Sunday, December 07, 2008

Rewrite Jane Austen, 2008-stylee

Following on from the previous post, choose any line from Jane Austen and rewrite it in contemporary English!

See comments for my attempt.

6 comments:

McKoala said...

Had to race to the book case to check one of my choices:

"Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself!"

This would have to translate as:

"Mr Knightly must shag no one but herself!"

I'm not sure if this one is from a book or her letters, but I do like it:

"She was a woman of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temper."

Translates as:

"She was thick, ignorant and moody."

Yes, I feel some of the nuance is lost.

fairyhedgehog said...

"... it was equally evident that Jane was yielding to the preference
which she had begun to entertain for him from the first, and was in a
way to be very much in love; she considered with pleasure that it
was not likely to be discovered by the world in general, since Jane
united, with great strength of feeling, a composure of temper and a
uniform cheerfulness of manner which would guard her from the suspicions
of the impertinent."

It was obvious that Jane had fancied him at first sight and was now falling for him; she was glad that no one would notice as Jane's calm cheerfulness hid her passion from the chavs.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Hah! What fun.

Maybe you could try what Stephen did on his blog recently and translate it into a foreign tongue and then back to english. That should prove very interesting, too.

pjd said...

Possibly one of my favorite opening lines that I've ever seen begins P&P.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Rewritten in today's YA style:
Every rich boy needs a girlfriend.

Or, as a powerpoint presentation:
Spouses Needed
- universally acknowledged
- males possessing fortunes
- females available
- unique opportunity!

(though the powerpoint effort falls short without amateurish clip art)

Sarah Laurenson said...

In Jane's English:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

In Russian:
Это - правда, универсально признанная, что единственный человек во владении удачей, должен нуждаться в жене.

From Russian to English:
It is the truth universally recognized, that the unique person in possession of success, should require the wife.

In Italian:
Si tratta di una verità universalmente riconosciuto, che un unico uomo in possesso di una buona fortuna, devono essere in mancanza di una moglie.

And back:
This is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in the absence of a wife.

Hmm. I think we lost something there.

OK, one last one. From Jane's English to Russian to Italian and back to English:
This is - the truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in need of his wife.

McKoala said...

Good work, Sarah - yes, something was definitely lost. PJD's version is hilarious! And FH, love the use of contemporary vocab!