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Say It Right Series

Snow White

Posted by Tal May 8, 2010 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: Stories, story, fairy story, fairy tale

Snow White in Chinese

Thanks to Walt Disney, many of us these days forget that this classic has a long history as a European folk tale. It was the Brothers Grimm who handed down the best known version to us though, including such elements as the magic mirror and the seven dwarfs.

In Chinese the story is called 白雪公主 (Bái Xuě Gōng Zhǔ). 公主 means 'princess'. Most of us, (again thanks to Disney), will recall how Snow White's wicked stepmother uses a 魔镜 (mójìng = magic mirror) to determine just who is the 'fairest of them all', and cannot stand it when it turns out to be 白雪公主.

She instructs a 猎人 (lièrén = hunter, huntsman) to take 白雪公主 to the forest and do her in, bringing back her 肺 (fèi = lungs) and her 肝 (gān = liver) as proof (凭证 - píngzhèng) that the girl is dead. But the kindhearted hunter takes pity on her and substitutes the 内脏 (nèizàng = internal organs) of a wild pig (野猪 - yě zhū).

Snow White of course finds refuge with the 7 dwarfs (小矮人们 - xiǎoǎirénmen), but the wicked queen (邪恶王后 - xié'è wánghòu), given the heads up by the mirror (镜子 - jìngzi) makes several attempts on her life, first trying to throttle her with a silk scarf (丝带 - sīdài), then trying to poison her with a comb (梳子 - shūzi), before finally apparently succeeding with the poisoned apple. (Kind of dumb how Snow continually ignores the advice of the dwarfs not to let 任何人 (rènhérén = anyone) into the house while they're all off mining, but hey, this is a fairytale.

Anyway the dwarfs are so upset about suddenly not having anyone to do their housework that they put the seemingly imperishable body in a glass coffin (玻璃棺材 - bōli guāncái), but now it seems they can spare one of their number to stand guard 守护着她 (shǒuhùzhe tā). Anyway, along comes the handsome prince (可爱的王子 - kěài'de wángzi) to bring about the happy ending. Just like life. Not!


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