A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities” (1859) is a historical novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution.  We translated the first few sentences into Cantonese.  You can try to write down what “tones” of the characters are when listening to the audio clips. 

雙城記 (A Tale of Two Cities)

嗰個係最美好嘅時代,亦係最差嘅時代;

It was the best of timesit was the worst of times,

智慧嘅年頭,亦係愚昧嘅年頭;

it was the age of wisdomit was the age of foolishness,

信仰嘅時期,亦係懷疑嘅時期;

it was the epoch of beliefit was the epoch of incredulity,

光明嘅季節,亦係黑暗嘅季節;

it was the season of Lightit was the season of Darkness,

希望嘅春天,亦係失望嘅冬天;

it was the spring of hopeit was the winter of despair,

一切盡喺我哋眼前,我哋眼前又空無一物

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

我哋全都在直奔往天堂,我哋全都正奔往相反嘅方向

we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way

總而言之,嗰時依家非常相似,……

— in short, the period was so far like the present period ……

嗰個係最美好嘅時代,亦係最差嘅時代;

係智慧嘅年頭,亦係愚昧嘅年頭;

係信仰嘅時期,亦係懷疑嘅時期;

係光明嘅季節,亦係黑暗嘅季節;

係希望嘅春天,亦係失望嘅冬天;

一切盡喺我哋眼前,我哋眼前又空無一物;

我哋全都在直奔往天堂,我哋全都正奔往相反嘅方向

總而言之,嗰時同依家非常相似,

……

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