The Equivalence and Nonequivalence of Proverbs Across Cultures (Indonesian and English)

  •  Syahron Lubis    


The aim of the present study is to examine whether or not proverbs, culturally-related medium of communication, are equivalent across cultures. The proverbs compared are derived from Indonesian and English cultures, as two distinct cultures. Fifteen Indonesian proverbs and fifteen English proverbs have been compared to find out whether or not they are equivalent in terms of meaning, linguistic structure and culture. The proverbs are collected from a list of well-known Indonesian and English proverbs. Since almost the thirty proverbs are expressed in metaphorical meaning and since Indonesian is still foreign to many international readers the literal meaning of lexical items found in the proverbs have been glossed in brackets followed by the explanation of the metaphorical meaning of the thirty proverbs. Ten Indonesian proverbs are found to be equivalent in terms of meaning to ten English proverbs. In terms of linguistic structure they are almost equivalent that is they are expressed mostly in the form of sentence. But they are different in the use of lexical items that constitute the proverbs. Five Indonesian proverbs are found to be nonequivalent to five of English in terms of meaning and the lexical items used to build the metaphor. Thus it is found out that fifteen Indonesian proverbs are equivalent to fifteen English proverbs and five Indonesian proverbs are found to be nonequivalent to five English proverbs.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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