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Why Did the Monkey King Wreak Havoc in Heaven? Find out in Today’s Chinese Tale

Jan. 11, 2019

HSK 3 quiz
(The source: baijiahao.baidu.com)

Chinese stories are renown for their animal-based characters as well as their exciting fantasy elements. “西游记 (xīyóujì) Journey to the West” is one such classical magic Chinese novel. It is also one of the “Four Great Classical Novels 四大名著 (sì dà míngzhù)” in China.

It tells the story of Monk Xuanzang and his three disciples who vanquish demons and monsters and who went to the west in search of the Buddhist scriptures. It portrays the ancient theme of punishing evil and promoting good.

Read the following Mandarin Chinese story “大闹天宫 (dà nào tiāngōng) Uproar in Heaven” to get a sense of the magic and wonder that these classic novels are famed for.

大闹天宫 (Dà nào tiāngōng) Uproar in Heaven

Yìtiān, qī xiānnǚ fèng wángmǔniángniang mìnglìng qù zhāi xiāntáo.
一天, 七仙女奉王母娘娘命令去摘仙桃。
One day, the seven fairies were ordered by the Heavenly Queen Mother to pick the immortal peach.

Zhèngqiǎo bèi Sūnwùkōng yùdào le.
正巧被孙悟空遇到了。
It happened to be met by Sun Wukong.

Yúshì sūnwùkōng wèn dào: ”Jǐ wèi xiānzǐ, qù nǎr a?”
于是孙悟空问道:“几位仙子,去哪儿啊?”
So Sun Wukong asked: “Fairies, where are you going?”

Yígè xiānnǚ shuō: “Dāngrán shì qù zhāi xiāntáo la!”
一个仙女说:“当然是去摘仙桃啦! ”
A fairy said: “Of course, to go pick the immortal peach!”

“Wángmǔniángniang yāoqǐng le hǎo jǐ wèi dàxiān ne,”
“王母娘娘邀请了好几位大仙呢,”
“The Heavenly Queen Mother invited several high-status immortals,”

“Wǒmen děi zhǔnbèi hǎo duō xiāntáo ne!” lìng yígè jiēzhe shuō.
“我们得准备好多仙桃呢!” 另一个接着说。
“We have to pick many immortal peaches!” The other added.

Tīngdào zhè, sūnwùkōng qì fēng le,
听到这,孙悟空气疯了,
Hearing this, Sun Wukong became mad,

Dàjiào: “Wángmǔniángniang jìngrán méiyǒu qǐng wǒ zhège zhòngliàng jí rénwù, tài qì rén le.”
大叫: “王母娘娘竟然没有请我这个重量级人物,太气人了。”
And yelled: “I’m so angry that The Heavenly Queen Mother did not invite me such a heavyweight figure”.

Yúshì tā yòng fǎshù bǎ zhè qī gè xiānnǚ dìng zhù,
于是他用法术把这七个仙女定住,
Then he froze the seven fairies in place with his spell,

Biàn zhíjiē qù cānjiā zhège pántáo dàhuì le.
便直接去参加这个蟠桃大会了。
And went straight to the immortal peach party.

Zài dàhuì shàng, sūnwùkōng bǎ suǒyǒu dōngxi nòng de luànqībāzāo de.
在大会上,孙悟空把所有东西弄得乱七八糟的。
At the party, Sun Wukong messed everything up.

Yùdì qì de dà nù, pài shí wàn tiānbīng tiānjiàng qiánqù zhuō tā.
玉帝气得大怒,派十万天兵天将前去捉他。
The Jade Emperor was furious and sent 100,000 Warriors of Heaven to go catch him.

Ránr, zhèxiē tiānbīng tiānjiàng dōu bèi sūnwùkōng dǎ yūn le.
然而,这些天兵天将都被孙悟空打晕了。
However, all of these Heavenly Soldiers were knocked out by Sun Wukong.

Zuìhòu yùdì háishì zài rúlái fózǔ de bāngzhù xià, cái zhuā zhù le tā.
最后玉帝还是在如来佛祖的帮助下,才抓住了他。
In the end, the Jade Emperor grasped him with the help of the Tathagata Buddha.

This is only one of the many stories included in “西游记 (xīyóujì) Journey to the West”, which was written in the 16th century. Over hundreds of years, it has been adapted to various versions such as local operas, TV dramas, cartoons, anime, as well as movies. Now people from all over the world can enjoy these stories in many of their forms. The amount of times it has been recreated is a testament to its popularity.  

Among these stories, “大闹天宫 (dà nào tiāngōng) Uproar in Heaven”, “三打白骨精
(sān dǎ báigǔjīng) Monkey Subdues White-Skeleton Demon”, and “三借芭蕉扇 (sān jiè
bājiāoshàn
) Monkey Makes Three Attempts to Borrow the Plantain Fan” are particularly
widely known.

Brush up on the key vocabulary before taking the quiz:

命令 (Mìnglìng) order; command order; command

邀请 (Yāoqǐng) invite

参加 (Cānjiā) take part in; join

乱七八糟 (Luànqībāzāo) be out of order; all a hideous mess; be in wild disorder

(Take a Chinese Mini Test to Learn a Chinese Phrase: 乱七八糟 Luànqībāzāo )

Examples:
    Jūnrén yīngdāng juéduì fúcóng mìnglìng.
1. 军人应当绝对服从命令。
    Soldiers should obey orders absolutely.

    Tā yāoqǐng wǒ qù tā de shēngrì jùhuì.
2. 他邀请我去他的生日聚会。
    He invited me to his birthday party.

    Zhōumò yǒu gè pài duì, nǐ xiǎng bù xiǎng cānjiā?
3. 周末有个派对,你想不想参加?
    There’s a party this weekend, do you want to join in?

    Zhè qún xióng háizi bǎ jiālǐ gǎo de luànqībāzāo de.
4. 这群熊孩子把家里搞得乱七八糟的。
    This group of wild kids made a mess of the house.

(How Do You Say a “Mischievous Child” in Chinese?)

HSK 3 quiz

1. Read the dialogue and answer the question below.

Míng Ming: “Xiǎo Hóng, xīyóujì lǐ nǎgè gùshì, ràng nǐ yìnxiàng zuì shēn?”
明明:“小红,西游记里哪个故事,让你印象最深?”

Xiǎo Hóng: ————————–.
小红:———————————。

What would Xiao Hong say? Please choose the best answer.

    Sūnwùkōng dà nào tiāngōng.
A. 孙悟空大闹天宫。

    Xīyóujì hěn hǎokàn.
B. 西游记很好看。

    Sūnwùkōng shì wǒ zuì xǐhuan de juésè.
C. 孙悟空是我最喜欢的角色。

See Answer Analysis

Read More Interesting Chinese Stories:
田忌赛马 (Tián Jì sài mǎ) General Tian Ji in a Horse Race
Kids Chinese Learning: 井底之蛙 (Jǐngdǐzhīwā) The Frog in the Well
Everything You Need to Know About Popular Chinese Wuxia Fiction Stories

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