The term “Translation-Based Writing” might not be familiar yet in writing world. However, in the year of 2013, I and one of my students conducted a research to reveal the close relationship between translation and writing, especially writing in second language. Our principles are based on Flower and Hayes (1981) about writing as cognitive process and the translation theories based on Munday (2001), Bassnet (2002), and Hatim and Munday (2004).
We concluded that writing and translation are cognitive processes and they empower each other. It is not avoidable that the term translation is practically near to writing activity, whereas interpretation is practically near to speaking activity. In that research, we revealed that writing a second language text is best done after translating it.
We believe that there would be “double cognitive process” in writing by employing this method. Firstly, the writer translates the text into second language, and secondly the writer rearranges the translated text into better way according to his or her second language grammar knowledge.
This research was designed as a case study. Blended-method was employed to collect and to analyze the data. More than ten undergraduate students of English department were involved and we took their text to analyze. Firstly, we asked them to write directly in English (L2 and this is called 1st text), after that, still in the similar topic of their own text, we asked them to write the same text in Indonesian (L1, we called it 2nd text) but not as a translated version of their first English text. Then we asked them to translate their Indonesian text into English (L1 to L2, we called it 3rd text), and finally we asked them to re-write their text in English based on their 3rd text (we called it 4th text).
By comparing their 1st text and 4th text, we could see very much betterment in their text, not only the grammaticality, but also the overall organization of the text. The students said that translation makes it easy to write in English rather than writing directly in English. They could re-consider the organization of ideas in the text, because they have concretized what was abstract before (their ideas in their mind) when they wrote it in their mother tongue.
However, we thought about the size of the text. Our research was conducted in short-term text; therefore we doubt that this method could run smoothly in the long-term text. Here, it is open to the researcher who wants to test the effectiveness and efficiency of translation-based writing in their English writing classroom.
Abstract of the Research
Nurjannah Abdullah, 2013. Translation Based Writing Method: Students’ Writing Betterment and Students’ Views (Under guidance of Zainurrahman, S.S., M.Pd).
There are many approaches, techniques, and methods can be employed in teaching students writing. However, the most appropriate or the best way is still pursued untill now by researchers. This research is one of them who wants to figure out the most appropriate and the best ways. This research investigated the effectiveness of Translation Based Writing toward the students’ writing and the students’ perception toward it. By conducting case study, this research gained data from some students’ texts and from interviewing some students in the College of Teacher Training and Education Kie Raha Ternate. It was found that Translation Based Writing is needed to be taken into consideration since the students favor it very much, and from their texts it could not be avoided that this method is effective. However, one disadvantage has been found, that was, this method might take a very long time and energy in terms of long text writing.
Keywords: translation based writing, students’ writing betterment, students’ views
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