Saturday, June 11, 2016

Talking about this first person singular pronoun is always an interesting topic. As we discussed earlier, this I has several unique traits. One of them is it is always capitalized wherever it occurs. While, it is not when it is transferred into Indonesian.

Further speaking, the discussion does not stop at the surface level of the language. If this I has many variants in English, saya, the equivalence of I, has one variant only, regardless of its position.

I variants

I, serving as a subject pronounmanufatures some variants, such as me (when this first person singular pronoun serves as object pronoun), my (when it serves as possesive adjective), mine (when it serves as possesive pronoun), and myself (when it serves as reflexife pronoun). For detailed insights on these pronouns, you can visit, and

They can be applied in the following sentences:

  1. I (subject pronoun) love the way you translate from English to Indonesian.
  2. If you already finish translating the legal document into Indonesian, please contact me (object pronoun) soon and let me (object pronoun) do the QA and finalize it.
  3. When translating from English to Indonesian, I always consult my (possesive adjective) old Indonesian dictinonary.
  4. This quality Indonesian translation is mine (possesive pronoun; my work).
  5. I will translate this IT document from English to Indonesian myself (reflexife pronoun).
You can see how unfaithful this I pronoun is. The changes are clearly seen and different each other, while saya, the equivalence of I is very much different from English. Now let's compare using the same source.
  1. Saya (subject pronoun) suka sekali dengan cara Anda menerjemahkan dari bahasa Inggris ke bahasa Indonesia.
  2. Jika Anda sudah selesai menerjemahkan dokumen legal ini, silakan langsung hubungi saya (object pronoun) dan izinkan saya (object pronoun) meng-QA dan memfinalisasinya.
  3. Saat menerjemahkan dari bahasa Inggris ke bahasa Indonesia, saya selalu merujuk kamus bahasa Indonesia jadul saya (possesive adjective).
  4. Terjemahan bahasa Indonesian yang berkualitas ini adalah kerjaan saya (possesive pronoun; my work).
  5. Saya akan menerjemahkan dokumen TI dari bahasa Inggris ke bahasa Indonesia ini sendiri (reflexife pronoun).
Now you can see how faithful the saya pronoun is. You do not see any changes to the Indonesian pronoun, saya, while you see significant changes to the English pronouns, depending on their positions and functions. Let us summarize that I will still be saya, me will still be saya, my will still be saya, mine will still be saya, and myself will still be saya. When translating into Indonesian, this saya conversion will be an easy task and this is a different case when we translate into English.

Further discussion is welcome and we also welcome any input you may have. We are sure a spectator may know more than a player.

Previous discussion can be traced here: Translating an I into Indonesian (an introduction).


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