I am EXTREMELY grateful that English is my native language.
In my humble opinion – it’s been said countless times – ’tis a glorious language.
So rich in its origins and vocabulary; the history and shades of meaning that so many of our words have.
The wonderful admixture of earthy, pithy Germanic words from the Anglo-Saxon and high flown, mellifluous Latinate ones, mostly from French, plus borrowings from so many tongues.
I have often said to myself, and to others, that I am grateful for having English as my native tongue if for no other reason than that I can read and appreciate Shakespeare in the original.
I first read Shakespeare, like most students, in high school. My first Shakespeare play was As You Like It – which I loved and have since retained a special affection for – followed by Hamlet.
There was some trepidation about reading the Bard. Would he be difficult?
I was pleasantly surprised to find that he was NOT difficult and was readily comprehensible and enjoyable. He was pleasurable to read and actually easy.
Shakespeare is, of course, admired the world over — in Russia and Japan, for example. But I would guess that foreign readers of him and the producers and consumers
of foreign films and foreign stage productions in which his works are presented in translation are focusing on — are enjoying — the marvelous, intricate plots and the dramatic interest of, say, his tragedies without being able to be ravished by the marvelous
In watching English language films of Shakespeare, I have thought to myself, it is
hard – in some respects – to go wrong. There is always the verbal richness.
It’s hard to conceive how some schools and publishers can embrace the idea of Shakespeare simplified and “translated” into 21st century English.
— Roger W. Smith