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7 Geeky-Cool Translations of Hamlet

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Ser o no ser, esa es la cuestión. Être, ou ne pas être, telle est la question. Att vara eller inte vara, det är frågan. Sein oder Nichtsein, das ist hier die Frage. Lenni vagy nem lenni: az itt a kérdés.

Hamlet has been translated into hundreds of languages. But normal human languages can be so, well, normal. Here are seven translations of Hamlet that go beyond the normal, right into the awesome.

1. Klingon

There's a line in one of the Star Trek movies where a Klingon character says, "you have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon." Some members of the Klingon Language Institute decided Wil'yam Shex'pir's classic needed to be restored, so they translated the whole play into Klingon. Here's a taste:

taH pagh taHbe’. DaH mu’tlheghvam vIqelnIS.
(One either continues or doesn’t continue. Now, I must consider this sentence.)
quv’a’, yabDaq San vaQ cha, pu’ je SIQDI’?
(Is it honorable, when, inside the mind, one endures the torpedoes and phasers of aggressive fate?)
pagh, Seng bIQ’a’Hey SuvmeH nuHmey SuqDI’,
‘ej, Suvmo’, rInmoHDI’?
(Or, when one obtains weapons to fight a seeming ocean of troubles,
And, by fighting, one finishes them?)

2. LOLspeak

Writer Mandy Keifetz created a beautiful interpretation of the existential ponderings of Lolcat. He's deeper than we knew.

Iz or no iz:
iz hed-skratcher
iz moar good haf hed liek
sry no can haz cheezburger?
Or do teh invisible kung-fu,
an by dis oh noes dey wuz al ded, srsly?
Iz ded; iz slepe; iz end
an fru slepe we sez no moar bummin,
iz cheezburger an kek an kookeys; we can haz?
Iz ded; iz slepe; slepe, mebbe dreem?
Dis teh hol in da bukkit, oh noes!
Cuz in ded slepe, iz kwazee dreem
iz ovah, oh noes!
Iz dis maik lawng lief bummin.

3. Perl

Perl is a programming language that lends itself well to poetry because its commands are recognizable as English vocabulary words and variables are referred to by names. This is a Perl poem by Colin McMillen that is both an interpretation of Hamlet's soliloquy and a functioning program. If you run it, it will output, rather eerily, "We end the heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to at line 14."

my ($question, $to_be, $asleep); # version 0.1
 my $author = "Colin McMillen";
 my $apologies_to = "William Shakespeare";
 my $to_be = 1;
while ($to_be || (!$to_be)) {
 $question = "that";
 if (suffer($slings && $arrows_of_outrageous_fortune)
 or
 (take_arms_against($sea_of_troubles) && by_opposing() eq "end +them")) {
 do {
 $to_be = 0;
 $asleep = "no more";
 die "We end the heart-ache, and the thousand".
 " natural shocks that flesh is heir to";
 } while ("'tis a consumation devoutly to be wish'd.");
 }
 }
 sub suffer {
 return true;
 }
 sub take_arms_against {
 return true;
 }
 sub by_opposing {
 return "end them";
 }

4. Emoji

This captures Hamlet pretty succinctly.

5. Facebook Hamlet

Sarah Schmelling, wrote a hilarious book of Facebook interpretations of classic literature after she published this version of Hamlet at McSweeney's. A sample:

Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet are now friends.
Hamlet wonders if he should continue to exist. Or not.
Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.
Ophelia removed “moody princes” from her interests.
Hamlet posted an event: A Play That’s Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family
The king commented on Hamlet’s play: “What is wrong with you?”
Polonius thinks this curtain looks like a good thing to hide behind.
Polonius is no longer online.

6. Choose your own adventure

Ryan North, of Dinosaur Comics, started this wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to produce an illustrated choose-your-own-adventure version of Hamlet. It hasn't come out yet, but the 15,000-plus backers who put up almost 30 times the original funding goal of $20,000 will get first dibs when it does.

7. Lego animation

It's not the skull but the cowboy hat that makes this soliloquy so spooky. Enjoy!

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Pop Culture
Tiny Star Wars Fans Can Now Cruise Around in Their Very Own Landspeeders
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Radio Flyer

Some kids collect Hot Wheels, while others own model lightsabers and dream of driving Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder through a galaxy far, far away. Soon, Mashable reports, these pint-sized Jedis-in-training can pilot their very own replicas of the fictional anti-gravity craft: an officially licensed, kid-sized Star Wars Landspeeder, coming in September from American toy company Radio Flyer.

The Landspeeder has an interactive dashboard with light-up buttons, and it plays sounds from the original Star Wars film. The two-seater doesn’t hover, exactly, but it can zoom across desert sands (or suburban sidewalks) at forward speeds of up to 5 mph, and go in reverse at 2 mph.

The vehicle's rechargeable battery allows for around five hours of drive time—just enough for tiny Star Wars fans to reenact their way through both the original 1977 movie and 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. (Sorry, grown-up sci-fi nerds: The toy ride supports only up to 130 pounds, so you’ll have to settle for pretending your car is the Death Star.)

Radio Flyer’s Landspeeder will be sold at Toys “R” Us stores. It costs $500, and is available for pre-order online now.

Watch it in action below:

[h/t Mashable]

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fun
Dungeons & Dragons Gets a Digital Makeover
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Since the 1970s, players have been constructing elaborate campaigns in Dungeons & Dragons using nothing but paper, pencils, rule books, and 20-sided dice. That simple formula has made D&D the quintessential role-playing game, but the game's publisher thinks it can be improved with a few 21st-century updates. As The Verge reports, Wizards of the Coast is launching a digital toolset meant to enhance the gaming experience.

The tool, called D&D Beyond, isn’t meant to be a replacement for face-to-face gameplay. Rather, it’s designed to save players time and energy that could be better spent developing characters or battling orcs. The resource includes a fifth-edition rule book users can search by keyword. At the start of a new campaign, they can build monsters and characters within the program. And players don’t need to worry about forgetting to bring their notes to a quest—D&D Beyond keeps track of information like items and spells in one convenient location.

"D&D Beyond speaks to the way gamers are able to blend digital tools with the fun of storytelling around the table with your friends,” Nathan Stewart, senior director of Dungeons & Dragons, said in a statement when the concept was first announced. "These tools represent a way forward for D&D.”

This isn’t the first attempt to bring D&D into the digital age; videogames inspired by the fictional world have been produced since the 1980s. Unlike those titles, though, D&D Beyond will still highlight the imagination-fueled role-playing aspect of the game when it launches August 15.

[h/t The Verge]

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