Topicalization Shift in the Bahasa Indonesia Subtitle of Stephen Hawking’s General Lecture

  • Chepi Nur Albar
  • Retno Purwani Sari
Keywords: Linguistics, Subtitling, Functional Grammar


One of the most important aspect that must be upheld in translation is readability for the audience of target language when watching a subtitled video. Due to a difference in culture and language systems, the translation may not exactly match the text or utterances of the source language word-for-word. One of the differences that are commonly found in subtitling is the difference of topicalization in English and Bahasa Indonesia. Departing from this problem, the aim of this research is to investigate the changes in topicalization from English to Bahasa Indonesia in subtitling. The method used descriptive-qualitative with a comparative approach. In addition, Observation and Literature Review techniques were used as primary and secondary data collection techniques. The case study for this research is a video of general lecture by Stephen Hawking. The results found that there are three texts that have different topicalization from their source language. These changes were made based on the guidelines of subtitling, which influenced the decision to change the topical element in the clause. In conclusion, topicalization is used to maintain and adapt the meaning contained in English and to keep the number of characters in each line from exceeding the limit on the number of characters. It is hoped that this research can be a reference for further research, as well as increase awareness that language shift is common in translation as a means to optimize the conveyance of meaning.

How to Cite
Albar, C., & Sari, R. (2021). Topicalization Shift in the Bahasa Indonesia Subtitle of Stephen Hawking’s General Lecture. International Journal of Computer in Humanities, 1, 33-40. Retrieved from