Literally Is: Types, Up To The Technique


Literally Is: Types, Up To The Technique

Written by Nandy

The word “literal” has the same meaning as the meaning “literal”. Based on the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), literal is a translation or meaning according to letters, word for word.

In linguistics, the word “literally” is known as a lexical term meaning that a word is defined by the basic word meaning. Where, the words match the dictionary.

After you know about the literal meaning of the word, you also need to know about discussions related to literal or translation types. Well, what are they? Come on, find out the full discussion below.

Types of Translation Usually Found in the Translation World


Literally or translation, it turns out that there are many types in the world of translation. Where, currently the translation industry is continuously developing. Now, there are certain terms used to define specific translations that do not fall into the general category.

Of course, the brief explanation below can provide an explanation regarding some of the common translation terms used. So, what are the types, let’s find out together the explanation below.

1. Administrative Translation

Text translation is administrative in nature. Although administrative has a fairly broad meaning in terms of translation, this administrative refers to general texts used in business and organizations that are used in day-to-day management. Administrative can also be expanded to include texts with the same function in government.

2. Commercial Translation

Commercial translation, also known as professional business translation, covers the types of documents used in the business world, such as correspondence, company reports, tender documents, and other reports. Commercial Translation requires expert translators with knowledge of the terminology used in the business world.

3. Computer Translation

Not to be confused with CAT, this type of computer translation refers to translations done with the help of software. Computer translation is the translation of everything related to computers, such as software, manuals, books, help files, applications, and so on.

4. Economic Translation 

As with commercial and business translations, economic translation is just a special term used for translators of documents related to the economic field. The text is generally more academic in nature.

5. Financial Translation 

Financial translation is a text translation that is financial in nature. Where, everything from banking, asset management, to stocks and bonds can be covered by this financial translation service.

6. General Translation

General translation is the simplest translation. General text means that the language used is not high and is to some extent understood by ordinary people. There is no specific terminology or technical practice included in this category.

7. Legal Translation

Legal translation is the most difficult translation to know. At the simplest level, legal translation means translation of legal documents, for example contract laws and agreements.

Legal translation will always require the attention of an expert. This happens because law is closely related to culture and requires translators with a very good understanding of source and target culture.

Most translation essences will only ever hire legal experts to do the job. It happens because there is no opportunity to make mistakes. Mistranslation of any part of the contract can be fatal.

When translating texts in the field of law, the translator must remember the following. Where, the legal system of the source text is structured in a way that is appropriate to the culture and this is reflected in the legal language. Likewise, the target text must be read by someone who is familiar with other legal systems and their languages.

8. Literary Translation

Literary translation is the translation of literary works, for example novels, plays, and poetry. Translation of literary works is considered by many to be one of the highest forms of translation because it involves quite a lot of things, more than just translating texts. Literary translators are required to be able to translate feelings, cultural nuances, humor and other subtle elements from a literary work.

9. Medical Translation

Medical translation will cover everything from the medical field, medicine packaging to manuals for medical equipment and medical books. Similar to legal translation, medical translation is a specialty where translation errors can have serious consequences.

10. Technical Translation

Technical translation has a fairly broad meaning. Technical translation generally refers to a specific field, for example manufacturing or related to texts, for example manuals and manuals. In addition, technical translations are generally more expensive than general translations because they contain a large amount of terminology that only expert translators can handle.

Those are some types of translation commonly used in the world of translation. In the following discussion, we will discuss translation techniques. So, keep reading this article, Grameds.

Translation Techniques

Translation techniques are methods used with the intention of diverting messages from SL to TL, applied at the level of word phrases, clauses or sentences. Based on the opinion of Molina and Albir 2002, translation techniques have 5 (five) characteristics, namely:

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  1. Translation techniques affect the translation results
  2. Techniques are classified by comparison to Basu texts.
  3. Techniques are at the micro level
  4. Techniques are not related to each other but according to a certain context.
  5. Technique is functional.

Each expert has his own terms in choosing a translation technique, so that it tends to overlap between techniques from one expert to another. The technique that is meant to be the same turns out to have a different term. In terms of diversity, of course it is positive but on the other hand related to research will result in difficulties in choosing the term for a particular technique.

Therefore, in this case the author uses 18 translation techniques proposed by Molina and Albir. Apart from uniformity, the technique proposed by Molina and Albir has gone through complex research by referring to and comparing with existing translation techniques from previous translation experts.

So, here are 18 translation techniques that you can try.

1. Adaptation (Adaptation)

This adaptation technique is also known as the cultural adaptation technique. This technique is carried out by replacing the cultural elements that exist in Basu with the same cultural elements that exist in SL. This can be done because the cultural elements in SL are not found in TL, nor are the cultural elements in TL which are more familiar to the target readers. The technique is the same as the cultural equivalent technique.

2. Amplification (Amplification)

Translation techniques by making it explicit or paraphrasing an information that is implicit in SL. The technique is similar to that of exclamative explanatory, addition, and paraphrasing. Where, the footnote is one part of the amplification. The reduction technique is the opposite of this one technique.

3. Borrowing

The translation technique is done by borrowing words and expressions from BSu. This loan can be pure (Pure Borrowing) without adjustments or naturalized borrowing (Naturalized Borrowing) with adjustments to spelling and pronunciation. The official dictionary in BSA is a benchmark for whether the word or expression is a loan or not.

4. Kalke (Layer)

The Kalke technique is a translation technique that is carried out by literally translating phrases and rich source language. The technique is the same as the technique of acceptance (Acceptance).

 5. Compensation

Compensation technique is a translation technique that is carried out by conveying messages to other parts of the translated text. This was done because it had an effect on the style or style of BSu and could not be applied to BSa. The technique is similar to the conception technique.

6. Description

Description technique is a translation technique that is applied by replacing a term or expression with a description of its form and function.

7. Discursive Creation

Discursive technique is a translation technique using equivalents that are out of context. This is done to attract the attention of potential readers. The technique is the same as the proposal technique.

8. Establish Equivalence

Common equivalent technique is a technique that is carried out by using terms or expressions that are common or according to dictionaries or everyday use. Where, this one technique is the same as the literal translation technique.

9. Generalization (Generalization)

The generalization technique is a technique by using a more general term in SL to be more specific in SL. This is done because BSa does not have a specific equivalent. This type of translation technique is the same as the acceptance technique.

10. Linguistic Amplification

This type of translation technique is done by adding linguistic elements in TL. Where, this technique is commonly applied to consecutive translations and voiceovers.

11. Linguistic Compression

This linguistic compression technique is carried out by synthesizing linguistic elements in BSa. This one technique is the reverse technique of the linguistic amplification technique. This technique is also commonly used in simultaneous translation and subtitle translation.

12. Literal Translation

The literal translation technique is done by translating word for word and the translator no longer relates it to the context.

13. Modulation (Modulation)

The modulation technique is a translation technique that is applied by changing the point of view, focus or cognitive categories related to SL. This change in point of view can be lexical or structural.

14. Partikularisasi (Particularization)

This one technique is a translation technique in which the translator uses more concrete, precise, or specific terms from the superordinate to the subordinate. The particularization technique is also the reverse technique of the generalization technique.

15. Reduction (Reduction)

Reduction techniques, namely techniques that are applied by doing partial omissions, because this omission is considered not to recognize the distortion of meaning. In other words, imply explicit information. This technique is the reverse technique of the amplification technique.

16. Substitution (Substitution)

This substitution technique is a technique that is done by changing linguistic and paralinguistic elements (intonation and gestures). For example, sign language in Arabic, that is by putting your hand on your chest is translated as thank you.

17. Transposition

The transposition technique is a translation technique in which the translator changes categories grammatically. This type of technique is the same as the technique of shifting categories, structures and units, for example words into phrases.

18.  Variasi (Variation)

Variation techniques are carried out by changing linguistic and paralinguistic elements (intonation or gestures) which affect linguistic variations.

Another Concept of the Literal

There are several other concepts that are considered very similar to literal. Well, here is another concept that is almost literally the same, that you need to know.

1. Interpretation

Interpretation has the intention of explaining or commenting on an object or matter. This interpretation can also refer to something more specific, namely:

  • Logical interpretation, is a representation of interpretation in formal logic language
  • Aesthetic interpretation is a way of understanding a work of art.
  • Hermeneutics is a theory of text interpretation.
  • Hermeneutics is the interpretation of the law made by judges.

2. Transcription

In genetics, transcription is the making of RNA, especially mRNA, by copying a portion of the DNA by the enzyme RNA polymerase. This transcription process will produce mRNA from DNA in cells which is the first step in protein synthesis.

This transcription becomes part of the genetic expression sequence. The original understanding of transcription is transliteration and copying. This is meant by converting DNA text into RNA. Actually, the only thing that changes is the nitrogenous base thymine in the same DNA RNA is replaced by uracil.

3. Transliteration

Transliteration is the transfer of text from one script to another. Transliteration can be an important part of transcription that transfers texts from one writing system to another. Transliteration has nothing to do with the representative or phoneme of origin.

Literal Example

In order to know clearly about the literal, here is an example of a literal, namely:

  1. House
  2. Stay home

The first example (A) is a root word that hasn’t changed. According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI) the meaning of the word house is a building for residence. Meanwhile, the second example (B) is a derivative word. The second example (B) has a different meaning from the first meaning even though the basic word is similar, namely house.

The addition of prefixes and prefixes to the word house makes the meaning of the house change from not just a building to live in but to have a building to live in. The second example is called the grammatical meaning.


From the discussion above it can be said that the literal is a translation. In addition, to translate several words or sentences, several techniques are needed. This really needs to be done in order to get the maximum translation results.

This is an explanation of what is literal and the various types and techniques of translation. Hopefully all the discussions about literal meanings and techniques can be useful for you, so that it becomes easier to do literalism in a text.

For Grameds who want to know more deeply about the literal meaning of words, you can read related books by visiting .

To support Grameds in adding insight, Gramedia always provides quality and original books so that Grameds has #MoreWithReading information. So, don’t hesitate to buy books at Gramedia.

Author: Umm



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