Wrong to Buy

Peter Wilby – First Thoughts – New Statesman – 17-23 April 2015

The Right to Buy – allowing tenants to purchase at a discount council houses and now, under Cameron’s proposals, housing association properties – is another terrible Tory policy. For many years, almost everyone applauded Margaret Thatcher’s original scheme. Only three decades later can we see the full consequences. More than a third of ex-council homes in London are in the hands of private landlords who are, in effect, subsidised by the state through housing credits that help tenants pay the inflated rents – a supreme example of privatisation that leaves both consumers and taxpayers worse off. Private tenants have no rights even to carry on renting beyond a few months, let alone a right to buy. When you hear Tories praising the policy, agree and say you like right-to-buy so much you think it should be extended to the private sector. Then sit back while they try to explain why that wouldn’t be a good idea.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/04/tories-nutty-tax-promises-how-fallon-weaponised-trident-and-minor-cricketing-drama

My Italian word of the day: rassegnarsi

La Parola del Giorno

La Parola del Giorno

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.

Verga: Storia di una capinera (book cover)

Verga: Storia di una capinera (book cover)

Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia . . .

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The next new word in the text is ‘rassegnarsi.

My dictionary gives this as:

rassegnarsi (vi.) = to resign oneself (to something), submit

rassegnarsi is the infinitive (infinitivo)

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Here is an example:

Non riesce proprio a rassegnarsi alla decisione dell’altro.

=

He just could not submit himself to the decision of the other.

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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 . . .

My translation:

Story of a blackcap

I had seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: it was timid, sad, sickly it watched us with terrified eye, taking shelter in a corner of its cage, and when it heard the joyful song of the other small birds that were singing on the green of the meadow or in the blue of the sky, followed them with a gaze, that one would have been able to say to oneself, full of tears. But she dared not rebel, she dared not try to break the iron wire that held her imprisoned, the poor prisoner. Yet her gaolers loved her, dear children that amused themselves with her suffering and paid her for her sadness with bread crumbs and with kind words. The poor blackcap tried to resign herself . . .

an alternative:

I have seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: shy, sad and sickly, cowering in a corner of her cage, she watched us with terrified eyes and on hearing the cheerful sound of the other small birds singing on the green of the meadow or in the blue of the sky, she followed it with an expression that one could be persuaded 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 gaolers loved her, dear children that amused themselves with her suffering and paid her for her sadness with crumbs of bread and with kind words. The poor blackcap tried to resign herself . . .

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Vocabulary:

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>>> * VOCABOLARIO * <<<

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