptability by direct questioning of users:
o    Method:
•    Submission of a sample of MT with the original texts and the corresponding HTs, to a sample of potential users. 
•    Questions asked (among others).
• Do you consider the translation of these documents to be acceptable, knowing that it comes from a computer and that it can be obtained within a very short time, of the order of half a day?
  • In all cases.
  • In certain circumstances (to be specified).
  • Never.
  • For myself.
  • For certain of my colleagues.
• Would you be interested in having access  to a  system of machine  translation providing  texts of  the quality of  those shown to you? 

6. Reading time: 

Reading time can be assessed in various ways: Van Slype (ibid): by timing the time spent by the evaluator in reading each text of the sample.

-    The Corpus

The  corpus  selected  for  this  study  is,  six  different  text  types  which  are  selected  for  English  to  Persian  MT  and evaluation. The different text-types are: 1) Kid’s Story 2) Political Text 3) Computer Science Text 4) Legal Text 5) A Poem as a Literary Text 6) A Webpage.
The corpus selected for the study is six complete texts, that haven’t separated from their context. The  SL  texts  have  been  collected  from  university  textbooks  and  Internet  websites. Most of these texts have been selected on the basis of being rich in domain-specific terminologies. Each of the sample texts has translated once by Padideh software and once by Google Translate.

Subject Object:

Two English-Persian Machine translation program (Padideh software & Google Translate) are selected as the subject of this research. The research only evaluates the output quality of Machine translation programs. Different text-types have been selected, in order to examine the translation produced by each program.

Research Question;

RQ1: Are machine-generated translations intelligible and acceptable from the point of view of end-users of diverse text-type of documents?
RQ2: Which one of the machine-generated translations produced by Padideh software and Google translate is more acceptable and useful from the end-users point of view?
The Aims of present study is to establish whether six different text types target language translations produced by two prevalent  machine  translation  softwares  (Google  translate  and  Padideh  translator)  are  considered  intelligible  and acceptable from the point of view of end- users (RQ1), and which one of the machine-generated translations produced by  them  is  more  acceptable  and  useful  from  their  point  of  view  (RQ2). 
These research questions are investigated through human evaluation of machine translation output.  Therefore in order to meet the aims proposed, the study developed to use a human evaluation model to conduct end-user evaluations of diverse text-types.


This research used Quantitative research design
The  corpus  analysis  techniques  in  the  interview  questionnaire  design  are  valid  and  reliable.  In order to minimize errors, we systematically conduct the analysis on the corpus, and for the design of the interview questionnaire we build on the work of Van Slype (1979).
The proposed model  for  the  functional  attributes  is  a black-box  type  superficial,  comparative  and  adequacy-oriented evaluation. In other words, there is no interaction with the systems tested and the goal is to determine whether output is actually helpful to the user groups in question. 
On the basis of the tasks relevant to the end-user’s needs in this study, only six functional quality characteristics have been investigated. These include:  ‘intelligibility’, ‘fidelity’, ‘coherence’, ‘usability’, ‘acceptability’ and ‘reading time’. 
In  this  work,  the  black-box  evaluation  has  been  chosen  due  to  the  fact  that  commercial MT  systems  can  only  be evaluated  by  this  approach  (Volk,  2001).  Consequently,  there  has  been  no  access  to  the  inner  workings  of  these systems.  Even  so,  it  is  desirable  to  be  able  to  draw  from  such  an  evaluation  enough  conclusions  about  the  various system components. 

Data analysis;

Detailed analyses and classifications of the  results concerning  the  various  criteria  types  are  presented with  tables  and  charts. The questionnaire used in this study was carefully analysed to ensure that the data gathered was presented clearly. 
A detailed analysis based on the black-box approach, superficial and adequacy/ declarative evaluation of six various text types for each of the two MT systems reveals the results.
These results are classified and presented on the basis of: 
•    Variation in scores between raters.
•    Comparison of systems for text types.
•    Average of scores of raters.
•    Percentage of scores of raters.
The result of the application of the evaluation methods in testing the criteria, take into consideration the grades on the scoring  scale,  the  total  score value, and  the average  score value with  respect  to each  rater and each of  the  tested MT systems.  The  evaluation  results  are  reported  in  tables,  which  show  the  distribution  of  the  scores  obtained  from  the investigation of text-types for each of the quality characteristics and MT systems.

Analysis and Classification of Results

This part is the most important process, which is to calculate the human judgments based on the assigned questionnaire. The evaluators were asked to consider each text and its machine translated outputs to examine the parameters which are provided in the questionnaire. The scores assigned to each parameter by evaluators are shown in Tables and for better analysis; the results are presented in charts for each parameter.
There are sixteen evaluators.


The findings indicate that, the machine-generated translations are intelligible and acceptable in translating certain text-types, for end-users and Google Translate is more acceptable from end-users point of view.

Hakikat bahasa

-    Bahasa  itu system
-    Bahasa itu bermakna
-    Bahasa itu berwujud lambing
-    Bahasa itu arbiter (berubah - ubah)
-    Bahasa bersifat konvensional (kesepakatan)
-    Bahasa itu unik (khas)
-    Bahasa itu bersifat universal
-    Bahasa itu bersifat produktif
-    Bahasa itu bervariasi
-    Bahasa bersifat dinamis
-    Bahasa itu manusiawi

Bahasa berkaitan dg factor internal dan eksternal

Linguistic mikro:

fonologi, morpologi, dst

Linguistic makro : 

berhubungan dengan social, atau luar bahasa, yakni;
-    Sociolinguistic
-    Dialektologi
-    Psikolinguistik
-    Antropolinguistik
-    Filsafat bahasa
-    Stilistika

Fungsi bahasa dalam konteks linguistic;

-    Alat komunikasi
-    Segi persoalan sociolingusitik
 a)    Segi penutur
b)    Segi pendengar
c)    Segi topic
d)    Segi kode
e)    Segi amanat

Bahasa dan dialek

Hubungan bahasa dan dialek

-    Status social
-    Aktivitas
-    Daerah geografis
-    Usia
-    Gender
-    Profesi/pekerjaan


Yakni variasi bahasa dari sekelompok penutur yg jumlahnya relative, yg berada di suatu wilayah, tempat, atau area tertentu. Dialek areal, regional atau geografi.
Poedjosoedarmo (1978;7)

Dialek dibagi menjadi 3 macam;

1.    Dialek geografis
Menempati suatu wilayah/tempat tertentu, sekelompok tertentu
2.    Dialek social
Latar belakang dari tingkat social tingkat social dari mana orang itu berasal. Dialek ini dibedakan menjadi dialek tingkat tinggi, menengah, rendah. Digunakan pada masing-masing komunikasi pada tingkatan berbeda.
3.    Dialek usia
Latar belakang umur si penutur

Variasi bahasa

1.    Variasi bahasa idiolek
Variasi bahasa yg bersifat perorangan
2.    Variasi
3.    Variasi bahasa kronolek atau dialek temporal
4.    Variasi bahasa sosiolek
5.    Variasi bahasa berdasarkan usia
6.    Variasi bahasa berdasarkan pendidikan
7.    Variasi bahasa berdasarkan sex
8.    Variasi berdasarkan profesi, pekerjaan, atau tugas para penutur
9.    Variasi bahasa berdasarkan tingkat kebangsawanan
10.    Variasi berdasarkan tingkat ekonomi para penutur

Penamaan nama di Indonesia, factor yg mempengaruhi;
Nama mencirikan budaya. Menamai pasti dari budaya. Prinsipnya, jika terjadi kontak bahasa maka terjadi kontak budaya.
-    Budaya
-    Tradisi
-    Agama
-    Interaksi social
-    Makna dalam nama

Choirul Fuadi
Faculty of Applied Linguistics Program, Yogyakarta State University
Email: /



Indonesia has hundreds local languages which are spoken throughout the archipelago and in 1945 Indonesian was selected the official language of government, mass media, and education, called as Bahasa Indonesia. Many people grow up with several different dialects and thus acquire multiple local language of Indonesia. The most effected factor of Bilingual characteristic in Indonesia, according to Firdevs (2005) and Wei (2000) that is culture, economy, education, age, and language use.

In the conscious and subconscious learning concept of gaining a language, government has taken part role in maintenance and language education in Indonesia, through the minister of education by providing several subjects in class and major in universities. The migration program is also give significant effect on people contact with other culture and language. Then the spreading of language is along archipelago of Indonesia.
By a hundreds of local language, make Indonesian people being bilingualism and multilingualism and the minority local language speaker is less rapidly. To maintenance the endanger language, the government should take policy. And, people starting using local language in daily activity and Bahasa Indonesia in formal situation is simple step to maintenance the local language also the bilingualism in Indonesia. 

The present study aims to investigate about the bilingualism in Indonesia, history and nature of bilingualism in Indonesia, and language maintenance in Indonesia.

KEY WORDS: Bilingualism, Characteristic of bilingualism, Bilingualism situation in Indonesia.


In many parts of the world, fluency in multiple languages is the norm. Bilingualism is a field of continuous growth. Shin (2004) states that Bilingual numbers have increased significantly during the last decade and the majority of the world’s population today knows more than on language. Increased social mobility and co-existence have diminished language barriers. Globalization has thus created a demand for bilingualism as a means of communication. 

Nicholas Jackson and Rahmat (2013) said that Indonesia is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse nations in the world. They mentioned that over 550 languages are spoken throughout the archipelago and in 1945 Indonesian was selected as the official language of government, mass media, and education. Indonesia only has one official language, called as Bahasa Indonesia and has hundreds local languages. Many people grow up with several different dialects and thus acquire multiple local language of Indonesia.

Sneddon (2003) states that Indonesian is rapidly becoming the first language of many Indonesians, especially in urban centre, many Indonesians still learn and speak regional languages and their dialects. Moreover, Nicholas Jackson and Rahmat (2013) in their study titled Decoding Basa Walikan - A preliminary analysis of Yogyakarta ‘reverse’ language mentioned that  Social and regional varieties of Indonesian and regional languages are dynamic and constantly developing. Despite language purists lamenting these varieties as a degradation of correct and proper forms, these non-standard registers, or stylistic variations, are a very real reflection and representation of Indonesia’s diverse communities and their members.

Bilingualism is one of phenomenon that can be ignored by Indonesian people. It is because Indonesia has many ethnic with their local language. Besides that, people who speak local language should speak Bahasa Indonesia as united language and in formal situation. The transmigration, migration programmed by Indonesian government make people contact with other culture, resulting in growing of number multicultural. Elin (2012) states multicultural is in multilingual families and children who identify themselves with more than one culture and in many instances use different languages for each parent; that is they become bilingual.

Hakuta et al (1987) define bilingualism in three ways, in the first way, as the characteristic of an individual who possesses two linguistic systems or call it as cognitive bilingualism; one tends toward statements about the packaging problem of fitting two linguistic systems in the mind of an individual. In the second way, as a characteristic of the social condition and affect of the individual or call it as social psychological bilingualism; tends toward social psychological accounts of the packaging of value systems within an individual. In the third way, as a characteristic of a societal unit or call it societal bilingualism; concerned with between-group interactions in which the two languages serve as a symbol over which interaction occurs. This perspective is not so concerned with individual differences within groups.

Margana (2015) in his study Establishing English-Indonesian Bilinguals in Indonesia: From Theory to Practice said that the definition of bilingualism is hotly debated by a great number of scholars. Margana (2015), cited in Braun (1997) said  that Bilingualism  is defined as a  ‘speaker’s  totally  equal  mastery  of  two  or  more  languages. Whether, Anthony (1991) also states that Bilingualism is competence in more than one language, can be thought at either an individual or social level.

Other definition, Margana (2015), cited in Haugen (1968) also argued that bilingualism refers to a speaker’s native competence to utilize more than one language. So the writer concluded cited in Anthony (1991) and Haugen (1968) Bilingualism means different things to different people and competence to utilize more than one language. In assessing of Bilingualism competence, Anthony (1991) states that degrees of bilingualism can be assessed in the individual's command of the four skills of listening comprehension, speaking, reading comprehension and writing in each language.


According to Lenneberg (1967), language acquisition is linked to age. The timing of language exposure is thus an important aspect of defining the bilingual characteristics. Bialystok (2001) states simultaneous acquisition of two (or more) languages entails a different set of characteristics than what an early sequential acquisition or a late sequential acquisition process does Different social situations and social backgrounds thus affect the level of language proficiency attained by bilingual individuals.

Bialystok (2001) also states that the language acquisition process is influenced by socioeconomic status, language status and opportunity for formal study, among other factors. Modern research shows such Werker and Byers-Heinlein (2008) states that different language backgrounds (language combinations) foster different language outcomes. Individual differences and numerous bilingual variants therefore make it difficult to define bilingualism as a term.

Wei (2000) also give comment about it that due to several factors like politics, natural disaster, religion, culture, economy, education and technology, or just because of  their own preference, people speaking different languages come into contact in settings where they are treated as bilingual or multilingual. However, Firdevs Karahan (2005) states that beside a number of factors such as age, sex, intelligence, memory, language attitude and motivation, the language use of a bilingual or multilingual involves different factors such as degree (the level of the languages that an individual uses),  function (for what he uses his languages, what role his languages have played in his total pattern of behavior),  alternation (to what extent he alternates between his languages, how he changes from one language to the other, and under what conditions) and interference (how well the bilingual keeps his languages apart, to what extent he fuses them together, how one of his languages influences his use of the other).

In societal bilingualism concept, Lambert (1978) under the concepts of additive and subtractive bilingualism, proposed that language learning outcomes could be very different for members of majority and minority groups. Subtractive bilingualism refers to a situation where members of a minority group would come to lose their first language as a result of learning the second one. Additive bilingualism refers to situations where members of a majority group acquire L2 without losing L1.


Michelle Kohler and Dr Phillip Mahnken (2010) said that Indonesian is spoken by approximately 240 million people throughout the Indonesian archipelago making it a language with one of the highest number of speakers in the world and it is the official language of government, education, business and the media. Moreover, Foulcher (2009) stated that Indonesian is based on a form of Malay, the ancient language of an Islamic based court culture that spread throughout the archipelago as part of trade during the 13–16th centuries .

Michelle Kohler and Dr Phillip Mahnken (2010) in research titled the Current State of Indonesian Language Education in Australian Schools present that the language was officially adopted in 1945 as part of the move to independence. This history means that Indonesian, or Bahasa Indonesia as it is known by Indonesian speakers, and closely related languages are spoken throughout most of South-East Asia. Moreover, they also mentioned that Indonesian is written using the Roman alphabet with a clear correlation between its sound and form. It is not a tone based language and, as such, has received the reputation in Australian education of being an ‘easy Asian language’.
In line with Quinn (2001) states that among Indonesian speakers and specialists, Indonesian is ‘deceptively easy and yet bafflingly difficult’ (That is, many aspects of Indonesian such as its written form, sound and verb system (verbs are not conjugated).
Like in historical, Indonesia had been colonialism by Dutch for 350 years. In the period of colonialism, Dutch provide any education to people. Since that time, Indonesia people were recognized foreign language, such as English that was first taught to Indonesians in 1914 when junior high schools were established.

In the beginning, Julia Eka Rini (2014) in the research titled The Position of English In Indonesia states that Indonesia has seven main local languages, namely: Javanese, Sundanese, Madurese, Batak, Minangkabau, Balinese, Buginese; with Javanese as the greatest number in terms of speakers. But, Bahasa Indonesia was chosen for the first time at the second Indonesian youth congress as the national language. Then, Bahasa Indonesia used as official language.

Moreover, Julia (2014) also states that Indonesia face foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, French, German, Dutch and English. Julia saw the position of those foreign languages through Bahasa Indonesia in her research. Korean is relatively new; Japanese, French, and German are at the same position since last century. Dutch is spoken by the old generation and Arabic is used as far as religious activities are concerned. Chinese is now booming as trading and other, on the other hand English is the old timer and global language.


Indonesia is home for people from different ethnics, race, religions, and country. Indonesia only has one official language, called Bahasa Indonesia. Nicholas Jackson and Rahmat (2013) said that Indonesia is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse nations in the world. They mentioned that over 550 languages are spoken throughout the archipelago and in 1945 Indonesian was selected as the official language of government, mass media, and education. It makes many people growing up with several different dialects and languages. Then many people also acquire multiple local language of Indonesia.

This process is another instance of bilingual acquisition of language. The local language dialects represent different linguistic systems, many of which are very different from the official language. This makes the acquisition of dialects a whole new learning process. In the formal situation, people of Indonesian use official language. In community, people use local language as communication. The transmigration, migration programmed by Indonesian government make people contact with other culture, resulting in growing of number multicultural.

The culture of Indonesia also influence in language. The languages recognize or use to express about polite and impolite expression. Some of the local language also has strata in communication. The language uses to communicate with older or friend.

In the bilingual society where two language or more is used, Hamers (1989) states that a speaker often mix one system language to other language. According to Mackey (1970), interference is using one element of language to write or speak in other language. In the case of the characteristics of utterances of Indonesian-Javanese bilingual children in Malang, East Java, Tatiek K. Danti and Yono Sulistyo (2009), in their study titled Karakteristik Ujaran Anak-Anak Bilingual  Indonesia-Jawa Di Malang Jawa Timur (Characteristic of Pronouncement Bilingual Children Indonesia-Java in Malang, East Java) found that (1) the language used is dominated by the mixing of Javanese and Indonesian, Indonesian and Javanese, fully Javanese, and fully Indonesian,  consecutively;  (2)  interferences  in phonological and grammatical  level from  Javanese  system  in  using  Indonesian;  (3) inter-sentential  and  intra-sentential switching of  lexical,  emblematic,  and pronunciation mixes;  (4) errors  in grammar, word choice related to grammatical matters or meaning, and pragmatical matter.

One of the factors that influenced the situation of language in Indonesia is the government’s policy of encouraging internal migration or Transmigrasi. The impact of this policy, presented by Simon Musgrave in research titled Language Shift and Language Maintenance in Indonesia that data extracted from the 1990 national census, which shows that Javanese was spoken by more than 10% of the population in eight provinces outside the island of Java on Sumatera and Kalimantan.

Moreover, Simon Musgrave also states that although Javanese were the ethnic group most affected by Transmigrasi¸ substantial numbers of speakers of other languages, for example Buginese, have also been spread across the nation. The increased necessity for inter-ethnic communication which results can be considered as another historical factor which has contributed to processes of language shift which can be seen today.

Sneddon (2003) argued about bahasa baku (‘standard language’) or bahasa yang baik dan benar (‘language that is good and correct’) is not used by anyone as a medium of daily communication. Language shift between Indonesian and Local language actually mean shift to a range of possible varieties which are situated both geographically and socially.


Margana (2015) states that Indonesian People gained language through 2 ways, i.e. conscious learning (formal and non-formal education) and subconscious learning (autonomous learning). Then those ways called as nurture-oriented establishment and nature-oriented establishment. He also explain that the nurture-oriented  establishment  is  conducted  through  teaching practices  embodying  formal  and  non-formal  teaching practices, meanwhile  nature-oriented  establishment is conducted by  responding  to use of English-Indonesian  in some  contexts  of  genres  such  as  advertisement,  manuals, songs,  leaflets,  brochures,  and  the  like (subconsciously).

Indonesian government through Ministry of National Education and Culture, provide several subject in starting from elementary till senior high school, and also university. The subject of Mulok (Muatan Local/Local Culture) in elementary school, junior high senior, senior high school or vocational high school, provide local language in the class. Sometimes, teacher teaches about culture of a region. It depends on regional government policy.

In some universities in Indonesia also provides major that containing culture or local language. For example in Yogyakarta State University in Graduate program provides Javanese Education for master. It is good to maintenance the local language.

Bahasa Indonesia as national language is also taught since elementary till university. Government also issued KBBI (Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia/Indonesian Dictionary). Not only government, many parties issued local language dictionary. Those steps aim to support the maintenance of local language. For example; bahasa ngapak Dictionary mobile application, released on 2015 by, it is free to download via app store on Android Smartphone. Then everyone can learn the language in everywhere and whenever in their gadget.

Mass media also support the providing of language education in Indonesia. Such as newspaper or magazine, direct or indirect give contribution on language education on Indonesia. For example, in Kalteng Pos newspaper, provide special column for local story. The story not only tells about local culture but also use Dayak local language as the local wisdom and local language.

Social media such as face book also give contribution in language education. A thousand people open and interact in this application, whether using mobile phone or computer. The message that they share sometimes use local language and foreign language, such English. In there, also there are many groups on learning English. Social media provide them to contact with many people around the world.

By migration, make people contact with other. For example; people who come from Java migrate to Banjarmasin. In Banjarmasin, the people speak Banjarese. Then make people from Java learn autonomous Banjarese. Step by step, they will acquire the Banjarese language.

In society, writer experience as people who live in rural area of Kotawaringin Barat regency, Central Kalimantan Province. In the home, writer speaks Java language as mother tongue. When talk with society, writer speak others local language such as Ngapak, Sunda, Banjarese, and dayak. Whether sometime communicate using Bahasa Indonesia. In formal or informal situation, contact with other people using Bahasa Indonesia. But, when work as tour guide in Tanjung Puting National Park (TNTP) writer speak English as International language.

That is one of the examples of Indonesia as bilingualism or multilingualism. People do not learn sometimes, but they acquirer the language. Migration is made people contact with other and force people in subconscious learning to gain a language.


Indonesia is home for people from different ethnics, race, religions, and country. Indonesia has hundred of local language. And in 1945 Indonesian was selected Bahasa Indonesia as the official language of government, mass media, and education. On the other hand, speakers of many local languages in Indonesia are getting less rapidly. Katharina Rustipa (2013) cheating in Sneddon (2003) states that this is caused by lingua franca and language shift. So, local language will be preserved if they are respected, used, and inherited to the following generation. According to Friberg (2011) states that languages that can be maintained are the ones written and can be read. Its mean that when people try to maintaining the language, they should use local language even they use official language as tool of communication.

Meanwhile, Komorowska (2010) claimed that understanding others’ languages will promote intercultural competence, understanding and communication between citizens.  It means that by understanding other language, it will lead to get knowledge other communities and their cultures.

Talk about maintenance, it close to endanger language. Indonesia has diversity language. But, not all language has much speaker. Hastangka (2010) mentioned that 729 indigenous languages have less 1 million speakers. 169 others become in endangers because the usage of this languages less than 500 people. It is spread in Sumatera, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Maluku and Papua. For example; In Kalimantan: Lengilu has 10 speakers; Punan Merah has 137 speakers; Kareho Uheng has 200 speakers.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as world organization  has  a  strong commitment to maintain the value of the linguistic and cultural diversity, to protect the right  to  be  different  of  those who  belong  to  specific  linguistic  and  ethnic  population. Jansen  (2003) states  that  endangered  language  is  language  in  the  process  of dying.  He differentiates into five stages of endangered language.  Stage I  is  potentially endangered,  that  is, when  the youths are  attracted  to use  the dominant  language more and more. Stage II is endangered, that is, when the language and the language variety is no longer spoken by children. Stage III is seriously endangered, that is, when the youngest speakers are 50 years old and above. Stage IV is terminally endangered, that is when there are only a few old speakers left who use the language or language variety. Stage V is the death stage, that is, when there are no speakers of the language or of the language variety left.
The experts give problem solving about the case of endanger or maintenance the language. King (2003) stated that education in a multilingual country should be balance and respect the use of different languages in daily life. Cope and Kalantzis (2000) stated that this can minimize failure of minority and poor children in school. Friberg  (2011)  states that local language are used  in  the  family and  in  the environment so  that  the children are not strange with  their local language.

Katharina Rustipa (2013) states that UNESCO also promotes the mother tongue instruction in education system. Mother tongue instruction generally refers to the use of the learners’ mother tongue as the medium of instruction. Additionally, it can refer to the mother tongue as a subject of instruction.  It  is  considered  to  be  an  important  component  of  quality  education, particularly in the early years; (1)  schooling  in  their  languages,  if  so desired,  (2) access  to  the  language of  the  larger community  and  to  that  of  national  education  system,  (3)  inter-cultural  education  that promotes positive attitudes  to minority and  indigenous  languages and  the cultures  they express, (4) access to international language.  Thus, a careful balance needs to be made between enabling people to use local language, national language, and global language.


Based on description above, Indonesia is home for people from different ethnics, race, religions, and country, and has many local languages, but Bahasa Indonesia was chosen as national language. It gives significant effect to endanger of some local language whose has less speaker. If there is a policy of government to maintenance the endanger language, that language will be dying rapidly. And, starting using local language in daily and bahasa Indonesia in formal situation is simple step to maintenance the local language also the bilingualism in Indonesia.

By the hundreds of local language and the diversity in Indonesia, make Indonesian people being bilingualism and multilingualism. Then, it make many people growing up with several different dialects and thus acquire multiple local language of Indonesia Bilingual characteristic in Indonesia, according to Firdevs (2005) and Wei (2000), writers conclude that culture, economy, education, age, and language use. Those are the most effected of bilingual in Indonesia.

Government has taken part role in maintenance and language education in Indonesia, through the minister of education by providing several subjects in class and major in universities. The migration program is also give significant effect on people contact with other culture and language. Then the spreading of language is along archipelago of Indonesia.


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Sarah Thomason (2001), Kontak bahasa ; pemakaian dari lebih dari satu bahasa dalam waktu dan tempat yg sama. Terjadi ketika pentur bahasa yg berbeda bertemu dan saling mempengauhi satu sama lain.
Faktor2 yg menyebabkan kontak bahasa,
1.    Kedua kelompok bertemu
2.    Pindahnya kelompok lain
3.    Hubungan budaya
4.    Pendidikan
5.    Teknologi

Hasil dari kontak bahsa
1.    Bilingualism,
2.    Pidgin
3.    Creole
4.    Diglossia
5.    Alih kode
6.    Campur kode
7.    Intereferensi (penyimpangan norma bahasa masing2 yg terjadi didalam tuturan dwibahasan sbg akibat dari pengenalan lebih dari satu bahasa dan kontak bahasa. Interferensi fonologu, bantul ---- mbantul
Interfernsi morfologi ; terpukul -----kepukul
8.    Integrasi (bahasa dg unsur2 bahasa asing yg dianggap bukan sbg unsure pinjaman.
Police ; polis (malsya)
9.    Konvergensi ; ketia kata ada pada tingkat integrasi, maka artinya kata serapan itu sudah disetujui dan dionversikan dg bahasa baru
10.    Pergeseran bahasa; sekelompok orang penutur pindah ketempat laun

Criteria rinci dari bilingualism di sebutkan oleh fishman (1970),
1.    harus sama dg native speaker. Sampai aspek culture dan tidak terkecuali ke struktur,
2.    Aktif, tidak menguasai secara penuh, cukup paham
3.    Memahami kata2 yg di sisipkan (campur kode)

Dampak negative ; mematikan bahasa