BBC 6 Minute English | SHAKESPEARE IN PLAIN ENGLISH | English CC | Dail...

source: Daily Listening    2016年10月7日

0:06 Today we are talking about Shakespeare.
0:08 Oh yes… to be or not to be, that is the question.
0:14 Whether 'tis nobler…
0:15 Yeah.
0:16 OK, thank you.
0:17 Thank you very much, Finn.
0:20 But what does that famous Shakespeare line actually mean, Finn?
0:24 Yeah, well… it's quite hard to explain actually.
0:29 The English in Shakespeare's work is quite difficult.
0:32 Well, a Shakespeare festival in Oregon in the United States wants to change all of that.
0:38 They want to pay writers – they want to commission - what they call 'translations'
0:43 of Shakespeare's plays.
0:45 Now we usually use the word translation of course to talk about changing words and sentences
0:50 from one language to another.
0:52 But these writers have been commissioned to translate Shakespearean English into plain
0:57 English.
0:58 So Shakespeare in easy, plain English…
1:03 You know, I'm not sure I really like that idea.
1:06 Well, you're not the only one, Finn.
1:09 We will talk about that in a moment, but first, as usual, we have our quiz question and it's
1:15 about Shakespeare and translation.
1:18 What was the first language that Shakespeare's plays were translated into?
1:25 Was it: a) French
1:27 b) German or c) Portuguese
1:32 What do you think?
1:33 You know, I really have no idea on this one.
1:36 I'm going to say b) German.
1:38 We'll see if you're right at the end of the programme.
1:41 But now we're going to hear from two Shakespeare experts speaking to the BBC.
1:46 First, Andrew Dickinson.
1:47 He is the author of 'Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe'.
1:53 In his travels around the world - around the globe – did he find many translations of
1:59 Shakespeare?
2:00 Someone’s translated Hamlet into Klingon.
2:03 You know, he exists in all of these different places and all of these different forms and
2:08 I suppose that what really struck me while working on my book and travelling around the
2:11 world talking to people about Shakespeare is that he is so multifarious - he exists
2:16 in all of these places.
2:17 It feels sometimes that we in the English-speaking world are only just catching up with this.
2:23 Shakespeare expert Andrew Dickinson, who has travelled the world for his new book and knows
2:28 about many translations, even one from out of this world!
2:32 Yes, he says someone has even translated Hamlet into Klingon.
2:37 Now that's the language spoken by aliens in Star Trek, which is of course a science fiction
2:44 TV series, it's not a real language.
2:47 Let's get back to the real world, Neil.
2:50 Andrew Dickinson says that what really impressed him – what really struck him - while working
2:55 on his new book and travelling around the world talking about Shakespeare is that Shakespeare
3:01 is so multifarious.
3:04 Multifarious - that's quite a difficult word.
3:06 Yes, it is.
3:07 Well in plain English it means that there are many different types.
3:11 There are many different translations, many different kinds of Shakespeare.
3:15 He's multifarious.
3:17 Finn!
3:18 We're using plain English in this programme, like the people in Oregon who want to translate
3:24 Shakespeare into plain English.
3:25 That will make his plays easier to understand.
3:28 And that's a good thing.
3:30 But there has also been strong criticism about this from academics who study Shakespeare
3:36 as well as from people on social media – on Facebook and Twitter.
3:40 They think it's a bad idea.
3:42 Our next Shakespeare expert is Greg Doran.
3:44 He is the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
3:49 He's done productions outside Britain.
3:52 Where did he do a production of the Shakespeare play, Merchant of Venice?
3:57 Here he is talking about the difficulty of translation.
4:01 I think the difficulty with a translation is that it simply translates the sense and
4:07 there's a lot more going on in the language of Shakespeare's plays.
4:11 I remember once doing a production of Merchant of Venice in Japan and I was asked – we
4:16 were having a new translation done - and I was asked if I wanted the translation for
4:20 meaning, for pace or for poetry and that's the difficulty.
4:24 You've got to find all three somehow together.
4:27 Greg Doran, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
4:32 He was doing a Shakespeare production in Japan.
4:35 He says that the difficulty with translation is that it only translates the sense – it
4:41 is only the general meaning.
4:43 But he says that there's more than that.
4:46 They were having a translation done and he was asked if he wanted the translation for
4:51 meaning or for pace – that’s about the speed of the lines in the play - or was the
4:57 poetry of the words important?
4:59 And his answer was that you've got to find all three somehow together.
5:04 It is not just one thing.
5:06 He says that there is a lot going on – there is a lot happening - in the language of Shakespeare's
5:10 plays.
5:12 And so a simple translation of the words into plain English isn't really…
5:16 Shakespeare.
5:17 And I think it's time to answer our quiz question.
5:20 Yes, if you remember, it's about translations of Shakespeare.
5:25 What was the first language that Shakespeare's plays were translated into?
5:30 Was it: a) French
5:31 b) German c) Portuguese
5:36 I said b) German, which I'll admit was a guess.
5:39 And that is the right answer.
5:41 Fantastic!
5:42 Apparently Shakespeare's plays were translated into German as early as the first decade of
5:47 the 17th Century.
5:49 And that’s all for now.