Book Focus: The Prince and the Pauper – Pontes Books Yellow Version (and Orange Version)

We understand that there are many different options to choose from when it comes to the Pontes Books versions of The Prince and the Pauper. For that reason, we have been featuring the different versions in this and previous blog posts. For a brief overview of the different versions, see our previous blog post. Today we are focusing on the yellow version (and the orange version).

What is the yellow version?

The blue version of the story is almost exactly the same as the original version of The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. However, there have been adjustments made to the vocabulary. To simplify the vocabulary, some of the more challenging or old-fashioned words have been substituted for simpler or more modern words.

So what does that look like? And why does it help?

Simpifying the vocabulary

Original sentence example: Tom Canty, left alone in the prince’s cabinet, made good use of his opportunity. He turned himself this way and that before the great mirror, admiring his finery; then walked away, imitating the prince’s high-bred carriage, and still observing results in the glass.
Example with simplified vocabulary: Tom Canty, left alone in the prince’s study, took advantage of being alone. He turned around in front of a large mirror, admiring his fancy clothes; then walked away, imitating the prince’s royal walk, continuing to watch himself in the mirror.

You can see the corresponding words/phrases that have been color-coded above. Sometimes it’s simply a synonym that has been substituted (like glass to mirror). Other times, a whole phrase has been reworded to simplify it (like “still observing results” to “continuing to watch himself”). Sometimes if there are too many challenging vocabulary words, it can really get in the way of understanding the story. This is what sometimes makes Classics unenjoyable to readers. Removing the obstacle of challenging vocabulary can help readers to get to the core of what makes these books so timeless: the story!

So what is the orange version?

The orange version combines two books in one. It takes the original Mark Twain version (Red Version) and presents it side-by-side the yellow version. This is referred to as a parallel text. This allows readers to switch back and forth between the original version (that contains the more complex vocabulary and sentence structure) and the yellow version. Readers can challenge themselves by reading the original version and then using the yellow version if certain sections are confusing. Or they could read the yellow version first to get the general idea and then read the red version to get the full effect of the original language used. The possiblities are endless!

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