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"Ayah meninggal di bulan Agustus."

Translation:Father died in August.

October 4, 2018

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petewarrior

Passed away should be right, the root word of meninggal literally means to leave


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichkyPerm

Indeed, both 'meninggal' and 'to pass away' are euphemism, it would make sense to use them respectively as such.

On a side note, the more direct 'to die' is 'mati' in Indonesian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UpzahwvW

You're right, RichkyPerm, but it's less common to use /mati/ for a human being. It's more proper (at least according to my teachers of formal Indonesian) to say /meninggal dunia/ for the verb when a person dies. Indonesian does have an animacy hierarchy, which constrains which verbs are permitted to be used with which subjects.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andy481779

Earlier, in this same section, when asked to translate, from Engilsh: "Father died in August", the correct answer is given as: "Ayah meninggal PADA bulan Agustus", and my use of "di" was marked as being wrong!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UpzahwvW

technically, /pada/ would be the better choice (or at least more formal usage) ... I think?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andy481779

Thank you.

My point was that the Indonesian sentence "Ayah meninggal PADA bulan Agustus", translated into English, is given as "Father died in August"... but the Same sentence, translated back into Indonesian, is given as "Ayah meninggal DI bulan Agustus."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UpzahwvW

Yeah, I understand. And this can be very frustrating or confusing. However, sometimes (or often?) literal word-for-word translation doesn't produce a natural-sounding sentence in another language. It's not just a word-swapping exercise; we have to know the conventional patterns of usage for the target language to express various concepts (beyond just the grammar), and the patterns for doing so will vary from one culture to another.

Examples for this abound, but here's one: In English, I say, "I make the bed." In Indonesian, I would say, "Saya membersihkan tempat tidur," rather than "Saya membuat tempat tidur." Now, I'm well aware that /membersihkan/ by itself literally means 'to clean (something)'. But that's the verb I was taught to use to express making my bed, because that's how the Indonesians I know express this idea. To be fair, even in English the statement "I make the bed" also doesn't (usually) mean that I'm literally creating, building, assembling, or constructing a bed out of all necessary component parts (whatever your cultural concept of a bed is) from the floor up, even though those are common meanings of the verb "to make."

I think this is part of a subsection in linguistics known as "Pragmatics." Here's another example: If you want to say "thank you" in Indonesian, you say /Terima kasih/ or the shortened form /Makasih/. That phrase literally means 'receive love', but it's also the pragmatic speech act by which you communicate your gratitude to someone else, because that's just how Indonesians do it.

So, yeah, translation isn't just different words with equivalent meanings in a target language. It can also be learning a mental/cultural map of how speakers of that language use it to describe and interact with the world. And all languages and cultures have some differences, which is part of what can make cross-cultural communication difficult.

And sometimes Duolingo just can't account for all of that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MehitaRaha

In or on August? I thought it's supposed to be "on" right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UpzahwvW

It could also be "at". Indonesian words are fairly broad in their meaning, so you have to take the sentence as a whole in order to derive an adequate translation, rather than only focus on one word at a time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andy481779

In Indonesian it could well be "at", or "on", but in English we would only ever say that someone died "in" (within, or during, the month of) August.

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