Carmen San Diego (scarlet1983) wrote in bibliopolis,
Carmen San Diego

Translating Shakespeare's Stagecraft, Jean Michel Déprats

According to Déprats, translation is a process of making choices. Since not all aspects of the original can be preserved, translators have to define some principles of translation. Déprats asks if translation for the page and for the stage are different forms of translation.

In the history of French Shakespeare translation, there are three sorts of translation:
* creative translation or adaption
* source-oriented academic translation
* literary translation (by major poets)

He does not approve of this, because he says that there aren't three different Shakespeares, and it would be desirable to combine all aspects of translation. Déprats claims that the language of stage and performance intervenes between the source and target languages. The oral world has to be taken into account, and the translation is put to the test by the actor. Rhythm, melody and voice are important in theatre translation, and the translator should be aware of the actor's demands.

Although I agree with most of what he says, I do think there are some problems. For one, why aren't there different Shakespeares, or why should there be academic translations? If people are interested in certain aspects of Shakespeare or translation, why shouldn't there be different translations for people with specific interests? And if there is only one Shakespeare, then what does that Shakespeare look like?

The other problem is that translators have to translate the works behind their desk, and it's not possible to discuss every single line with all the different actors. Does the translator only have to be aware of 'the actor' in general, or of the demands of a specific actor?
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