My Italian word of the day: spuntar

My Italian word of the day: spuntar

I have set myself the challenge of translating ‘Storia di una Capinera’ by Giovanni Verga into English at the rate of one word a day.


Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; . . .







___________

The story so far

(Original text)

Storia di una capinera

Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; si rifuggiava in un angolo della sua gabbia, e allorché udiva il canto allegro degli altri uccelletti che cinguettavano sul verde del prato o nell’azzurro del cielo, li seguiva con uno sguardo che avrebbe potuto dirsi pieno di lagrime. Ma non osava ribellarsi, non osava tentare di rompere il fil di ferro che la teneva carcerata, la povera prigioniera. Eppure i suoi custodi, le volevano bene, cari bambini che si trastullavano col suo dolore e le pagavano la sua malinconia con miche di pane e con parole gentili. La povera capinera cercava rassegnarsi, la meschinella; non era cattiva; non voleva rimproverarli neanche col suo dolore, poiché tentava di beccare tristamente quel miglio e quelle miche di pane; ma non poteva inghiottirle. Dopo due giorni chinò la testa sotto l’ala e l’indomani fu trovata stecchita nella sua prigione.

Era morta, povera capinera! Eppure il suo scodellino era pieno. Era morta perché in quel corpicino c’era qualche cosa che non si nutriva soltanto di miglio, e che soffriva qualche cosa oltre la fame e la sete.

Allorché la madre dei due bimbi, innocenti e spietati carnefici del povero uccelletto, mi narrò la storia di un’infelice di cui mura del chiostro avevano imprigionato il corpo, e la superstizione e l’amore avevano torturato lo spirito: una di quelle intime storie, che passano inosservate tutti i giorni, storia di un cuore tenero, timido, che aveva amato e pianto e pregato senza osare di far scorgere le sue lagrime o di far sentire la sua preghiera; che infine si era chiuso nel suo dolore ed era morto; io pensai alla povera capinera che guardava il cielo attraverso le gretole della prigione; che non cantava; che beccava tristamente il suo miglio; che aveva piegato la testolina sotto l’ala ed era morta.

Ecco perché l’ho intitolata: Storia di una capinera.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

Mia cara Marianna.
Avevo promesso di scriverti ed ecco come tengo la mia promessa! In venti giorni che son qui, a correr pei campi, sola! tutta sola! intendi? dallo spuntar . . .


___________

Today’s new word

spuntar (noun: masculine, singular) = beginning, start, break, emergence


___________

Example of use in a sentence

Dallo spuntar d’una pianta da una muraglia.

      =

By the emergence of a plant from a wall.


___________

My Translation

Story of a blackcap

By Giovanni Verga
(translated by Eddie Bosticco)

I had seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: shy, sad and sickly, she watched us with terrified eyes. She cowered in the corner of her cage and on hearing the joyful singing of the other small birds in the green meadow and in the blue sky, her gaze followed the sound with an expression that one would say was full of tears. But she dared not rebel, she dared not try to break the iron wire that held her captive, the poor prisoner. And yet her wardens, dear children, loved her. They amused themselves with her suffering and rewarded her for her distress with crumbs of bread and kind words. The poor blackcap was trying to adapt, pathetic little wretch; she was not bad; she did not want to reproach them not even with her distress, after all she was desperately trying to peck at the millet and the bread crumbs, but she could not to swallow them. After two days she tucked her head under her wing and the following day she was found cold and stiff in her prison.

She was dead! Poor little blackcap! Yet, her little bowl was full. She was dead because there was something in that tiny body that did not feed on millet alone, and that was suffering something more than hunger and thirst.

When the mother of the two children, the innocent and cruel torturers of the poor little bird, told me the story of an unfortunate whose body had been imprisoned by cloister walls and whose spirit had been tortured by superstition and love: one of those personal dramas that take place, unobserved, every day; the story of a tender, timid heart that had loved and cried and prayed without daring to let her tears be seen or her prayer be heard; and that; finally; she had locked herself in her suffering and had died; I thought of the poor blackcap that was staring up at the sky through the bars of her prison; that was not singing; that was sadly pecking at her millet; that had folded her little head under her wing and was dead.

That is why I have called this book: Story of a blackcap.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

My dear Marianna,

I promised to write to you and here is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the fields, alone! all alone! understand? from the emergence . . .


______

Maria, who had been in a convent since she was seven when her mother died, is now in Monte Ilice with her father, stepmother and stepbrothers, because a cholera epidemic in Catania has forced her to leave that convent. The story opens with a letter from Maria, now nineteen, to her friend and fellow novitiate, Marianna.


___________

Translator’s Notes

The current sentence is long and obscure when translated word by word (and word for word). It will become clearer as more words are translated and rearranged into a more recognizable English structure.


___________

Navigation



Previous Italian Word of the Day: dallo


Next Italian Word of the Day: storia

___________

 

If you would like to follow this story from the first word, please click here:



 

If you would like to take a peep at the vocabulary so far, please click here:




___________

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My Italian word of the day: dallo

My Italian word of the day: dallo

I have set myself the challenge of translating ‘Storia di una Capinera’ by Giovanni Verga into English at the rate of one word a day.


Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; . . .







___________

The story so far

(Original text)

Storia di una capinera

Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; si rifuggiava in un angolo della sua gabbia, e allorché udiva il canto allegro degli altri uccelletti che cinguettavano sul verde del prato o nell’azzurro del cielo, li seguiva con uno sguardo che avrebbe potuto dirsi pieno di lagrime. Ma non osava ribellarsi, non osava tentare di rompere il fil di ferro che la teneva carcerata, la povera prigioniera. Eppure i suoi custodi, le volevano bene, cari bambini che si trastullavano col suo dolore e le pagavano la sua malinconia con miche di pane e con parole gentili. La povera capinera cercava rassegnarsi, la meschinella; non era cattiva; non voleva rimproverarli neanche col suo dolore, poiché tentava di beccare tristamente quel miglio e quelle miche di pane; ma non poteva inghiottirle. Dopo due giorni chinò la testa sotto l’ala e l’indomani fu trovata stecchita nella sua prigione.

Era morta, povera capinera! Eppure il suo scodellino era pieno. Era morta perché in quel corpicino c’era qualche cosa che non si nutriva soltanto di miglio, e che soffriva qualche cosa oltre la fame e la sete.

Allorché la madre dei due bimbi, innocenti e spietati carnefici del povero uccelletto, mi narrò la storia di un’infelice di cui mura del chiostro avevano imprigionato il corpo, e la superstizione e l’amore avevano torturato lo spirito: una di quelle intime storie, che passano inosservate tutti i giorni, storia di un cuore tenero, timido, che aveva amato e pianto e pregato senza osare di far scorgere le sue lagrime o di far sentire la sua preghiera; che infine si era chiuso nel suo dolore ed era morto; io pensai alla povera capinera che guardava il cielo attraverso le gretole della prigione; che non cantava; che beccava tristamente il suo miglio; che aveva piegato la testolina sotto l’ala ed era morta.

Ecco perché l’ho intitolata: Storia di una capinera.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

Mia cara Marianna.
Avevo promesso di scriverti ed ecco come tengo la mia promessa! In venti giorni che son qui, a correr pei campi, sola! tutta sola! intendi? dallo . . .


___________

Today’s new word

dallo (preposition + definite article: masculine, singular) = from the, by the


___________

A little bit of grammar

Articulated Prepositions (le preposizioni articolate)

You’ve learned about prepositions like ‘a‘, ‘di‘, and ‘da‘, but you’ve also seen some that look like ‘al‘, ‘del‘, and ‘dal‘. Are these the same prepositions, and if so, how do you know when to use them?

These prepositions are called articulated prepositions, and they are formed when the simple preposition (like ‘su‘) combines with a definite article (like ‘lo‘), and form one word that looks like, ‘sullo‘.

___________

 

The preposition ‘da‘ in combination with the definite article

The definite article combines with ‘da‘ to form a single word meaning ‘to the, in the, at the, from the, of the, for the’.

masculine singular:

    dal     (da + il)    before nouns that start with a consonant.

    dallo  (da + lo)   before nouns that start with a s + consonant, z, y, ps, pn, gn.

    dall’  (da + l’)    before nouns that start with a vowel.

feminine singular:

    dalla  (da + la)   before nouns that start with a consonant.

    dall’  (da + l’)    before nouns that start with a vowel.

masculine plural:

    dai     (da + i)     before nouns that start with a consonant.

    dagli  (da + gli)  before nouns that start with a s + consonant, z, y, ps, pn, gn.

feminine plural:

    dalle  (da + le)   before nouns that start with a vowel or a consonant.

Here are the articulated prepositions we have met to date:

Articulated Prepositions
il lo l’ la i gli le
a al allo all’ alla ai agli alle
da dal dallo dall’ dalla dai dagli dalle
di del dello dell’ della dei degli delle
in nel nello nell’ nella nei negli nelle
per                         pei            


___________

Example of use in a sentence

I nostri bambini, accolti dallo staff del Torino Academy, hanno potuto sfilare accompagnati da Teodoro Coppola, responsabile del progetto Torino Academy, prima dell’incontro di campionato Torino-Cagliari.

      =

Our children, welcomed by the staff of the Torino Academy, were able to parade accompanied by Teodoro Coppola, head of the Torino Academy project, before the Torino-Cagliari championship match.


___________

My Translation

Story of a blackcap

By Giovanni Verga
(translated by Eddie Bosticco)

I had seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: shy, sad and sickly, she watched us with terrified eyes. She cowered in the corner of her cage and on hearing the joyful singing of the other small birds in the green meadow and in the blue sky, her gaze followed the sound with an expression that one would say was full of tears. But she dared not rebel, she dared not try to break the iron wire that held her captive, the poor prisoner. And yet her wardens, dear children, loved her. They amused themselves with her suffering and rewarded her for her distress with crumbs of bread and kind words. The poor blackcap was trying to adapt, pathetic little wretch; she was not bad; she did not want to reproach them not even with her distress, after all she was desperately trying to peck at the millet and the bread crumbs, but she could not to swallow them. After two days she tucked her head under her wing and the following day she was found cold and stiff in her prison.

She was dead! Poor little blackcap! Yet, her little bowl was full. She was dead because there was something in that tiny body that did not feed on millet alone, and that was suffering something more than hunger and thirst.

When the mother of the two children, the innocent and cruel torturers of the poor little bird, told me the story of an unfortunate whose body had been imprisoned by cloister walls and whose spirit had been tortured by superstition and love: one of those personal dramas that take place, unobserved, every day; the story of a tender, timid heart that had loved and cried and prayed without daring to let her tears be seen or her prayer be heard; and that; finally; she had locked herself in her suffering and had died; I thought of the poor blackcap that was staring up at the sky through the bars of her prison; that was not singing; that was sadly pecking at her millet; that had folded her little head under her wing and was dead.

That is why I have called this book: Story of a blackcap.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

My dear Marianna,

I promised to write to you and here is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the fields, alone! all alone! understand? from the . . .


______

Maria, who had been in a convent since she was seven when her mother died, is now in Monte Ilice with her father, stepmother and stepbrothers, because a cholera epidemic in Catania has forced her to leave that convent. The story opens with a letter from Maria, now nineteen, to her friend and fellow novitiate, Marianna.


___________

Translator’s Notes

The current sentence is long and obscure when translated word by word (and word for word). It will become clearer as more words are translated and rearranged into a more recognizable English structure.


___________

Navigation



Previous Italian Word of the Day: intendi?


Next Italian Word of the Day: spuntar

___________

 

If you would like to follow this story from the first word, please click here:



 

If you would like to take a peep at the vocabulary so far, please click here:




___________

My Italian word of the day: intendi?

My Italian word of the day: intendi?

I have set myself the challenge of translating ‘Storia di una Capinera’ by Giovanni Verga into English at the rate of one word a day.


Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; . . .







___________

The story so far

(Original text)

Storia di una capinera

Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; si rifuggiava in un angolo della sua gabbia, e allorché udiva il canto allegro degli altri uccelletti che cinguettavano sul verde del prato o nell’azzurro del cielo, li seguiva con uno sguardo che avrebbe potuto dirsi pieno di lagrime. Ma non osava ribellarsi, non osava tentare di rompere il fil di ferro che la teneva carcerata, la povera prigioniera. Eppure i suoi custodi, le volevano bene, cari bambini che si trastullavano col suo dolore e le pagavano la sua malinconia con miche di pane e con parole gentili. La povera capinera cercava rassegnarsi, la meschinella; non era cattiva; non voleva rimproverarli neanche col suo dolore, poiché tentava di beccare tristamente quel miglio e quelle miche di pane; ma non poteva inghiottirle. Dopo due giorni chinò la testa sotto l’ala e l’indomani fu trovata stecchita nella sua prigione.

Era morta, povera capinera! Eppure il suo scodellino era pieno. Era morta perché in quel corpicino c’era qualche cosa che non si nutriva soltanto di miglio, e che soffriva qualche cosa oltre la fame e la sete.

Allorché la madre dei due bimbi, innocenti e spietati carnefici del povero uccelletto, mi narrò la storia di un’infelice di cui mura del chiostro avevano imprigionato il corpo, e la superstizione e l’amore avevano torturato lo spirito: una di quelle intime storie, che passano inosservate tutti i giorni, storia di un cuore tenero, timido, che aveva amato e pianto e pregato senza osare di far scorgere le sue lagrime o di far sentire la sua preghiera; che infine si era chiuso nel suo dolore ed era morto; io pensai alla povera capinera che guardava il cielo attraverso le gretole della prigione; che non cantava; che beccava tristamente il suo miglio; che aveva piegato la testolina sotto l’ala ed era morta.

Ecco perché l’ho intitolata: Storia di una capinera.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

Mia cara Marianna.
Avevo promesso di scriverti ed ecco come tengo la mia promessa! In venti giorni che son qui, a correr pei campi, sola! tutta sola! intendi? . . .


___________

Today’s new word

intendi? (verb: 2nd person singular, interrogative) = (do you) understand? (do you) see? (do you) get it?


___________

Example of use in a sentence

Te sola ho amata nella vita; amo te sola. Intendi?

      =

You alone I have loved in life; I love you alone. Understand?


___________

My Translation

Story of a blackcap

By Giovanni Verga
(translated by Eddie Bosticco)

I had seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: shy, sad and sickly, she watched us with terrified eyes. She cowered in the corner of her cage and on hearing the joyful singing of the other small birds in the green meadow and in the blue sky, her gaze followed the sound with an expression that one would say was full of tears. But she dared not rebel, she dared not try to break the iron wire that held her captive, the poor prisoner. And yet her wardens, dear children, loved her. They amused themselves with her suffering and rewarded her for her distress with crumbs of bread and kind words. The poor blackcap was trying to adapt, pathetic little wretch; she was not bad; she did not want to reproach them not even with her distress, after all she was desperately trying to peck at the millet and the bread crumbs, but she could not to swallow them. After two days she tucked her head under her wing and the following day she was found cold and stiff in her prison.

She was dead! Poor little blackcap! Yet, her little bowl was full. She was dead because there was something in that tiny body that did not feed on millet alone, and that was suffering something more than hunger and thirst.

When the mother of the two children, the innocent and cruel torturers of the poor little bird, told me the story of an unfortunate whose body had been imprisoned by cloister walls and whose spirit had been tortured by superstition and love: one of those personal dramas that take place, unobserved, every day; the story of a tender, timid heart that had loved and cried and prayed without daring to let her tears be seen or her prayer be heard; and that; finally; she had locked herself in her suffering and had died; I thought of the poor blackcap that was staring up at the sky through the bars of her prison; that was not singing; that was sadly pecking at her millet; that had folded her little head under her wing and was dead.

That is why I have called this book: Story of a blackcap.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

My dear Marianna,

I promised to write to you and here is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the fields, alone! all alone! understand? . . .


______

Maria, who had been in a convent since she was seven when her mother died, is now in Monte Ilice with her father, stepmother and stepbrothers, because a cholera epidemic in Catania has forced her to leave that convent. The story opens with a letter from Maria, now nineteen, to her friend and fellow novitiate, Marianna.


___________

Navigation



Previous Italian Word of the Day: tutta


Next Italian Word of the Day: dallo

___________

 

If you would like to follow this story from the first word, please click here:



 

If you would like to take a peep at the vocabulary so far, please click here:




___________

My Italian word of the day: tutta

My Italian word of the day: tutta

I have set myself the challenge of translating ‘Storia di una Capinera’ by Giovanni Verga into English at the rate of one word a day.


Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; . . .







___________

The story so far

(Original text)

Storia di una capinera

Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; si rifuggiava in un angolo della sua gabbia, e allorché udiva il canto allegro degli altri uccelletti che cinguettavano sul verde del prato o nell’azzurro del cielo, li seguiva con uno sguardo che avrebbe potuto dirsi pieno di lagrime. Ma non osava ribellarsi, non osava tentare di rompere il fil di ferro che la teneva carcerata, la povera prigioniera. Eppure i suoi custodi, le volevano bene, cari bambini che si trastullavano col suo dolore e le pagavano la sua malinconia con miche di pane e con parole gentili. La povera capinera cercava rassegnarsi, la meschinella; non era cattiva; non voleva rimproverarli neanche col suo dolore, poiché tentava di beccare tristamente quel miglio e quelle miche di pane; ma non poteva inghiottirle. Dopo due giorni chinò la testa sotto l’ala e l’indomani fu trovata stecchita nella sua prigione.

Era morta, povera capinera! Eppure il suo scodellino era pieno. Era morta perché in quel corpicino c’era qualche cosa che non si nutriva soltanto di miglio, e che soffriva qualche cosa oltre la fame e la sete.

Allorché la madre dei due bimbi, innocenti e spietati carnefici del povero uccelletto, mi narrò la storia di un’infelice di cui mura del chiostro avevano imprigionato il corpo, e la superstizione e l’amore avevano torturato lo spirito: una di quelle intime storie, che passano inosservate tutti i giorni, storia di un cuore tenero, timido, che aveva amato e pianto e pregato senza osare di far scorgere le sue lagrime o di far sentire la sua preghiera; che infine si era chiuso nel suo dolore ed era morto; io pensai alla povera capinera che guardava il cielo attraverso le gretole della prigione; che non cantava; che beccava tristamente il suo miglio; che aveva piegato la testolina sotto l’ala ed era morta.

Ecco perché l’ho intitolata: Storia di una capinera.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

Mia cara Marianna.
Avevo promesso di scriverti ed ecco come tengo la mia promessa! In venti giorni che son qui, a correr pei campi, sola! tutta . . .


___________

Today’s new word

tutta (adjective: feminine, singular) = all


___________

A little bit of grammar

Adjectives (gli aggettivi)

An adjective describes a noun or pronoun. The adjective has to match in gender (masculine/feminine) and number (singular/plural) the nouns or pronouns it describes.

In dictionaries adjectives are listed in their masculine singular form.

There are two main groups of regular adjectives. These have masculine singular endings in –o and in –e. There is also a small group whose masculine singular ends in –a.


___________

Example of use in a sentence

Si sono presentati giovani da tutta Italia e le selezioni sono state davvero dure.

      =

Young people came from all (over) Italy and the selections were really tough.


___________

My Translation

Story of a blackcap

By Giovanni Verga
(translated by Eddie Bosticco)

I had seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: shy, sad and sickly, she watched us with terrified eyes. She cowered in the corner of her cage and on hearing the joyful singing of the other small birds in the green meadow and in the blue sky, her gaze followed the sound with an expression that one would say was full of tears. But she dared not rebel, she dared not try to break the iron wire that held her captive, the poor prisoner. And yet her wardens, dear children, loved her. They amused themselves with her suffering and rewarded her for her distress with crumbs of bread and kind words. The poor blackcap was trying to adapt, pathetic little wretch; she was not bad; she did not want to reproach them not even with her distress, after all she was desperately trying to peck at the millet and the bread crumbs, but she could not to swallow them. After two days she tucked her head under her wing and the following day she was found cold and stiff in her prison.

She was dead! Poor little blackcap! Yet, her little bowl was full. She was dead because there was something in that tiny body that did not feed on millet alone, and that was suffering something more than hunger and thirst.

When the mother of the two children, the innocent and cruel torturers of the poor little bird, told me the story of an unfortunate whose body had been imprisoned by cloister walls and whose spirit had been tortured by superstition and love: one of those personal dramas that take place, unobserved, every day; the story of a tender, timid heart that had loved and cried and prayed without daring to let her tears be seen or her prayer be heard; and that; finally; she had locked herself in her suffering and had died; I thought of the poor blackcap that was staring up at the sky through the bars of her prison; that was not singing; that was sadly pecking at her millet; that had folded her little head under her wing and was dead.

That is why I have called this book: Story of a blackcap.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

My dear Marianna,

I promised to write to you and here is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the fields, alone ! all . . .


______

Maria, who had been in a convent since she was seven when her mother died, is now in Monte Ilice with her father, stepmother and stepbrothers, because a cholera epidemic in Catania has forced her to leave that convent. The story opens with a letter from Maria, now nineteen, to her friend and fellow novitiate, Marianna.


___________

Navigation



Previous Italian Word of the Day: sola


Next Italian Word of the Day: intendi

___________

 

If you would like to follow this story from the first word, please click here:



 

If you would like to take a peep at the vocabulary so far, please click here:




___________

My Italian word of the day: sola

My Italian word of the day: sola

I have set myself the challenge of translating ‘Storia di una Capinera’ by Giovanni Verga into English at the rate of one word a day.


Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; . . .







___________

The story so far

(Original text)

Storia di una capinera

Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; si rifuggiava in un angolo della sua gabbia, e allorché udiva il canto allegro degli altri uccelletti che cinguettavano sul verde del prato o nell’azzurro del cielo, li seguiva con uno sguardo che avrebbe potuto dirsi pieno di lagrime. Ma non osava ribellarsi, non osava tentare di rompere il fil di ferro che la teneva carcerata, la povera prigioniera. Eppure i suoi custodi, le volevano bene, cari bambini che si trastullavano col suo dolore e le pagavano la sua malinconia con miche di pane e con parole gentili. La povera capinera cercava rassegnarsi, la meschinella; non era cattiva; non voleva rimproverarli neanche col suo dolore, poiché tentava di beccare tristamente quel miglio e quelle miche di pane; ma non poteva inghiottirle. Dopo due giorni chinò la testa sotto l’ala e l’indomani fu trovata stecchita nella sua prigione.

Era morta, povera capinera! Eppure il suo scodellino era pieno. Era morta perché in quel corpicino c’era qualche cosa che non si nutriva soltanto di miglio, e che soffriva qualche cosa oltre la fame e la sete.

Allorché la madre dei due bimbi, innocenti e spietati carnefici del povero uccelletto, mi narrò la storia di un’infelice di cui mura del chiostro avevano imprigionato il corpo, e la superstizione e l’amore avevano torturato lo spirito: una di quelle intime storie, che passano inosservate tutti i giorni, storia di un cuore tenero, timido, che aveva amato e pianto e pregato senza osare di far scorgere le sue lagrime o di far sentire la sua preghiera; che infine si era chiuso nel suo dolore ed era morto; io pensai alla povera capinera che guardava il cielo attraverso le gretole della prigione; che non cantava; che beccava tristamente il suo miglio; che aveva piegato la testolina sotto l’ala ed era morta.

Ecco perché l’ho intitolata: Storia di una capinera.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

Mia cara Marianna.
Avevo promesso di scriverti ed ecco come tengo la mia promessa! In venti giorni che son qui, a correr pei campi, sola! . . .


___________

Today’s new word

sola (adjective: feminine, singular) = alone


___________


___________

Example of use in a sentence

Una ragazza sola che percorre la sua strada.

      =

A girl alone she travels her road.


___________

My Translation

Story of a blackcap

By Giovanni Verga
(translated by Eddie Bosticco)

I had seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: shy, sad and sickly, she watched us with terrified eyes. She cowered in the corner of her cage and on hearing the joyful singing of the other small birds in the green meadow and in the blue sky, her gaze followed the sound with an expression that one would say was full of tears. But she dared not rebel, she dared not try to break the iron wire that held her captive, the poor prisoner. And yet her wardens, dear children, loved her. They amused themselves with her suffering and rewarded her for her distress with crumbs of bread and kind words. The poor blackcap was trying to adapt, pathetic little wretch; she was not bad; she did not want to reproach them not even with her distress, after all she was desperately trying to peck at the millet and the bread crumbs, but she could not to swallow them. After two days she tucked her head under her wing and the following day she was found cold and stiff in her prison.

She was dead! Poor little blackcap! Yet, her little bowl was full. She was dead because there was something in that tiny body that did not feed on millet alone, and that was suffering something more than hunger and thirst.

When the mother of the two children, the innocent and cruel torturers of the poor little bird, told me the story of an unfortunate whose body had been imprisoned by cloister walls and whose spirit had been tortured by superstition and love: one of those personal dramas that take place, unobserved, every day; the story of a tender, timid heart that had loved and cried and prayed without daring to let her tears be seen or her prayer be heard; and that; finally; she had locked herself in her suffering and had died; I thought of the poor blackcap that was staring up at the sky through the bars of her prison; that was not singing; that was sadly pecking at her millet; that had folded her little head under her wing and was dead.

That is why I have called this book: Story of a blackcap.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

My dear Marianna,

I promised to write to you and here is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the fields, alone! . . .


______

Maria, who had been in a convent since she was seven when her mother died, is now in Monte Ilice with her father, stepmother and stepbrothers, because a cholera epidemic in Catania has forced her to leave that convent. The story opens with a letter from Maria, now nineteen, to her friend and fellow novitiate, Marianna.


___________

Navigation



Previous Italian Word of the Day: campi


Next Italian Word of the Day: tutta

___________

 

If you would like to follow this story from the first word, please click here:



 

If you would like to take a peep at the vocabulary so far, please click here:




___________

My Italian word of the day: campi

My Italian word of the day: campi

I have set myself the challenge of translating ‘Storia di una Capinera’ by Giovanni Verga into English at the rate of one word a day.


Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; . . .







___________

The story so far

(Original text)

Storia di una capinera

Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; si rifuggiava in un angolo della sua gabbia, e allorché udiva il canto allegro degli altri uccelletti che cinguettavano sul verde del prato o nell’azzurro del cielo, li seguiva con uno sguardo che avrebbe potuto dirsi pieno di lagrime. Ma non osava ribellarsi, non osava tentare di rompere il fil di ferro che la teneva carcerata, la povera prigioniera. Eppure i suoi custodi, le volevano bene, cari bambini che si trastullavano col suo dolore e le pagavano la sua malinconia con miche di pane e con parole gentili. La povera capinera cercava rassegnarsi, la meschinella; non era cattiva; non voleva rimproverarli neanche col suo dolore, poiché tentava di beccare tristamente quel miglio e quelle miche di pane; ma non poteva inghiottirle. Dopo due giorni chinò la testa sotto l’ala e l’indomani fu trovata stecchita nella sua prigione.

Era morta, povera capinera! Eppure il suo scodellino era pieno. Era morta perché in quel corpicino c’era qualche cosa che non si nutriva soltanto di miglio, e che soffriva qualche cosa oltre la fame e la sete.

Allorché la madre dei due bimbi, innocenti e spietati carnefici del povero uccelletto, mi narrò la storia di un’infelice di cui mura del chiostro avevano imprigionato il corpo, e la superstizione e l’amore avevano torturato lo spirito: una di quelle intime storie, che passano inosservate tutti i giorni, storia di un cuore tenero, timido, che aveva amato e pianto e pregato senza osare di far scorgere le sue lagrime o di far sentire la sua preghiera; che infine si era chiuso nel suo dolore ed era morto; io pensai alla povera capinera che guardava il cielo attraverso le gretole della prigione; che non cantava; che beccava tristamente il suo miglio; che aveva piegato la testolina sotto l’ala ed era morta.

Ecco perché l’ho intitolata: Storia di una capinera.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

Mia cara Marianna.
Avevo promesso di scriverti ed ecco come tengo la mia promessa! In venti giorni che son qui a correr pei campi . . .


___________

Today’s new word

campi (noun: masculine, plural) = fields


___________

A little bit of Grammar

Nouns (i nomi)

Most masculine nouns ending in an ‘-o‘ amend this to an ‘-i‘ to form the plural.

Most feminine nouns ending in an ‘-a‘ amend this to an ‘-e‘ to form the plural.


___________

Example of use in a sentence

Qui a luglio si celebra la Festa della Lavanda con abitanti passeggiano nei campi di lavanda.

      =

Here in July the Lavender Festival is celebrated with locals walking in the lavender fields.


___________

My Translation

Story of a blackcap

By Giovanni Verga
(translated by Eddie Bosticco)

I had seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: shy, sad and sickly, she watched us with terrified eyes. She cowered in the corner of her cage and on hearing the joyful singing of the other small birds in the green meadow and in the blue sky, her gaze followed the sound with an expression that one would say was full of tears. But she dared not rebel, she dared not try to break the iron wire that held her captive, the poor prisoner. And yet her wardens, dear children, loved her. They amused themselves with her suffering and rewarded her for her distress with crumbs of bread and kind words. The poor blackcap was trying to adapt, pathetic little wretch; she was not bad; she did not want to reproach them not even with her distress, after all she was desperately trying to peck at the millet and the bread crumbs, but she could not to swallow them. After two days she tucked her head under her wing and the following day she was found cold and stiff in her prison.

She was dead! Poor little blackcap! Yet, her little bowl was full. She was dead because there was something in that tiny body that did not feed on millet alone, and that was suffering something more than hunger and thirst.

When the mother of the two children, the innocent and cruel torturers of the poor little bird, told me the story of an unfortunate whose body had been imprisoned by cloister walls and whose spirit had been tortured by superstition and love: one of those personal dramas that take place, unobserved, every day; the story of a tender, timid heart that had loved and cried and prayed without daring to let her tears be seen or her prayer be heard; and that; finally; she had locked herself in her suffering and had died; I thought of the poor blackcap that was staring up at the sky through the bars of her prison; that was not singing; that was sadly pecking at her millet; that had folded her little head under her wing and was dead.

That is why I have called this book: Story of a blackcap.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

My dear Marianna,

I promised to write to you and here is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the fields . . .


______

Maria, who had been in a convent since she was seven when her mother died, is now in Monte Ilice with her father, stepmother and stepbrothers, because a cholera epidemic in Catania has forced her to leave that convent. The story opens with a letter from Maria, now nineteen, to her friend and fellow novitiate, Marianna.


___________

Navigation



Previous Italian Word of the Day: pei


Next Italian Word of the Day: sola

___________

 

If you would like to follow this story from the first word, please click here:



 

If you would like to take a peep at the vocabulary so far, please click here:




___________

My Italian word of the day: pei

My Italian word of the day: pei

I have set myself the challenge of translating ‘Storia di una Capinera’ by Giovanni Verga into English at the rate of one word a day.


Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; . . .







___________

The story so far

(Original text)

Storia di una capinera

Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; si rifuggiava in un angolo della sua gabbia, e allorché udiva il canto allegro degli altri uccelletti che cinguettavano sul verde del prato o nell’azzurro del cielo, li seguiva con uno sguardo che avrebbe potuto dirsi pieno di lagrime. Ma non osava ribellarsi, non osava tentare di rompere il fil di ferro che la teneva carcerata, la povera prigioniera. Eppure i suoi custodi, le volevano bene, cari bambini che si trastullavano col suo dolore e le pagavano la sua malinconia con miche di pane e con parole gentili. La povera capinera cercava rassegnarsi, la meschinella; non era cattiva; non voleva rimproverarli neanche col suo dolore, poiché tentava di beccare tristamente quel miglio e quelle miche di pane; ma non poteva inghiottirle. Dopo due giorni chinò la testa sotto l’ala e l’indomani fu trovata stecchita nella sua prigione.

Era morta, povera capinera! Eppure il suo scodellino era pieno. Era morta perché in quel corpicino c’era qualche cosa che non si nutriva soltanto di miglio, e che soffriva qualche cosa oltre la fame e la sete.

Allorché la madre dei due bimbi, innocenti e spietati carnefici del povero uccelletto, mi narrò la storia di un’infelice di cui mura del chiostro avevano imprigionato il corpo, e la superstizione e l’amore avevano torturato lo spirito: una di quelle intime storie, che passano inosservate tutti i giorni, storia di un cuore tenero, timido, che aveva amato e pianto e pregato senza osare di far scorgere le sue lagrime o di far sentire la sua preghiera; che infine si era chiuso nel suo dolore ed era morto; io pensai alla povera capinera che guardava il cielo attraverso le gretole della prigione; che non cantava; che beccava tristamente il suo miglio; che aveva piegato la testolina sotto l’ala ed era morta.

Ecco perché l’ho intitolata: Storia di una capinera.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

Mia cara Marianna.
Avevo promesso di scriverti ed ecco come tengo la mia promessa! In venti giorni che son qui a correr pei . . .


___________

Today’s new word

pei (preposition + definite article) = for the, to the, towards the, through the, on the, by the


___________

A little bit of Grammar

Articulated Prepositions (le preposizioni articolate) – ‘pei

pei‘ is made up of the preposition ‘per‘ and the article ‘i‘.

Per‘ combines, on rare occasions, with the masculine plural definite article ‘i‘. It is more often seen in literary language and in older texts.

Here are the articulated prepositions we have met to date:

Articulated Prepositions
il lo l’ la i gli le
a al allo all’ alla ai agli alle
di del dello dell’ della dei degli delle
in nel nello nell’ nella nei negli nelle
per                         pei            


___________

Example of use in a sentence

Le rogazioni erano preghiere dette in processione che si facevano in primavera, andando pei campi e auspicando la benedizione di Dio sulla semina e sul raccolto.

      =

The Rogation were prayers said in a procession that were made in the spring, going through the fields and hoping for God’s blessing on the sowing and harvest.


___________

My Translation

Story of a blackcap

By Giovanni Verga
(translated by Eddie Bosticco)

I had seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: shy, sad and sickly, she watched us with terrified eyes. She cowered in the corner of her cage and on hearing the joyful singing of the other small birds in the green meadow and in the blue sky, her gaze followed the sound with an expression that one would say was full of tears. But she dared not rebel, she dared not try to break the iron wire that held her captive, the poor prisoner. And yet her wardens, dear children, loved her. They amused themselves with her suffering and rewarded her for her distress with crumbs of bread and kind words. The poor blackcap was trying to adapt, pathetic little wretch; she was not bad; she did not want to reproach them not even with her distress, after all she was desperately trying to peck at the millet and the bread crumbs, but she could not to swallow them. After two days she tucked her head under her wing and the following day she was found cold and stiff in her prison.

She was dead! Poor little blackcap! Yet, her little bowl was full. She was dead because there was something in that tiny body that did not feed on millet alone, and that was suffering something more than hunger and thirst.

When the mother of the two children, the innocent and cruel torturers of the poor little bird, told me the story of an unfortunate whose body had been imprisoned by cloister walls and whose spirit had been tortured by superstition and love: one of those personal dramas that take place, unobserved, every day; the story of a tender, timid heart that had loved and cried and prayed without daring to let her tears be seen or her prayer be heard; and that; finally; she had locked herself in her suffering and had died; I thought of the poor blackcap that was staring up at the sky through the bars of her prison; that was not singing; that was sadly pecking at her millet; that had folded her little head under her wing and was dead.

That is why I have called this book: Story of a blackcap.


______

Monte Ilice, 3 Settembre 1854

I promised to write to you and here is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the . . .


______

Maria, who had been in a convent since she was seven when her mother died, is now in Monte Ilice with her father, stepmother and stepbrothers, because a cholera epidemic in Catania has forced her to leave that convent. The story opens with a letter from Maria, now nineteen, to her friend and fellow novitiate, Marianna.


___________

Navigation



Previous Italian Word of the Day: correr


Next Italian Word of the Day: campi

___________

 

If you would like to follow this story from the first word, please click here:



 

If you would like to take a peep at the vocabulary so far, please click here:




___________