Inda: for the Greek Theater of Syracuse classical works translated into Chinese, Japanese and Arabic


By John

Translations into Chinese, Japanese and Arabic of the Italian versions of the texts of the classical plays staged by the National Institute of Ancient Drama for the Greek Theater of Syracuse. From 10 May to 29 June two Greek tragedies will be on stage, Sophocles’ Ajax directed by Luca Micheletti, translated by Walter Lapini, and Euripides’ Phaedra (Hippolitus bearer of the crown) directed by Paul Curran, translated by Nicola Crocetti; and for the first time a Latin comedy, Miles Gloriosus by Plautus directed by Leo Muscato in the translation by Caterina Mordeglia.

In addition to the Italian translation, you can already find a booklet in English at the entrance. From this year it will also be possible to find it in Japanese and from next year in Chinese and Arabic. Inda has stipulated an agreement with the special teaching structure of Ragusa of the University of Catania for translations. «In Ragusa perhaps not everyone knows that Chinese, Japanese and Arabic are studied. I met the prof. Rapisarda and we immediately implemented a simple idea that strengthens the relationship with the territory – explained the managing director Marina Valensise -. It will be possible to increase the quality of Japanese courses through an experience rooted in the territory.

And of course for the first time we talk about an unprecedented and prestigious attraction: the Japanese public knows classical theater very well and will be encouraged to follow the performances with this possibility of direct linguistic mediation”. As part of the project for the elimination of physical and architectural barriers created for the Greek theatre, the creation of an app is planned shortly which will allow foreign spectators to have a real audio guide following the translation while actors act. «We offer the three oriental languages ​​and we accepted the invitation of Professor Valensise who wanted to broaden the offer of the shows towards a non-European audience – explained Professor Stefano Rapisarda, president of the Ragusa special teaching structure of the University of Catania -. We will translate the booklet with this year’s Italian translation. We will see how Plautus will be rendered into Japanese: it will be a great challenge to translate the Latin comedy and especially the Miles Gloriosus full of puns and double meanings.”

This year we begin on an experimental basis with the Japanese language, thanks to a contribution from the University department of the Municipality of Ragusa. The translation into Japanese of the Italian version of the three classic texts was entrusted to Naomi Sasaki, an expert in opera music and theatrical translations.