[LINGUISTICS] Translation Equivalence in “The riches within: your seven secret treasures”


In doing an analysis on translated text there are three basic features of translation that are very essential to the analysis process itself; they are the text (the source or the target texts), the process of the translation and of course, the equivalence of the translation itself (House, 2009). When a certain text is having its translated counterpart, there is a possibility that the target text experienced changes, either literal or conceptual, which are needed due to the intercultural communication aspect. Target culture is one of the deciding factors to evaluate whether a target text is equivalence enough for the target readers. As Baker (2000, 2004) proposed, “… with the idea that translations could somehow convey the ‘same’, necessarily stable and language independent meaning as their source texts” (p.96). With this statement, the writer also believes that a translation equivalence is a process needed of making the possible adequate dictions or constituents from the target text into the source text. Pym (2004) also stated that the translation equivalence itself is a process of comparing SL and TL texts; with the process of evaluating certain conditions or justification (p.27).

Guided by the three features of translation mentioned above, this essay focuses on the source text of “The Riches Within: Your Seven Secret Treasures” (2008) with its Indonesian translated text, “7 Kekayaan Batin” (2008), both are written by Dr. John F. Demartini and the Indonesian text is translated by Rani R. Moediarta from Gramedia Pustaka Utama. This essay only analyzes the equivalence within target text and the source text specifically in three of the seven chapter’s titles available (which each of those three words’ equivalence yet unclear) by defining the possible literal or conceptual definitions from different literal dictionaries. The process focuses firstly by using the English-Indonesian dictionary (Salim’s Ninth Collegiate English-Indonesian Dictionary, 2000) to see the source text into the target text literal meanings. Secondly, the Indonesian-English dictionary (A Comprehensive Indonesian-English Dictionary, 2004) is used for comparison of the meaning and to see whether is it equivalent or not. Finally, the essay analyses the possible related literal or conceptual meanings within choices of meanings from the Indonesian dictionary (Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia, 2002) by seeing the equivalence from those Indonesian words with the supposedly equivalent target text.

The first term is from the first chapter, “Genius” (Demartini, 2008). The source text ‘Genius’ is translated into Indonesian language (the target text) by Salim (2000) in his dictionary as ‘kecerdasan’, ‘kesanggupan’ or ‘bakat’ (p.619). Both source and target texts are considered to be noun class words. Meanwhile, according to Stevens & Schmidgall (2004), the Indonesian word ‘Genius’ if it is translated into an English word, then it will be ‘Genius’ as well. (p.314). In this dictionary, Stevens & Schmidgall define the English word ‘Genius’ as an adjective. Regarding the Indonesian equivalent word from the English word ‘Genius’ there is no Indonesian dictionary available to acknowledged the word ‘Kejeniusan’ itself, however, the writer found the Indonesian base word, ‘Genius’ which is an adjective (KBBI, 2002:34). This shows that ‘Genius’ of the source text experienced a coinage of a new term by adding suffixes of “Ke-“ and “-an” which is usually the structure of creating a noun in Indonesian lexical structure.

The second term is from the fourth chapter, “Wealth” (Demartini, 2008). The source text ‘Wealth’ is translated into the target text by Salim (2000) as ‘kekayaan’ or ‘sesuatu dalam jumlah besar’ (p.1676) Both source and target texts are also considered to be noun word class. In Stevens & Schmidgall (2004) or KBBI (2000) both are absent in presenting the word ‘Keberlimpahan’ the translated target text from the book ‘7 Kekayaan Batin’ (Demartini, 2008). However, the writer found the Indonesian some possible related base word for it which are; ‘limpah’ as a verb, ‘berlimpah-limpah’ as an adjective or ‘kelimpahan’ as a noun (KBBI, 2002:673). This shows that the target text ‘Wealth’ which is a noun experienced another coinage by adding using the closest target text ‘Kelimpahan’ (closest meaning to the word ‘Kekayaan’) and then to define the concept of the translated title ‘7 Kekayaan Batin’ which implied that money is only one of those richness, then the word was added another suffix “ber-“ in the middle to strengthen the concept of whole things considered to be richness of life to satisfy the inner soul of a person.

The third term is from the fifth chapter, “Power” (Demartini, 2008). The source text ‘Power’ in the target text is either ‘Kekuatan’, ‘Kemampuan, kesanggupan’, ‘Kekuasaan’, ‘Tenaga’ or ‘Daya’ (Salim, 2000:1129). Both source and target texts are considered to be noun word class as well. In the Indonesian translated book version, the chapter is called, ‘Ketangguhan’ (Demartini, 2008). Meanwhile, according to Stevens & Schmidgall (2004), the Indonesian word ‘Ketangguhan’ in English word is either ‘Strength’, ‘Firmness’, ‘Tenacity’ or ‘Integrity, honesty’ (p.996), all are precisely noun class words. The Indonesian word ‘Ketangguhan’ is closely related with the adjective of being strong, undefeatable and dependable (KBBI, 2002:1138). Since the book is discussing about way of life and achieving inner happiness, the source text ‘Power’ is not just about being strong or even being great but also about the juxtaposition concept of having to deal with problems as well. Therefore the source text was translated into the closest meaning based on the concept of the inner strength – as in the book’s chapter title source text, ‘Ketangguhan’ (Demartini, 2008).


The other titles of the chapters have literal meaning equivalence within each of their target text translations, they are; ‘Immortality’ into ‘Keabadian’; ‘Divinity’ into ‘Keagungan’; ‘Unity’ into ‘Kesatuan’; and ‘Leadership’ into ‘Kepemimpinan’ (Demartini, 2008). Meanwhile the three titles of the chapters mentioned on the previous paragraphs above are defined to have experiencing conceptual translation. Overall, the translated text can never be identical to its original although it may be equivalent in certain respects (House, 2009:42) and so by that statement, the writer believes that these three translated chapters’ titles are still equivalent enough if they are viewed from the spectacle of conceptual meaning rather than solely, the literal meaning. As House (2009) described (as the examples from the analyzed translated word above) translation is basically a secondary communication of what is actually already given or exist and therefore, the recipient from the target language also play the role as well to interpret the translated text as not just a literal words but also, a yet possible conceptual meaningful words within the book’s utility – which is to inspire the richness of a person’s inner-self.


Baker, M., (Ed). (2000, 2004). Routledge Encyclopedia of translation studies. New York, USA : Routledge.

Demartini, J. F. (2008). The riches within: your seven secret treasures (1st ed.). United Kingdom. Hay House Inc.

Demartini, John F. (2008). 7 Kekayaan batin. Indonesia: Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

House, J. (2009). Translation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pym, A. (2004). The moving text: localization, translation, and distribution. USA: John Benyamin Publishing.


Pusat Bahasa Pendidikan Nasional. (2002). Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia (3rd Ed.). Jakarta: Balai Pustaka.

Salim, P. (2000). Salim’s ninth collegiate English-Indonesian dictionary (1st ed.). Jakarta: Modern English Press.

Stevens, A. M., & Schimdgall, A. E. (2004). A comprehensive Indonesian – English Dictionary. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press.

Alex Jhon