March 06, 2007

Macbeth in Tlingit

How do you say `Out damn spot' in Tlingit?

Theatre company tackles Macbeth in obscure Indian languageJake Waid rubbed his bloodshot eyes, blankly stared at a script for Shakespeare's Macbeth, then resumed an unfamiliar struggle with a set of lines.

"TlDeil tsu tlax yDei l kusheek'Deiyi yDe yageeyi kwasatDinch, ch'a aan yak'Dei," he read slowly of what would normally be, "So foul and fair a day I have not seen."

Waid, a 31-year-old who has been acting since he was 15, faces his most daunting stage assignment to date: performing Shakespeare in Tlingit (pronounced klink-it), an Indian language unique to southeast Alaska and southwest British Columbia, and in which fewer than 300 people are fluent. Its words are difficult to translate into English sounds.

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