Conference Proceeding: Fartaytshed un Farbesert? Translated and Improved?

American Yiddish theater productions of Shakespeare in Yiddish translation were often fartaytshed un farbesert, i.e. “translated and improved.” Typically, the “improvement” substituted a happy ending for a tragic one. Shuli Berger is a 2015 Translation fellow at the Yiddish Book Center. Her project is to translate the Yiddish novel, Hebrew, by Joseph Opatoshu, into English. The novel is set on the Lower East Side of New York in the 1910s. The main characters are Hebrew teachers, recent immigrants to the United States from Eastern Europe. The book discusses their lives and loves in New York. This talk will describe the year-long experience of the Yiddish Book Center fellowship, the training and guidance it provided, and Shuli’s reflections on wrestling with translation.