TRANSLATING RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL CONCEPTS: CHALLENGES IN BUILDING A BILINGUAL DICTIONARY FOR FILIPINO AND MALAY

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Maria Khristina S. Manueli Rodney C. Jubilado Hanafi Hussin

Abstract

Malaysia and the Philippines have relatively similar concepts on things and traditions. Their histories prior to the arrival of the colonial powers in Southeast Asia are quite similar: form of government, rituals, feasts, etc. The two countries, together with the other countries in Southeast Asia, have had a very close contact with each other through trade and migration. However, when the colonizers arrived in Southeast Asia, their similarities in cultural and religious concepts gradually changed. This paper looks into the religious and cultural concepts in the Philippine and Malaysian languages and the challenges it brings in building a bilingual dictionary. Some lexical items are easily translatable but the religious and cultural concepts pose some problems. For example, the word binyag ‘baptism, ritual for coming of age’ in Filipino does not correspond to any word in Malay although the concept is shared. Kitab ‘holy book pertaining to Islam’ in Malay does not correspond to any word in Filipino as well. These are just examples of the lexical items that generate difficulties in language teaching and learning. This paper will identify the ‘challenging’ areas in building a bilingual dictionary of Malay-Filipino. This paper will also analyze the religious and cultural concepts in terms of semantic theory, in this case Frame Semantics, and how these challenges can be addressed.


Keywords: Bilingual, translation, semantics, Filipino, and Malay

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How to Cite
S. MANUELI, Maria Khristina; C. JUBILADO, Rodney; HUSSIN, Hanafi. TRANSLATING RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL CONCEPTS: CHALLENGES IN BUILDING A BILINGUAL DICTIONARY FOR FILIPINO AND MALAY. JATI - JOURNAL OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES, [S.l.], v. 14, p. 41-51, dec. 2009. ISSN 2600-8653. Available at: <https://jati.um.edu.my/article/view/6171>. Date accessed: 22 aug. 2019.
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