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date: 27 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Cantonese has been used in “spoken drama” performances since the 1910s, but scripts (both original scripts and ones translated from other languages) were almost invariably written in standard Mandarin. Taking as its starting point the work of Rupert Chan, who was among the first to translate Western plays into colloquial Cantonese, this chapter examines some of the implications of the use of written Cantonese in contemporary Hong Kong. Of particular interest is the relationship between the use of written Cantonese and notions of local Hong Kong identity. As something new and unique to Hong Kong, Chan’s versions maintain an open-minded attitude vis-à-vis other cultural expressions and absorb, appropriate, and transform them, which is characteristic of the writing of Hong Kong identity.

Keywords: Rupert Chan, theater, Cantonese, dialect, translation

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