Shakespeare Lives in Translation at TranslateSingapore 2016 

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william_shakespeareThe British Council has partnered with Shakespeare’s Globe, the British Centre for Literary Translation, Writers’ Centre Norwich and The Select Centre (Singapore) to develop literary and performance translation workshops in Singapore, encouraging participants to explore the cultural and linguistic challenges and complexities of translating Shakespeare’s plays and poetry.

“Shakespeare Lives in Translation – A Great Feast of Languages” is part of Shakespeare Lives, a global celebration of William Shakespeare’s influence on culture, language education and society. The programme will be launched as part of Select Centre’s TranslateSingapore 2016 Festival, the British Council, Singapore, said in a media statement today.The workshops run from 10am to 5:30pm daily, over four days from 29 September to 2 October, 2016 (Thurs-Sun) at the iconic National Gallery Singapore. They will be conducted in two languages –English-Chinese and English–Malay. The workshop will equip Singapore and regional translators and artists with the skills to work on complex linguistic challenges across theatre and literature.

Participants will be guided by local facilitators to translate dialogues, jokes, puns and the sonnets into local vernacular. The texts from Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet will play a key role in defining the intercultural significance and nuances of Shakespeare’s prose and poetry in Mandarin or Malay. These discussions take place alongside specially made video recordings of actors from Shakespeare’s Globe.

Patrick Spottiswoode, founding Director of Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe, will be the workshop’s text advisor and will chair the discussions and public events. The English-Chinese facilitators are Shelly Bryant, poet, writer and translator and Dr Lee Chee Keng, Assistant Professor of Humanities (Theatre) at Yale-NUS College, and Assistant Director and Chinese Translation Editor of A│S│I│A (Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive).

Facilitators for the English-Malay workshops are multi-disciplinary arts practitioner, educator and writer “Big” Zulfadli Rashid, and poet, writer, translator and educator Rasiah Halil, whose works, in poetry, short story, essay and translation, dwell largely on social and humanitarian issues.

The workshops will culminate in a public performance of the newly translated texts. They will be accompanied by a public panel discussion around key cultural and societal themes raised by the translation and adaptation of Shakespeare’s writings during the workshops.

“The universal themes of Shakespeare’s works such as identity, conflict, ambition and tyranny have been translated into films, opera, theatre and other art forms in many languages. We hope that these translation workshops celebrating Shakespeare’s influence will help develop the capabilities of the local translation sector, as writers, translators and artists come together for a unique intercultural dialogue,” said Sarah Meisch, Director of Arts, British Council.

Shakespeare Lives in Translation Workshop Details

Date: 29 Sept – 2 Oct 2016 (Thurs-Sun)

Venue: National Gallery Singapore, Rooftop Studios, 1 St Andrew Road, Singapore 178957

Full Fees: $1,200 before British Council subsidy

Translator/ Arts Practitioner/ Academia: $160

Student concession fees: $120

Go here to find out more information: www.britishcouncil.sg/ShakespeareLives

You can sign-up for the workshop here:

English-Chinese Workshop Registration: http://peatix.com/event/193281
English-Malay Workshop Registration: http://peatix.com/event/193295

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Author: Zafar Anjum

I am a writer based in Singapore.

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