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The only Indonesian translator to have been nominated for a Man Booker International Prize (2016), M. Dalih Akbar Sembiring has been translating for more than 16 years. Once a contributor of feature articles to The Jakarta Post, he went on to work as a features reporter with Jakarta Globe. He is now based in Yogyakarta and works as a freelance translator for mainly marketing, environmental, and social science texts. Some of his published writings and past translations can be found on this website.
Place of Birth: Binjai, North Sumatra
Languages: Indonesian, English (fluent)
Gadjah Mada University (2002–2007)
S1 Bachelor (cum laude) in English Literature
literature, creative writing, languages, translation studies, journalism, culture, photography, film, landscape design, gardening, permaculture
Ms Office, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Aegisub
MemoQ, Smartcat, Memsource, Wordbee Translator
• Channel News Asia (Jun. 2021–present)
English to Indonesian translator for CNA’s (feature) articles
• 350.org (Nov. 2020–present)
Freelance English-Indonesian translator for international movement working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community
• HiTeam Language Consulting (Mar. 2019–Jun. 2022)
Localization specialist for promotional texts of various apps and games
• UGM’s Literary Journal Poetika (June–July 2021)
Language editor for Universitas Gadjah Mada’s Faculty of Cultural Sciences’ literary journal Poetika (July 2021 edition)
• IUP at UGM’s Fac. of Psychology (Mar. 2021–Jun. 2021)
Academic writing workshop instructor for UGM’s Faculty of Psychology’s International Undergraduate Program
• Medis Mandiri (Mar. 2020–Jun. 2020)
Lead Editor for group of translators and graphic designers working together to translate and share open source medical designs and supplies, especially PPE, to help combat COVID-19; results at medismandiri.com
• UGM’s English Department (2012–2013)
Guest Creative Writing lecturer
• Latitudes.nu (Oct. 2010–Oct. 2012)
Contributor of articles on culture and human interest
• Peace Dividend Trust (PDT) Timor-Leste (2010)
Consultant for translation of timor.buildingmarkets.org
• Jakarta Globe (Jul. 2008–Jan. 2012)
Staff features reporter and later contributor of feature articles
• The Jakarta Post (Sep. 2007–Jun. 2008)
Contributor of feature articles
• BungaBahasa Language Consulting (2007–2008)
Translator of literary and technical texts
• Nederlandse Omroep Stichting
Personal assistant helping a Yogyakarta-based Dutch journalist develop a database tool for NOS (Nederlandse Omroep Stichting)
• INCULS (2004–2006)
Indonesian language tutor for foreign students at Gadjah Mada University’s Indonesian Language & Culture Learning Service (INCULS).
• Books & Films
– ECCO Films Indonesia, Jermal, 2008 (script)
– Cut Nisaa, The Rain Fairy Cried, Mizan, 2009 (children’s book)
– BBC, Spice Trails, 2011 (subtitle)
– Local Futures’ The Economics of Happiness, 2011 (subtitle)
– Savitri Scherer, Pramoedya Ananta Toer: Luruh dalam Ideologi, Komunitas Bambu, 2012 (book)
– Eka Kurniawan, Man Tiger, Verso, 2015 (novel)
– Tya Subiakto, Call Me Mother, Hurn Publications, 2022 (novel, in queue)
• Businesses & Organizations
AddWord Production | AMALA Tea | Anak Wayang Indonesia | Apple Store | Asia Pacific Maritime 2012 | Baliwood Resort | Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta | BIRU.or.id | Citilink | DKI Jakarta’s Mayors’ Task Force on Climate Change, Disaster Risk & The Urban Poor | Gold’s Gym | Grain Media | Hookpod | INSIST Press | International Contemporary Art Network | International Society for Ecology and Culture (Local Futures) | iTunes Store | Kecap Bango | Komunitas Bambu | KUNCI Cultural Studies Center | Langgeng Gallery | Mata Reka Imaji | Mitra Pinasthika Mustika | Molto Comfort Care | Peace Dividend Trust Timor-Leste | Projectpressplay.com | Rare Indonesia | Rolls Royce | Royco Indonesia | Rumah.com | Sangkring Art Space | Sanyo Electric | TAG Heuer | Tanda Baca | The World Bank | Unilever Indonesia | ZTE Corporation | Zurich Insurance
● Short stories
In Horison, ON/OFF, and Esquire Indonesia magazines, as well as editions 7 and 10 of Indonesian short story journal Jurnal Cerita Pendek Indonesia — all in Indonesian. Three short stories in English were run by The Jakarta Post.
● Cha untuk Chayang (2007)
A novel in Indonesian. Written with Abmi Handayani and published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama in 2007, it is a read aimed at teenagers minus the sappy love story. It tells of a girl moving from a town in Kalimantan to the more vibrant, multiethnic Yogyakarta in Java, where she befriends and works for a transgendered man and comes to learn that true friendship helps one become one’s true self.
● Kado Hari Jadi (2008)
English title The Anniversary Gift, it is a script for an independent, feature-length film directed by Paul Agusta. Shot and released in 2008, the movie was screened at Rotterdam Film Festival 2009.
FIELDS OF EXPERTISE
Volume: 1,000K+ words
Translation or authorship of feature and news articles.
• Tourism & Hospitality
Volume: 500K+ words
Translation, transcreation, ideation, or authorship of websites, brochures, official documents, and various articles and publications.
• Art & Literature
Volume: 200K+ words
Translation or authorship of novels, short stories, poems, film scripts, academic research papers, curatorial texts, feature articles, etc.
• Information Technology
Volume: 100K+ words
Localization of websites, manuals, marketing materials, SEO transcreation, etc.
• Environment & Ecology
Volume: 100K+ words
Localization of websites, event materials, meeting minutes, official documents, reports, academic research papers, etc.
Volume: 50K+ words
Translation of business contracts, government laws and regulations, personal documents, academic research papers, etc.
• Business & Commerce
Volume: 40K+ words
Translation, transcreation, or ideation of advertising campaigns, academic research papers, HR documents, brand competition checks, general correspondence, and various articles and publications.
• Medical & Life Sciences
Volume: 30K+ words
Translation of medical research documents, academic research papers, documents related to medical designs and supplies, and documents related to efforts to curb COVID-19, etc.
• General Texts & Subtitles
Volume: 100K+ words
Translation of a variety of other documents and texts—including subtitles—mostly in the social science fields.
• Key speaker at webinar organized by the Association of Indonesian Translators (HPI), title: “Penerjemahan Sastrawi & Suara sang Pengarang” (Literary Translation & the Author’s Voice), Feb. 13, 2021
• Guest speaker at Introduction to Translation Studies lecture for Universitas Gadjah Mada’s English Department students, title: “Translator’s Roles & Responsibilities”, Mar. 18, 2021
• Key speaker at translation webinar organized by UIN Sunan Kalijaga’s Faculty of Adab and Social Sciences, title: “Meniti Karier Sebagai Penerjemah & Juru Bahasa” (Pursuing a Career as a Translator and Interpreter), Nov. 6–7, 2021
• Key speaker at literary translation webinar organized by Politeknik Negeri Malang’s English Study Program, title: “Komunikasi Budaya dalam Penerjemahan Sastra” (Cultural Communications in Literary Translation), Dec. 13, 2021
• Key speaker at translation webinar organized by UIN Sunan Kalijaga’s Faculty of Adab and Social Sciences, title: “Academic Translation and Website Localization”, Jun. 18, 2022
• Victoria Clarke
USA Administrative Coordinator
East Hardwick, VT, USA
+1 415 794 4244
• Nur Saktiningrum
Vice Dean of Academic & Student Affairs
Faculty of Cultural Sciences, UGM
+62 817 9402 659
• Eva Medianti
Financial Inclusion Manager
+62 8180 6620 026
• Dyah Catur Setianingsih
HiTeam Language Consulting
+62 813 2800 5322