soundbites

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 February, 2007, 12:00am

You're performing Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues in Cantonese. How does it translate?


Veteran actress Lo Koon-lan: 'In terms of the text and content, the Cantonese version is very faithful to the original. The only difference is how it sounds. I saw the English version before and the word 'vagina' in this context sounds totally natural. It has been translated as 'yum dou', which doesn't sound the same. I have to practise saying it without making it sounds weird.


'I don't know how commonly used the word vagina is in the west, but in this part of the world yum dou rarely pops up in daily conversation - so if I say it too casually the audience might find that unacceptable. But I can't sound as if I've never used the term before either, so there's a delicate balance.


'There's also some swearing in the original, and again that sounds more natural in English than Cantonese. It's interesting how one swears differently from culture to culture. What I do is get the mood of the text when I read it in English, then project that into the Cantonese lines I've learnt by heart.'


The Vagina Monologues (in Cantonese), Perry Chiu Experimental Theatre, City Hall Concert Hall, today, 3pm, HK$60-HK$240


 

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