My Italian word of the day: ad

My Italian word of the day: ad

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 del sole insino a sera, a sedermi sull’erba sotto questi immensi castagni ad . . .


___________

Today’s new word

ad (preposition: 'a' before a vowel) = in, to, at, by


___________

Example of use in a sentence

Da fine luglio ad agosto solitamente si trovano individui giovani.

      =

Young individuals are usually found from late July to August.


___________

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 this is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the fields, alone! all alone! understand? from sunrise till evening, to sit on the grass under these immense chestnut trees, to . . .


______

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: castagni


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: castagni

My Italian word of the day: castagni

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 del sole insino a sera, a sedermi sull’erba sotto questi immensi castagni . . .


___________

Today’s new word

castagni (noun: masculine, plural) = chestnut trees, chestnuts


___________

Example of use in a sentence

Un fiume fluisce tra lussureggianti castagni su una tranquilla notte di primavera.

      =

A river flows among lush chestnut trees on a quiet spring night.


___________

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 this is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the fields, alone! all alone! understand? from sunrise till evening, to sit on the grass under these immense chestnut trees . . .


______

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: immensi


Next Italian Word of the Day: ad

___________

 

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: immensi

My Italian word of the day: immensi

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 del sole insino a sera, a sedermi sull’erba sotto questi immensi . . .


___________

Today’s new word

immensi (adjective: masculine, plural) = huge, enormous, gigantic, immense


___________

Example of use in a sentence

Il Parco Nazionale dello Tsavo Est è famoso per gli immensi branchi di elefanti.

      =

Tsavo East National Park is famous for its huge herds of elephants.


___________

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 this is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the fields, alone! all alone! understand? from sunrise till evening, to sit on the grass under these immense . . .


______

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: questi


Next Italian Word of the Day: castagni

___________

 

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: questi

My Italian word of the day: questi

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 del sole insino a sera, a sedermi sull’erba sotto questi . . .


___________

Today’s new word

questi (adjective: masculine, plural) = these


___________

Example of use in a sentence

Incontra gli animali, per imparare a conoscere questi animali socievoli e intelligenti.

      =

Meet the animals, to learn about these sociable and intelligent animals..


___________

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 this is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the fields, alone! all alone! understand? from sunrise till evening, to sit on the grass under these . . .


______

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: erba


Next Italian Word of the Day: immensi

___________

 

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: erba

My Italian word of the day: erba

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 del sole insino a sera, a sedermi sull’erba . . .


___________

Today’s new word

erba (noun: feminine, singular) = grass


___________

Example of use in a sentence

La sua alimentazione varia a seconda delle stagioni: in autunno-inverno si ciba di fieno e in primavera-estate dell’erba dei prati.

      =

Its diet varies according to the seasons: in autumn and winter it feeds on hay and in spring and summer on meadow grass.


___________

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 this is how I keep my promise! In the twenty days that I have been here, running through the fields, alone! all alone! understand? from sunrise till evening, to sit on the grass . . .


______

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.


___________

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___________

My Italian word of the day: sull'

My Italian word of the day: sull'

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 del sole insino a sera, a sedermi sull’ . . .


___________

Today’s new word

sull’ (preposition + masculine or feminine definite article before a vowel) = on the


___________

A little bit of grammar

Articulated Prepositions (le preposizioni articolate) – ‘su

We’ve learned about prepositions like ‘ a ’ ; ‘ di ’ ; and ‘ da ’ , but we’ve also been seeing others such as: ‘ al ’ ; ‘ del ’ ; and ‘ dal ’. Are these the same prepositions and, if so, do we know when to use them?

These prepositions are called articulated prepositions and they are formed when the simple preposition (such as ‘ su ’ ) combines with a definite article (such as ‘ lo ’ ) to form one word, in this case ‘ sullo ’ ).

The preposition ‘ su ’ in combination with the definite article

The definite article combines with ‘ su ’ to form a single word meaning ‘ on the ’ .

Masculine singular
sul su + il before masculine singular nouns that start with a consonant
sullo su + lo before masculine singular nouns that start with a s + consonant; z; y; ps; pn; gn
sull’ su + l’ before masculine singular nouns that start with a vowel
Feminine singular
sulla su + la before feminine singular nouns that start with a consonant
sull’ su + l’ before feminine singular nouns that start with a vowel
Masculine plural
sui su + i before masculine plural nouns that start with a consonant
sugli su + gli before masculine plural nouns that start with a vowel or s + consonant; z; y; ps; pn; gn
Feminine plural
sulle su + le before feminine plural nouns that start with a consonant or a vowel

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            
su sul sullo sull’ sulla sui sugli sulle


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Example of use in a sentence

Mi sento come un naufrago approdato sull’isola dell’amore.

      =

I feel like a shipwreck washed up on the island of love.


___________

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 sunrise till evening, to sit down on 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.


___________

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___________

My Italian word of the day: sedermi

My Italian word of the day: sedermi

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 del sole insino a sera, a sedermi . . .


___________

Today’s new word

sedermi (verb: intransitive, reflexive) = to sit (me) down


___________

Example of use in a sentence

La sera amo sedermi sul divano, bere una tisana e leggere una rivista.

      =

In the evening I love to sit down on the couch, drink a herbal tea and read a magazine.


___________

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 sunrise till evening, to sit down . . .


______

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: sera


Next Italian Word of the Day: sull’

___________

 

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:




___________