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“Our Slogan Is to Adapt, Not to Adopt”: Translation, Tradaptation and Adaptation of British and American Drama in Contemporary Thai Theatre

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2014, 27(2), pp.269-293
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

PawitMahasarinand 1

1Chulalongkorn University

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In an eight-century-old Southeast Asian country which has never been colonized by any western country, an excerpt from King Rama VII’s interview with New York Times—“Our slogan is to adapt, not to adopt—the Siamese people are an adaptable people”—best explains why American fried rice has been a local favourite in Thailand. In this ‘semi-colonial’ state where people neither blindly adopt nor freely adapt, tradaptations and adaptations of European plays co-exist with translations since the introduction of spoken drama during the country’s modernization about a century ago, paving the path for the development of her modern theatre. Since the 1960s, translations and tradaptations of British and American dramas in Thai university theatre productions have significantly contributed to contemporary Thai theatre. A practical case study of the Thai tradaptation of Anyone for Breakfast?, a British bedroom farce by Derek Benfield, is provided as an example.

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