I found this Chinese translation of the Tiger Team novel “Ghost Hotel” in my local bookstore, and I’ve manually typed in the first few paragraphs of the book, which describe a dilapidated, mostly-abandoned hotel, where most of the novel takes place. This is interesting practice in reading longer descriptions, and includes many words that are strictly book-language: you’re not likely to run into them in daily conversation. There’s probably an actual English version of this book, but I can’t easily get my hands on this, so bear in mind you’re not reading the official English translation. Here’s the Chinese version on Amazon China.
There are a couple of difficult passages here that don’t quite mean what they seem to mean. One is 木条都不知下落了. Originally, I read this as “wooden slats scattered here and there”, or literally “wooden slats fallen down in who knows how many places”. But thanks to my Chinese friend Anna, I learned that 下落, in this case, doesn’t mean “fall down”. It means “where is it?” (the same as 在哪儿). So 不知下落 actually means “to be missing”, or “to be gone to who knows where”.
Another phrase I should note is 数目远远大于实际需要, “an amount (数目) far (远远) greater (大于) than actually (实际) needed (需要)”. 大于 was a new word for me, and I didn’t know that 远远 – meaning “far away” – can also sometimes be used the same way in Chinese as in English, to mean “very” (example: far above the normal amount).
Click to Listen
狭窄 – xiá zhǎi – Narrow
穹顶 – qióng dǐng – Domed / vaulted roof
尖塔 – jiān tǎ – Minaret
灰蒙蒙 – huī mēng mēng – Dusky
戳 – chuō – poke, stab
矗立 – chù lì – To tower (of buildings)
孤零零 – gū líng líng – Solitary
山丘 – shān qiū – Hill
光秃秃 – guāng tū tū – Bare, bald
杂草 – zá cǎo – Weeds
掩埋 – yǎn mái – Bury
如果谁在夏天的时候走近这栋房子，就会发现这里奇特现象：房子周围为数不多的那几棵树都是光秃秃的。 树枝如同黝黑的手臂， 高高地指向天空。
这块地被低矮的木栅栏圈在当中， 有几处已经被人损坏， 木条都不知下落了。 甚至， 有的地方已经完全被杂草所掩埋。