Learn Italian from Pinocchio: chapter 1, part 8

In this post, you will look at the Italian language used in the following portion of chapter 1 of Le avventure di Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi:

— si vede che quella vocina me la son figurata io. Rimettiamoci a lavorare. — E ripresa l’ascia in mano, tirò giù un solennissimo colpo sul pezzo di legno.

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 1

In the last part, you saw how the falegname tried to determine where the little voice came from. Now, he says: si vede che quella vocina me la son figurata io. The expression si vede che (it is obvious that, it is clear that, you can tell that; literally, it is seen that) is a good one to learn: si vede che ho ragione (it is clear that I am right), si vede che non lo conosci (it is obvious that you do not know him).

What does the falegname say is plain to see? He says: quella vocina me la son figurata io (I imagined the little voice). You looked at figurarsi in part 7, where you saw that it means to imagine. You will remember these examples: me lo figuravo più alto (I imagined him to be taller), me lo figuravo diverso (I imagined him to be different, I imagined it would be different).

In the text, you now have an example of figurarsi in the passato remoto: me la son figurata io. This could, of course, also be written me la sono figurata io. Because vocina is a feminine noun, you must say me la sono figurata, with figurata agreeing in gender. If the noun had been a masculine one, you would use lo and figurato instead, for example: quel problema me lo sono figurato io (I imagined that problem, that problem was in my head).

Here are more examples of this: quelle vocine me le sono figurate io (I imagined those voices), quel rumore me lo sono figurato io (I imagined that noise), quei rumori me li sono figurati io (I imagined those noises), quel rumore te lo sei figurato tu (you imagined that noise), quella vocina te la sei figurata tu (you imagined that little voice).

The expression rimettersi a lavorare means to get back to work, for example: Rimettiamoci a lavorare! (let us get back to work!), rimettiti a lavorare! (get back to work!), mi sono rimesso a lavorare (I got back to work). The stressed syllable in rimettiamoci and rimettiti is indicated here by an accent: rimettiàmoci, riméttiti.

You will remember that ascia means axe. If you wanted to say the woodworker picked the axe back up, you could say il falegname ha ripreso l’ascia in mano or il falegname riprese l’ascia in mano. The text reads like this, however: ripresa l’ascia in mano, (il falegname) tirò giù… This literally means the axe picked back up, (the woodworker) threw down… Ripreso is the past participle of the verb riprendere, used here as ripresa to agree in gender with ascia.

What did the falegname “throw down”? Tirò giù un solenissimo colpo! Solennissimo is the superlative form of solenne, meaning grand, majestic, mighty, etc. The mighty thing he “threw down” was a strike, or colpo, of his axe. The reason tirare giù (literally, to throw down) is used here is because the woodworker slams down (i.e, “throws” down) his axe on the piece of wood.

This post’s portion of text breaks down as follows: — si véde che (it is seen that) quélla vocìna (that voice) me la son figuràta ìo (I have imagined it). Rimettiàmoci a lavoràre (let us get back to work). — E riprésa l’àscia in màno (and the axe taken back in hand), tirò giù (he threw down) un solennìssimo cólpo (a mighty strike) sul pèzzo di légno (on the piece of wood).

Key Italian usages from this post include: riméttersi a lavoràre (to get back to work), riprèndere in màno (to pick back up), solènne (mighty, majestic), solennìssimo (very mighty, very majestic), un cólpo (strike), tiràre giù un cólpo (to slam down a strike).