Mandarin Companion - The Monkey’s Paw - Simplified Chinese Edition based on The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs. LEVEL 1 (300 unique characters).
Mr. and Mrs. Zhang live with their grown son Guisheng who works at a factory. One day an old friend of Mr. Zhang comes to visit the family after having spent years traveling in the mysterious hills of China’s Yunnan Province. He tells the Zhang family of a monkey’s paw that has magical powers to grant three wishes to the holder. Against his better judgement, he reluctantly gives the monkey paw to the Zhang family, along with a warning that the wishes come with a great price for trying to change ones fate…
This story is an adaptation of English author W. W. Jacobs’ 1902 classic horror story, The Monkey’s Paw. This Mandarin Companion graded reader has been adapted into a fully localized Chinese version of the original story. The characters have been given authentic Chinese names as opposed to transliterations of English names, and the locations have been adapted to well-known places in China. We have used the English language classic title’s official translation in Chinese, but we have converted all character names to natural Chinese names and changed some details to better fit a Chinese setting.
The period of this adaptation is the 1980’s not long after Deng Xiaoping famously instituted China’s new policies of “Reforms and Openness”. China was gearing up its industrialization to eventually become known as “the world’s factory.” In this time period, 10,000 RMB was a substantial amount of money, similar to the feeling of “a million dollars” in early 21st century America.
The following is a list of the characters from The Monkey’s Paw in Chinese followed by their corresponding English names from W.W. Jacobs’ original story. The names below aren’t translations; they’re new Chinese names used for the Chinese version of the original characters. Think of them as all-new characters in a Chinese story.
- 张希平 (Zhāng Xīpíng) – Mr. White
- 张太太 (Zhāng Tàitai) – Mrs. White
- 张贵生 (Zhāng Guìshēng) – Herbert White
- 钱运来 (Qián Yùnlái) – Sergeant-Major Morris