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A little princess (US & Indian)
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The beginning of the Mexican movie "A Little Princess", a magical story about a girl and her dream world. The girl here speaks with an American accent (and all the people from New York), her father speaks with a British accent and Maya and Laki speak with Indian-British accent.

(you may have to endure a few seconds of publicity before getting to see the actual video)

This is a TEXT VERSION (not an exact or complete transcript)

A very long time ago, there lived a beautiful princess in a mystical land known as India.

She was married to the handsome prince Rama, who had been banished to the enchanted forest by his jealous step-mother, Queen Ky-Kay. One day, Princess Sita saw a wounded deer in the woods, and she begged Rama to go and help it. Rama drew a circle on the ground and said to her, "this is a magic circle, so as long as you stay inside it, no harm can come to you".

That night, the princess heard a horrible cry: "Aah, help me!". Thinking it was her beloved Rama in danger, the princess ran from the circle to answer the cry. She soon came across and old beggar-man. Although she had no money to give him, she could not refuse his plea.

As soon as he had the bracelet, The beggar-man then transforms into the ten-headed daemon Ravana. He grabs the princess and takes her to his palace where he intends to make her his bride.

- Did you ever know a real prince, Maya?
- Yes, Laki’s father.
- I thought he was in the army!
- He was. And he was my prince, and I, his princess.
- But I mean real princes and princesses.
- All women are princesses, it is our right.

- I shall miss it here. India is the only place on earth that stirs the imagination.
- I wish we could stay here forever.
- I know, sweetheart. But now that England’s gone to war, I must go too. You understand that, don’t you?
- But why must I go to America?
- ‘Cause it’s safer. And besides, you’ll be going to the same school your mother went to when she was your age. In a city called...
- New York.
- Huh
- Papa?
- Ahuh?
- Maya told me that all girls are princesses.
- Maya is a very wise woman.
- Then it’s true?
- You can be anything you want to be, my love... as long as you believe it.
- But what do you believe?
- I believe that you are... and always will be... my little princess.

[end of transcript]

THERE LIVED A BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS= With the verb "to be", especially if we’re telling a story, we can use the form:
- In a magical country, there lived a young girl.
- Once upon a time, there lived a king and queen.
(notice that we don’t usually start the sentence with "there lived...", but with an adverbial of place or time). In this case, THERE is not an adverb of place (here/there), but the false subject (the real subject coming afterwards: "a beautiful princess"). So this sentence means the same as: "A beautiful princess lived in...", only that the construction used here sounds much more poetical and literary.

PRINCESS= Notice that the stress goes at the end. The plural of PRINCE is PRINCES, with the stress on the first syllable, so you can’t confuse them. The plural of PRINCESS is PRINCESSES, with the stress always on the second syllable (you can hear both plurals later on the video).

MYSTICAL= A mystical person is someone who practises mysticism, which is the spiritual practice of trying to find out the ultimate reality, to see reality as it is (not as it seems to be), to know or be united with God. So mysticism is the art of transcending this reality we know, to discover the real essence of things, people and the Universe.

HANDSOME= Remember that we use "handsome" when talking about men and "beautiful" or "pretty" when talking about women or children, though nowadays it’s not rare to use "beautiful" referring to men, especially if they are really handsome and cute.

BANISH= If you are banished from a place you are sent away and you are forbidden to go back there.

ENCHANTED= An enchanted thing or place has got magical powers.

JEALOUS= Resentful or bitter in rivalry; envious. His step-mother hated him because he was better than her.

STEP-MOTHER= If your father marries another woman, she is your step-mother. If that woman has children, they will become your step-brothers and step-sisters, and so on.

WOUNDED= Pronounced /wu:ndɪd/. If you are wounded you have a wound /wu:nd/, which is an injury, especially one in which the skin or another external surface is torn, pierced, cut, or otherwise broken.

DEER= See the picture of this animal. Pronounced /dɪə/

THE WOODS= The forest.

BEG= To ask earnestly, intensely. To say, "please, please, please, do this".

DREW= Pronounced /dru:/. The past of DRAW /drɔ:/, to make a picture using a pencil or something similar (a stick here).

CIRCLE= Pronounced /sɜ:*kəl/

AS LONG AS YOU STAY INSIDE= While you stay inside (if you don’t go out).

HARM= Pain or danger.

BELOVED= Dear, loved one. Pronounced /bɪlʌvɪd/.

COME ACROSS= Meet by chance.

BEGGAR= Someone who begs for money because he’s so poor he has nothing.

PLEA= An intense petition. An earnest request.

AS SOON AS HE HAD THE BRACELET= When he had, the moment he had, at that very instant.
Notice that from this point of the story on, she speaks faster and louder and changes from the past tense to the present tense. All three things are designed to make the story sound more vivid, more intense, more real, as if those things were happening at this very moment.

THE TEN-HEADED DAEMON (AmE spelled "DEMON")= A daemon is an evil creature, a devil. If he is TEN-HEADED (pronounced </ten hedɪd/) that means he has ten heads. You can also say, for example:
- A one-legged man (pronounced /legɪd/ = a man with one leg
- A one-eyed monster = a monster with only one eye. Pronounced /aɪd/ because the word EYE already ends in / ɪ / .

BRIDE= At the wedding, the bride (girl) and bridegroom (boy) get married. If the daemon intends to make her his bride, he plans to marry her.

WOMEN= Remember that the plural of "woman" is pronounced /wɪmɪn/.

SHALL= An old fashion form of WILL to form the future tense for the first person (I, We).

STIR= To mix a liquid in circular motions using a stick or something similar (for example, a spoon). If something "stirs your imagination", you become creative and can have fantasies or you feel like you’re in a magical place.

I WISH WE COULD STAY HERE= Remember that after the verb WISH we use the past tense, even if we refer to the present or the future:
- I wish I had many friends (present) = I want to have more friends.
- I wish it rained tomorrow (future)

SWEETHEART= A loving way to address a person you love, especially your children, your husband/wife or your boyfriend/girlfriend.

‘CAUSE (conversational English)= Because.

WISE= Having the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting. It’s not the same as "intelligent". An intelligent person can reason very well, is good at logic and numbers (usually because of an academic training). A wise person knows how to take the right decisions to live a good and nice life and be happy.

© Angel Castaño 2008 Salamanca / Poole - free videos to learn real English online || InfoPrivacyTerms of useContactAbout
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