LA WEB DE READING COMPREHENSION PREFERIDA POR LOS HISPANOHABLANTES

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ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Page 1/3)

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), pen name of English writer and mathematician, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, is best known for his enduring classics Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1875). Though apparently children's books, they have always attracted to all ages and have been distinguished as examples of verbal ability. His facility at word play, logic, and fantasy has delighted audiences ranging from the most naïve to the most sophisticated. His works have remained popular since they were published and have influenced not only children's literature, but also a number of major 20th century writers such as James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges.

 

Three conversations from "A Mad Tea-Party"

 

CONVERSATION 1
Alice discovers the tea table
in the countryside.

Click on PLAY to listen.
Pulsa en REPRODUCIR para escuchar.

CHARACTERS: ALICE (Alicia); THE MAD HATTER (El Sombrerero)
THE MARCH HARE (La Liebre de Marzo); THE DORMOUSE (El Lirón)

ALICE

(approaching the tea table) Ah... tea.

MAD HATTER
MARCH HARE
DORMOUSE

No room! No room! No room!

ALICE

There's plenty of room! I'll sit here.

MARCH HARE

Have some wine.

ALICE

I don't see any wine.

MARCH HARE

There isn't any.

ALICE

Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it.

MARCH HARE

It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited.

ALICE

I didn't know it was your table. It's laid for a great many more than three.

MAD HATTER

Your hair wants cutting.

ALICE

You should learn not to make personal remarks. It's very rude.

MAD HATTER

Why is a raven like a writing-desk?

ALICE

I believe I can answer that.

MARCH HARE

Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?

ALICE

Exactly so.

MARCH HARE

Then you should say what you mean.

ALICE

I do... at least I mean what I say. That's the same thing, you know.

MAD HATTER

Not the same thing a bit! Why, you might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!

MARCH HARE

You might just as well say that "I like what I get" is the same thing as "I get what I like"!

DORMOUSE

You might just as well say that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe"!

MAD HATTER

It is the same thing with you. Have you guessed the riddle yet?

ALICE

No, I give up. What's the answer?

MAD HATTER

I haven't the slightest idea.

MARCH HARE

Nor I. Suppose we change the subject. (yawning) I'm getting tired of this. I vote the young lady tells us a story.

ALICE

I'm afraid I don't know one.

MARCH HARE

Then the Dormouse shall! Wake up, the Dormouse!

DORMOUSE

(slowly opening his eyes) I wasn't asleep. I heard every word you fellows were saying.

 

GLOSSARY

pen name: an author's pseudonym (seudónimo)
enduring: with persistent success (de éxito permanente)
ranging from: ranking or extending from (extendiéndose desde)
naïve: with unaffected simplicity (simples, ingenuos)
remained: continued (permanecido)
approaching:
coming closer to (acercándose a)
no room: there's no room (no hay sitio, no hay lugar)
plenty of: a lot of, a full supply, a large number (mucho)
it wasn't very civil of you: it wasn't very polite of you, it was rude of you (no fue muy correcto de tu parte)
without being invited: ING verb after preposition (sin haber sido invitada)
laid: set down (puesta, tendida, servida)
a great many more than three: emphatic comparative (para muchas más de tres personas)
your hair wants cutting: you need a haircut, your hair is too long (tienes que cortarte el pelo)
you should learn: you ought to learn (SHOULD expresses an emotional, practical, or other reason for doing something) (deberías aprender)
personal remarks: personal comments (observaciones tan personales)
rude: socially incorrect in behavior (maleducado, de mala educación)
raven /réivn/: large black bird with a straight bill and long wedge-shaped tail (cuervo)

writing-desk: a desk for writing, usually with a sloping top (escritorio)
I believe I can answer that
: I believe I know the answer to that riddle (creo que conozco la solución, creo que puedo responderlo)
find out: discover (descubrir)
exactly so: that is what I mean (así es)
at least: used to indicate that a statement explains or supports a previous statement (al menos, por lo menos)
a bit: (here) at all (de ninguna manera)
you might just as well say: MIGHT expressing possibility (sería lo mismo decir)
I breathe: I expel air (yo respiro)
guessed: solved (adivinado)
riddle: brain-teaser, a difficult problem (acertijo, adivinanza)
I give up: I quit, I stop insisting (me doy por vencida)
the slightest idea: the faintest idea (la menor idea)
nor I: neither do I (yo tampoco)
the subject: the topic (el tema de conversación)
yawning:
  intaking air through a wide open mouth (bostezando)
I vote: I express my preference for (propongo que)
wake up: stop sleeping (despiértate)
asleep: into a sleeping state (dormido)
you fellows: you pals, you my friends (que ustedes amigos)

 

Click here to read and listen to CONVERSATION # 2 of this classic

 

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