Gabriel Ferrante

Penn Humanities Forum Undergraduate Fellow

20162017 Forum on Translation

Gabriel Ferrante

Biochemistry, Philosophy

College, 2017

In addition to his dual major in Biochemistry and Philosophy, Gabriel Ferrante is a submatriculant in the Masters of Chemistry program, interests that are unified by a desire to understand the physical and ideological lenses through which we interpret the world. Gabriel’s project, in which he is examining changes in the translations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet over the last two centuries, aims to find a connection between translators’ perception of their source language and their translations. In his spare time, he acts and performs Shakespeare, writes poetry, and conducts research on the mitochondrial protein NADH: Ubiquinone Oxidoreductase in the laboratory of Dr. Eiko Ogiso. Gabriel is extremely excited to apply the tools of research he learned in the biological sciences to the study of humanities. 

Es mi Shakespeare su Shakespeare? Pronoun Formality in Spanish Translations of Hamlet

The translation of literary works is a careful balancing act between conveying the words of an author and rendering them intelligible to new audiences, a mandate understood differently by all of its practitioners. The extent to which translation is itself an act of artistic creation is especially clear in reading multiple translations of the same work, which often vary significantly. I will use statistical analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to explore how Spanish translations have approached the distinction between the formal and informal pronouns “you” and “thee,” a key nuance in Shakespeare’s writing overlooked by modern readers in English, but still essential in Spanish. The goal is to understand how approaches to translation evolve within the broader language and literature of their times.