Thematic Structures of Paragraph-Initial Sentences in Animal Farm and Its Indonesian Translations

  • ZulpriantoEmail author
  • Rebecca Fanany
  • Ismet Fanany
Part of the The M.A.K. Halliday Library Functional Linguistics Series book series (TMAKHLFLS)


This chapter examines the thematic structure in two Indonesian translations of paragraph-initial sentences of the English novel Animal Farm, written by George Orwell and first published in 1945 (ST). The first translation is by Mahbub Djunaidi, published in 1983 (TT1) and the second translation is by Bakdi Soemanto, published in 2015 (TT2). Fifty paragraphs from ST and the corresponding paragraphs from TT1 and TT2 were analysed. A thematic analysis was conducted, examining topical Theme, markedness, and complexity. Thematic structures in paragraph-initial sentences are important because they can be considered to be the “Theme” of paragraphs. Writers create such sentences to orient their readers, and readers expect them to contain pertinent information. In TT1 and TT2, some of the original paragraphs are divided, suggesting that their thematic development may differ from the original and that the translators had specific motivations for this decision. However, the analysis indicates that the thematic structure of paragraph-initial sentences in the three texts do not differ greatly. This may suggest that the translators did not, in fact, have a pressing linguistic reason for dividing the original paragraphs. They might simply have done so in order to create shorter paragraphs, which are more visually appealing for Indonesian readers. This motivation gains extra force when one considers that only the longer original paragraphs in the ST are divided, while shorter ones are maintained. TT2 is more faithful to the original in paragraph and thematic structure than TT1. This might be the result of the influence of changing translation norms at the different times of publication.


Novel Translation Animal Farm Theme Thematic structure Indonesian 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Andalas UniversityPadangIndonesia
  2. 2.Central Queensland UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Deakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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