These days one can watch plays from Shakespeare in London in different languages. At hte question of to be or not to be it seems that the Catalan language has chosen to be. The same has happened with the Castilian language and a lot of other languages.
One of the most amazing things I find about the phrase of TO BE OR NOT TO BE is that when you translate it, the translation is also so powerful. To a person who speaks English to listen to the words TO BE OR NOT TO BE is sure to ring some bells but the same happens if I listen, for example, to the words, SER O NO SER.
So there is something that makes here the translation have something valuable. When you say TO BE OR NOT TO BE I imagine one is thinking about TO BE OR NOT TO BE. No more no less … But when one says SER O NO SER I find here another meaning. The meaning of TO BE IN THE LANGUAGE YOU YOU ARE SAYING THAT OR NOT TO BE IN THE LANGUAGE YOU ARE SAYING THAT.
In Catalan and Castilian we have two verbs for TO BE. SER or ESTAR. So, when Shakespeare said TO BE OR NOT TO BE we know he refers to SER and not ESTAR. Anyway, I wish I WAS in London to watch these plays of Shakespeare in different languages.
- Biggest ever Shakespeare festival launched on anniversary of his birth (guardian.co.uk)
- 37 Shakespeare Works Performed in 37 Languages Over Six Weeks (italianenglishblog.wordpress.com)
- On the Occasion of Mr Shakespeare’s Birthday – or – Me and Will (actorsgreenroom.net)
- Shakespeare celebrated at world festival (itineraries.msnbc.msn.com)
- The Shakespeare Travel Tour (Part I) (daydreamtourist.com)