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West Side Story Revival Sharks speaking Spanish 
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My roomate saw this in previews last night, and really liked it. Well, he liked the Spanish thing UNTIL they did "A Boy Like That" in Spanish. He said it TOTALLY killed the song.

I for one think the Spanish idea is a VERY cool concept, and actually, Lin Manuel is the one who rewrote the dialogue/songs in Spanish. I personally think "I Feel Pretty" SHOULD be done in Spanish. It just seems right. As for some of the dialogue, I think if they tone it down to some Spanglish, it'll be fine.That way, the audience will know what's going on. But hey, it IS previews after all, still time to change things, ya know?

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I agree, Jordan. I think it's a very interetsing and cool concept and if done right could work extremely well.

Koza, I'm sure that the creative team recognized some of the follies and are working on them. They're still in previews so lets wait and see what the final result is...

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well, in the Spanish and Latin American versions of WSS, the Jets are speaking English!! 8O

Fancy that. It is equally perplexing to the Latin American and Madrid audiences!!

What's good for the goose, is good for the gander -- as they say.


Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:15 pm
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Jman383 wrote:
My roomate saw this in previews last night, and really liked it. Well, he liked the Spanish thing UNTIL they did "A Boy Like That" in Spanish. He said it TOTALLY killed the song.

I for one think the Spanish idea is a VERY cool concept, and actually, Lin Manuel is the one who rewrote the dialogue/songs in Spanish. I personally think "I Feel Pretty" SHOULD be done in Spanish. It just seems right. As for some of the dialogue, I think if they tone it down to some Spanglish, it'll be fine.That way, the audience will know what's going on. But hey, it IS previews after all, still time to change things, ya know?


Ya, true....but I mean, they completely modernized it too, and made it so much more risque, etc.

The thing with "I Feel Pretty" is that it was not even a proper translation, so the meaning was lost.

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Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:03 pm
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kozafluitmusique wrote:
Jman383 wrote:
My roomate saw this in previews last night, and really liked it. Well, he liked the Spanish thing UNTIL they did "A Boy Like That" in Spanish. He said it TOTALLY killed the song.

I for one think the Spanish idea is a VERY cool concept, and actually, Lin Manuel is the one who rewrote the dialogue/songs in Spanish. I personally think "I Feel Pretty" SHOULD be done in Spanish. It just seems right. As for some of the dialogue, I think if they tone it down to some Spanglish, it'll be fine.That way, the audience will know what's going on. But hey, it IS previews after all, still time to change things, ya know?


Ya, true....but I mean, they completely modernized it too, and made it so much more risque, etc.

The thing with "I Feel Pretty" is that it was not even a proper translation, so the meaning was lost.


Yeah, I mean I haven't seen it, I'm just going off of what my roomate told me, and I can see what you mean about it being lost due to mistranslation. He said that "A Boy Like That" was no where near the same. In fact, he kept going on about a bit in it where Anita was saying "Por favor Maria", that is NO WHERE in the original song.

But, I still think the concept is amazingly different and unique. My hat goes off to Laurents for thinking of it. I'm waiting for the show to open to see it!

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Hope the acting is better for when you see it ;)

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Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:22 pm
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Yeah, I heard Tony was AWFUL, BUT I did hear Karen Olivo was AMAZING and even TONY worthy. We shall see!

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GungaDin wrote:
well, in the Spanish and Latin American versions of WSS, the Jets are speaking English!! 8O

Fancy that. It is equally perplexing to the Latin American and Madrid audiences!!

What's good for the goose, is good for the gander -- as they say.


So by your standards, the Latin American and Madrid audiences should learn English, and be able to perfectly understand it as well?

I really want to see this, just simply because I love West Side Story :) I want to see how they modernized things. . . I could probably get over the whole Spanish thing.

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Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:07 pm
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I also hear that, for audiences who speak NO language whatsoever, they're going to translate the Equity tour into Crazy Frog.

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Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:57 pm
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kozafluitmusique wrote:
Jman383 wrote:
My roomate saw this in previews last night, and really liked it. Well, he liked the Spanish thing UNTIL they did "A Boy Like That" in Spanish. He said it TOTALLY killed the song.

I for one think the Spanish idea is a VERY cool concept, and actually, Lin Manuel is the one who rewrote the dialogue/songs in Spanish. I personally think "I Feel Pretty" SHOULD be done in Spanish. It just seems right. As for some of the dialogue, I think if they tone it down to some Spanglish, it'll be fine.That way, the audience will know what's going on. But hey, it IS previews after all, still time to change things, ya know?


Ya, true....but I mean, they completely modernized it too, and made it so much more risque, etc.

The thing with "I Feel Pretty" is that it was not even a proper translation, so the meaning was lost.


I thought you said in one of your previous posts that you were frustrated because you couldn't understand part of what they were saying and because it was going too fast? So how could you know if it was an improper translation?

I'm just curious, really. I've heard that Lin-Manuel Miranda translated the songs very well and kept the meaning of them as close to the original as possible, so your comment kind of throws me off a little bit.

Oh, and as for the cast, I've heard great things about Karen Olivo and Josefina Scaglione. However, I've heard some pretty bad things about Matt Cavenaugh (Tony)...what do you think, Koza?

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Post Translations and Multi-lingualism
kozafluitmusique wrote:
The thing with "I Feel Pretty" is that it was not even a proper translation, so the meaning was lost.

Jman383 wrote:
I can see what you mean about it being lost due to mistranslation.

ilovebway wrote:
I thought you said in one of your previous posts that you were frustrated because you couldn't understand part of what they were saying and because it was going too fast? So how could you know if it was an improper translation? I'm just curious, really. I've heard that Lin-Manuel Miranda translated the songs very well and kept the meaning of them as close to the original as possible, so your comment kind of throws me off a little bit.

I think what kozafluitmusique means is that it's not a literal translation, which of course means that it is a proper translation. To incorporate the use of Spanish effectively, one would have to ensure that it sits correctly idiomatically in terms of its expression; in that way the translation actually creates meaning in a sense that is wider than linguistic vocabulary whereas a word-for-word translation would just dissipate the purpose of the translation in the first place.

Thus, as per Sondheim's instructions to Miranda, they retain the dramatic objective of the song (what the song is meant to achieve in terms of storytelling), the fundamental meaning (so that, as in some Spanish translations of the show, "I Feel Pretty" doesn't become "I Am Pretty"), similar kinds of imagery and the rhyme scheme. What Sondheim and Miranda and Laurents all understand is that translation is more than just a substitution of words.

Jman383 wrote:
I still think the concept is amazingly different and unique. My hat goes off to Laurents for thinking of it. I'm waiting for the show to open to see it!

I don't know that its unique as a theatrical device. Multi-lingual theatre is widely popular here in South Africa, particularly when it comes to musical productions. A lot of the resistance theatre and many post-apartheid pieces mix languages and I don't think its been a problem for audiences in terms of understanding, even if you don't literally understand what's being said word-for-word. But it does require engagement with what's going on dramatically and if people alienates themselves from the piece just because of the language, particularly when it makes sense dramatically, I tend to think there are issues those people need to confront as that alienation is forced upon them only by their own prejudice or laziness or whatever the reason might be. For me, it begins to highlight things that are located much more subtly in people's attitudes and values.

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David

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Post Re: Translations and Multi-lingualism
RainbowJude wrote:
Jman383 wrote:
I still think the concept is amazingly different and unique. My hat goes off to Laurents for thinking of it. I'm waiting for the show to open to see it!

I don't know that its unique as a theatrical device. Multi-lingual theatre is widely popular here in South Africa, particularly when it comes to musical productions. A lot of the resistance theatre and many post-apartheid pieces mix languages and I don't think its been a problem for audiences in terms of understanding, even if you don't literally understand what's being said word-for-word. But it does require engagement with what's going on dramatically and if people alienates themselves from the piece just because of the language, particularly when it makes sense dramatically, I tend to think there are issues those people need to confront as that alienation is forced upon them only by their own prejudice or laziness or whatever the reason might be. For me, it begins to highlight things that are located much more subtly in people's attitudes and values.

Later days
David


I meant it being unique to the show itself, not all theatre. Of course there's bi-lingual theatre. Even In the Heights can be considered such. I just mean, it's interesting for it to be done in spanish, as West Side Story has always been 100% English, even for the Sharks.

P.S. I know that "A Boy Like That" is no where near a proper translation. Some of the intentions are even changed, according to my roomate. Check my earlier posts on the matter to see what I mean.

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