Từ ngày còn nhỏ, chúng ta đã được nghe biết bao câu chuyện cổ tích qua giọng kể của bà, của mẹ. Từ những lâu đài của nàng công chúa và hoàng tử, cho đến cánh rừng rậm rạp nơi mụ phù thủy cư ngụ, vẻ đẹp hiền từ của Ông Bụt, Bà Tiên…, tất cả đã trở thành một phần không không thể thiếu trong ký ức tuổi thơ. Đã bao năm tháng trôi qua, những câu chuyện dân gian ấy vẫn còn nguyên sức hút, tuy giản dị, nhẹ nhàng mà gửi gắm bao lời răn dạy vô cùng trân quý của cha ông.

Chuyên mục “Cổ tích Việt Nam song ngữ” không chỉ mong muốn đem tới cho độc giả nguồn cảm hứng để học tiếng Anh mà còn hy vọng có thể khơi dậy niềm tự hào dân tộc với lời nhắn nhủ: Hãy tự tin mang tinh hoa đất Việt vươn ra thế giới.

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Sơn Tinh – Thủy Tinh là tác phẩm nổi tiếng trong nền văn học Việt Nam. Câu chuyện không chỉ là lời ca ngợi vẻ đẹp trù phú của non sông đất nước, công lao các vua Hùng, mà còn giải thích hiện tượng lũ lụt hằng năm và khát vọng chế ngự, chiến thắng thiên tai của người Việt.

LEGEND OF SON TINH (MOUNTAIN SPIRIT) AND THUY TINH (SEA SPIRIT)

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Once upon a time, Emperor Hung Vuong the Eighteenth had a beautiful daughter, Princess Mi Nuong. Her beauty was so renowned that many suitors from foreign lands came to ask the Emperor for her hand. However, the Emperor did not believe that any one of them was good enough for his beautiful daughter. He wanted Mi Nuong to marry someone really distinguished and powerful. Her mother, the Empress was very much concerned for Mi Nuong’s future. The Empress looked at her daughter saying: “It is time you should get married, my darling. I hope your father will find a suitable man for you”.

  • once upon a time: ngày xửa ngày xưa
  • so renowned that: nổi tiếng đến mức
  • suitors: nhiều người theo đuổi
  • distinguished and powerful: tài giỏi khác thường
  • (be) very much concerned for: hết sức quan tâm

The Princess could not hide her emotion and happiness, her beautiful eyes were blurred with tear. She said “Mother, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. It is up to you and Father to decide for me. I understand that I have to get married and bear children like other women. I believe Father will choose a suitable person“.

  • hide emotion and happiness: che dấu cảm xúc vui mừng
  • blurred with tear: nhòa lệ
  • It is up to sb: tùy vào ai
  • bear children: sinh con
  • suitable person: một người xứng đáng

One day, at the court there appeared two young men. One of them was Son Tinh, the Mountain Spirit, and the other one was Thuy Tinh, the Sea Spirit. Both of them were equally handsome, distinguished, and powerful. The difference in character between the two men was that while Son Tinh was gentle and quiet, Thuy Tinh had a fiery temper.

Related image
Son Tinh và Thủy Tinh xin cưới Mị Nương. (Ảnh: englishsourcery.com)
  • court: cung điện 
  • the Mountain Spirit: Sơn Tinh
  • the Sea Spirit: Thủy Tinh
  • equally: ngang nhau
  • gentle and quiet: hòa nhã điềm đạm
  • have a fiery temper: có bản tính nóng nảy

Son Tinh bowed his head and respectfully said to the Emperor: “My name is Son Tinh. My kingdom includes all mountains. I reign over all creatures living on the mountains. I own all the riches of the mountains including all the beautiful trees, plants, and flowers. I can summon lions and birds, I can make the mountains grow high to the sky. I want to marry the Princess and promise to bring her happiness and an eternal life”.

  • bow his head: khấu đầu
  • reign: cai trị
  • own: sở hữu
  • summon: triệu tập
  • eternal life: suốt đời

Thuy Tinh stepped forward, bowed his head and said: “My name is Thuy Tinh. I am the Spirit of the Seas. I reign over all creatures living in the water. I own all coral, pearls, and treasures under the sea. I can raise the level of the sea as high as the mountain top. I can make rain and gather storms. If the Princess marries me, she will become the Queen of the Sea. The most wonderful undersea world and the most magnificent undersea palace will be hers”.

  • step forward: bước lên phía trước
  • coral, pearls, and treasures: san hô, ngọc trai, kho báu
  • make rain and gather storms: hô mưa gọi gió
  • magnificent undersea palace: thủy cung lộng lẫy

The Emperor listened attentively to the suitors. He was reluctant in his choice because both suitors arrived at the same time and were equally handsome and powerful. Then he said to the suitors: “Tomorrow whoever brings the wedding gifts first, will have the hand of the Princess.” The suitors left the court and hurried back to their kingdoms in the hope of getting married with the Princess.

  • listen attentively: chăm chú lắng nghe
  • reluctant: phân vân
  • wedding gifts: lễ vật cưới xin
  • left the court: rời khỏi cung điện
  • hurried back: vội vã quay về

Thuy Tinh had all his men collect the best pearls and jewelry, and the most exquisite sea food and delicious seaweed. Son Tinh rushed back to the mountain. He ordered his men to collect the best diamonds and the most precious stones they could find. He also selected the most delicious fruit and most fragrant flowers on earth for the Emperor and the Empress.

  • collect the best pearls and jewelry: viên ngọc trai và đồ trang sức tốt nhất
  • the most exquisite sea food: hải sản thơm ngon nhất
  • seaweed: rong biển
  • diamonds: kim cương
  • precious stones: đá quý
  • delicious fruit: quả ngọt
  • fragrant flowers: hoa thơm

The next morning, Son Tinh and a hundred attendants were the first who came to the court. He brought trays full of jewels and baskets full of mango, grapes, strawberries, roses, orchids, etc. The Emperor was delighted with all the gifts. He agreed to let Son Tinh marry his daughter. Mi Nuong bid farewell to the Emperor and the Empress. Then she stepped into the palaquin and followed Son Tinh to his Kingdom on the mountain.

  • trays full of jewels: các mâm trang sức
  • baskets full of: giỏ đầy (hoa quả)
  • delighted with: vui mừng
  • bid farewell: chia tay
  • palaquin: kiệu hoa

After Son Tinh and Mi Nuong had just left the court, Thuy Tinh came with his men carrying trays of jewels, pearls, and baskets full of sea food. Thuy Tinh was so angry when he heard Mi Nuong had gone with Son Tinh just minutes before. He immediately ordered his men to pursue Son Tinh and to take Mi Nuong away.

  • just minutes before: chỉ mới vài phút trước đó
  • immediately order: ngay lập tức hạ lệnh

Thuy Tinh yelled at his men and flourished his magic sword. Then the creatures in the sea turned into thousands of soldiers. Heavy rains began to fall. Gusty winds began to blow. The water level rose higher and higher. The high waves and the flood washed down thousands of trees and houses.

  • yell at: hô 
  • magic sword: thanh kiếm ma thuật
  • creatures: sinh vật
  • turn into: hóa thành
  • heavy rains: mưa to
  • gusty winds: gió lớn

Son Tinh had his own magic wand, too. He turned the animals on the mountain into thousands of soldiers to fight back. He turned the mountain higher as the water rose. The war between Son Tinh and Thuy Tinh lasted for days. No one won the war. Many lives were lost. Finally, Thuy Tinh and his men ceased and withdrew to the sea.

Image result for sơn tinh thủy tinh
Sơn Tnh giao chiến với Thủy Tinh (Ảnh: youtube)
  • magic wand: cây đũa thần
  • lasted for days: kéo dài nhiều ngày đêm
  • ceased: chấm dứt
  • withdrew: rút về

However, Thuy Tinh could not give up the idea of taking the Princess back for himself. So, every year Thuy Tinh raises the water and gathers storms up to the mountain top where Son Tinh and Mi Nuong are living. However, he never wins the war. Every year, when the war between the two spirits breaks out, people and animals suffer, crops and properties are destroyed.

  • give up the idea: từ bỏ ý định
  • break out: nổ ra
  • suffer: chịu thiệt hại
  • (be) destroyed: bị phá hủy

Thiện Nhân