English Language In Hong Kong

Submitted By Andyaucp
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Pages: 3

Shakespeare – consider as the best playwright in the Western world. He wrote 38 plays 154 sonnets, two long narrative poet and many more. For the last 400years his words has moved hundreds of thousands of people, work has been translated into more then 80 Languages and dialects. There are enough people heard of this genius playwright – Shakespeare – a big name in English literature. But how many people in the world have actually read and understand Shakespeare’s work? Hong Kong for instant, apart from people who studied English literature in secondary school and university, the general public would not be able to appreciate the work of Shakespeare even the dramatist, it simply because they do not get access to the language. Even when Cantonese speaker go to a Traditional Shakespeare play, they often find they don’t understand the words or following the plot of the story. ( 2 or3 quote from Questionnaires) There is a missing link between the production and the audience, but what can we do to help them to fully enjoy the performance?
In Hong Kong there are one or two translated Shakespeare produce by the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre Company in every year? But the problem of translations of Shakespeare into Cantonese is, the words can be translated, but it’s very hard to translate the cultural behind the language itself. Translators often misunderstand the meaning of the text or miss out the double meaning of the words (quote form Pizza Lee) Even though the British ruled Hong Kong for over150 years, the tradition of Britain didn’t get wildly spread in Hong Kong nor the language itself. And it doesn’t only affecting the text in a production. Because of the accuracy of the translation is vary, the actor often miss understood of the meaning of the play. Not even mansion the musical rhythm of the poetry. Actors always commenting on “why am I reading a poet out of the content?” (actor. 2013 interview).
Then how about subtitle? According to the questionnaire, this is how most of the Cantonese-speaking audience rely on to follow the plot of the play. It works on films, but for theatre and live performance, very often the subtitle can only be appeared either by the side or at the top of