Three Shakespeare works in Brussels dialect join world-famous collection
Share article:
Share article:

Three Shakespeare works in Brussels dialect join world-famous collection

Three translations of works of William Shakespeare by the Brussels dialect poet Claude Lammens have been added to the world-famous collection of the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham in England.

The works are translations of two of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, as well as the full text of The Taming of the Shrew.

The works in question are dialect translations of Sonnet 18, which begins, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” and Sonnet 151, “Love is too young to know what conscience is”.

Bruzz has compiled a video playlist of ten Shakespeare pieces translated into Brussels dialect and read by Lammens himself.

William Shakespeare was born in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon in the English midlands, whose major city is Birmingham. The Birmingham Shakespeare Memorial Library was created in 1864 to mark his 300th anniversary, with the intention of becoming the world’s first great Shakespeare collection.

It is now the largest such collection held in a public library, and at one point was prestigious enough to receive a donation of 300 works from the Soviet government at the height of the Cold War.

But in recent times, according to Ewan Fernie, Chair of Shakespeare Studies at Birmingham University, the collection has attracted less attention, which is what spurred him to start the Everything to Everybody project.

We’re attempting to revitalise the collection with people and communities across the city, so it becomes something that is rediscovered and reproduced by Birmingham people now,” Fernie told The Guardian. “If we don’t do that it’s going to die, the world is changing and our culture is changing.”

Part of the project is a series of videos called World’s Stage (Act I here): seven videos featuring 140 ‘multilingual Brummies’ – people from across the city, including children, who quote passages from Shakespeare in their own non-English language.

The meaning of most of the contributions will pass us by (there are no subtitles), but what is clear is the natural poetry of the words, the cadence and music, regardless of the language being spoken.

The pieces translated by Lammens represent the 94th language other than English to form part of the massive archive of 40,000 books, 17,000 photos of stage productions, 2,000 music scores, 15,000 playbills, 10,000 posters and innumerable artworks and costume designs.

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...