Shakespeare in Konglish

08 Jul

If you ever have the urge to create your own Konglish, all you have to do is run some words through Babelfish, translate them into Korean and then again into English.

It seemed an interesting idea to perform this exercise using the words of the proclaimed master of the language, Mr. Shakespeare, whom I will refer to from now on as Restlessness Window.

Shakespeare –> Shake spear –> 동요 창 –> Restlessness Window

I thought first of Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 1, which contains a famous soliloquy that I had to memorize and recite for a class in high school.  I only altered words that would go unrecognized by the translator, mostly those containing apostrophes, i.e. o’er, marshall’st, etc.  The words thou, thy and thee went untranslated, but were kept to maintain the feel of the original.

The word count saw a significant jump from 259 to 350. Whatever condensing was accomplished in the translation to Korean was undone, and then some, in the bounce back to English.

The results certainly contain their own poetic merit. Bear witness to Restlessness Window’s mellifluous verse.  I suggest you read it aloud, as an actor would, so as to capture its full profundity:

This goes out and is a dagger which sees before secret intention,

By the hand the handle? Come, make a low price to catch thee certainly.

Me is not thee, and the like that sees thee yet.

Is not an art thou, about the time spectacle, which is fatal,

A division to feeling? or art thou the creation

which mind, and is incorrect,

but did the progress press the brain from the dagger and the line?

I go out and like being clear and the now when still sees thee

From the shape with this which I pull.

Thou went out and me the method which is going lined up;

And like that opportunity will use.

The mine eye does in the fool of different feeling and is not like that

And a price of all remainder there is; I to see thee yet,

And in thy leaves and dudgeon ventilation of the blood be like this before intelligence,

Which thing which is not. There is not like that thing:

Is an enterprise which is bloody informs to the mine eye like this.

The character makes die now in half world-wide one

and the dream which is wicked abuses curtained sleep; Magic Hecate where is pale;

Celebrates sacrificial offerings and the murder which will wither,

Alarmed in compliance with his security guard and the wolf,

Whose howlitzer his secrets his clock which has a walking, consequently.

Tarquin being fascinating with his design and stride,

like the ghost moving. Positively thou under firmness puts an endurance,

In compliance with a method my phase which walks fears the wild

Which is not ten to five, respects thy rightly pebbles prate of whereabouts,

and to have the fear which exists from time and, goes,

which now is adapted with it.

That lives I threat and sends:

The certificate suction which kicks too opens as the word gives.

The bell becomes roundly going

It comes to do; The bell invites me.

Is not it, Duncan wild ten five;

Respects it recalls thee in the heaven or the hell where is knell



Posted by on July 8, 2008 in Seoul Days


Tags: , , , ,

2 responses to “Shakespeare in Konglish

  1. Stella Kevlar

    July 22, 2008 at 11:42 am

    babelshakeskoreanspeare is better than actual shakespeare.

  2. lymmy

    January 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    omg i almost dieded on me seat when i rad dis :p

    keep writing i’m going to korea soon and i’ll make sure i look out for them!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: