Finding Ambiguity on the Notices in Public Venues and Observing the Applied Sociolinguistic in Use

DEFINITIONS

a.Semantics is the study of linguistic meaning; that is, the meaning of words phrases, and sentences.  (Nirmala Sari, 1988:41)
b.Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and contexts, on the way language is used and the effect of language used on society. (Wikipedia, accessed on April 17th)
SAMPLES
1
A. In the Central Station
1st sample was obtained here

the samples were obtained here

#1 Sample
A banner seen next to the entrance to the station

A banner seen next to the entrance to the station

1. On the first line of the banner, it says “Mulai 1 April, Berlaku Jadwal Perjalanan Kereta Api baru”. The word BARU (new) has an ambiguity if it is connected to JADWAL (timetable) or KERETA API (train). It should have been put forward, so that it would be placed after the word JADWAL in which means the NEW SCHEDULE.
2. On the last line, the phrase JADWAL BERANGKAT DAN DATANG has ambiguity since it has no correlation. It should have been omitted or if necessary can be put after the word JADWAL on the second line of the banner and replaced with the word JADWAL KEBERANGKATAN DAN KEDATANGAN (Departure and Arrival Timetable).
#2 Sample
Another banner was hung over the ticket boxes

Another banner was hung over the ticket boxes

The last sentence on this banner which said KEDAPATAN TIKET… was formed inappropriately. The word KEDAPATAN (found) should have been replaced with JIKA (If) or APABILA (In case).

#3 Sample

This 'Service Information' banner was pasted over the gate for check-in

This ‘Service Information’ banner was pasted over the gate for check-in

The second relative pronoun YANG (that) has an ambiguity because in English it is rare to find a dependent clause having a dependent clause. In this banner, YANG MEMPUNYAI TIKET (whom have tickets) modifies PENUMPANG (passengers) and DIPERKENANKAN MASUK…(are allowed to enter…) modifies IDENTITAS DIRI (identity). The second relative pronoun YANG (that) should have been left out as it perplexed people perusing the banner.

#4 Sample

A flier showing a new information was pasted to the glass ticket box

A flier showing a new information was pasted to the glass ticket box

#Point of View in Sociolinguistic

We can infer from the samples taken place in the central station of Malang city that the notices (language) used there are in the written form, so that they are  made up in full sentences in order to transfer the main points to the readers. In addition, one sentence to another sentence elaborated structurally-it means that the sentences in the notices have the relation that can not be avoided. However, there is a sample (1.4) proving that some people there have acquired English to be practically applied in a daily life even though some words are falsely written based on the right English.

B. In the Terminal

The frontage of Arjosari Terminal, Singosari, Malang

The frontage of Arjosari Terminal, Malang

#1 Sample

Tariff list shown to anyone who would park their vehicles into a car park

Tariff list shown to anyone who would park their vehicles into a car park

The notice is ambiguous in inserting the tariff of the vehicles parking. Some people may decode this notice as the ‘price’ of the vehicles themselves. There should have been a new phrases added just before BERDASARKAN (according to) – that is TARIF PARKIR (parking tariff).

#2 Sample

An error in the left-side flier

An error in the left-side flier

The left-hand notice was wrongly arranged. There may be misunderstanding to peruse this notice because of the omission of the punctuation.  Meanwhile the last line does not matter at all.  We suggest change the entire composition of this notice. It should have been KAMI UCAPKAN TERIMA KASIH ATAS KESADARAN DAN PENGERTIAN ANDA PERIHAL PEMBAYARAN RETRIBUSI PARKIR (We thank you for your awareness and understanding referring to the retribution payment).

#3 Sample

A steel-banner standing in the car park

A steel-banner standing in the car park

The sentence MOHON HELM DITITIPKAN (Please entrust your helmet) was falsely put down. It should have been put in before the sentence HELM HILANG/TERTUKAR (the missing or swopped helmet), so that the rule of action-reaction applies.

#4 Sample

A sign that was falsely arranged

A sign that was falsely arranged

The word POSKO (post) should have been stuck before the word INFORMASI (Information) and PENGADUAN (Complaint), so that the meaning will not be incoherent.

#Point of View in Sociolinguistic

The language used in terminal is almost similar to which is used at the central station because the passengers there has the same ability to understand the words stuck on the notices. That is why the use of language is not as difficult as which used in other public venues.

C. In the Airport

The gate of Abdurachman Saleh Airport in which the samples were taken from

The gate of Abdurachman Saleh Airport in which the samples were taken from

#1 Sample

The stickers on the check-in door

The stickers on the check-in door

In this notice, the word PENJEMPUT should not have been separated from DILARANG MASUK (do not enter) because it would make different meaning.

#2 Sample

Another printed-sign found around the airport building

Another printed-sign found around the airport building

1. The preposition KE (into) should have been added between SENJATA (weapons) and DALAM (inside).
2. SISI UDARA (air area) must be removed and changed with AREA (area).
#Point of View in Sociolinguistic

This sort of venue uses such a complicated language because the passengers who use the airplane to transport them away have the high ability to acquire the words on the notices.

CONCLUSION

• We can conclude that there are so many errors found on the notices in three major public venues in Malang City, even though they are not such a significant matter.
• Society does affect to the notices in these three major public venues, so that they prefer using the suitable language. That aims to make the people, who use the transportation there, capable of comprehending what the words stated.
WHAT’S NEW
The newest thing we can obtain from our research is that there is such a movement of language usage in one of the public venues in which we took samples from; that is railway station. Many of the banners and notices here are using English apart from Bahasa Indonesia. We assumed that it is caused by the passengers of the train whom not only are from Indonesia, but also other countries. Malang as one of the favourite travel destinations in Indonesia, it will willy-nilly make sort of changes towards the development of the language used in her public venues, such as the railway station.
This mini-research was conducted seriously, but not taking any outer sources. It was in partnership with Ahmad Ainur Rokhish , Jimmy Chandra, Habibi Rahman.

©2013

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