Learn Italian from Pinocchio: chapter 2, part 6

You will now look at the following portion of text in Italian from chapter 2 of Carlo Collodi’s Le avventure di Pinocchio:

— Ho pensato di fabbricarmi da me un bel burattino di legno: ma un burattino maraviglioso, che sappia ballare, tirare di scherma e fare i salti mortali. Con questo burattino voglio girare il mondo, per buscarmi un tozzo di pane e un bicchier di vino: che ve ne pare?

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 2

This post’s section of text contains numerous usages that you have looked at before; you will have a chance to do some review.

At this point in the story, Geppetto announces his idea: ho pensato di fabbricarmi da me un bel burattino di legno.

In part 5, you looked at ways da me is used in Italian; here, you have another example. Fabbricarmi un burattino means to make myself a marionette; da me means on my own.

Remember, Pinocchio is a marionette (activated by strings), which is una marionetta in Italian. Collodi liberally uses the term un burattino instead, which in fact means puppet (activated by an inserted hand). In these posts, I translate burattino as marionette, rather than puppet, when it refers to the character of Pinocchio.

Remember to use the form bel before a singular masculine noun:

un bel burattino (a nice puppet)
un bel giorno (one fine day)
un bel posto (a nice place)

But if the noun takes the definite article gli, use the form bello instead:

un bello spettacolo (a nice show)
un bello spazio (a nice space)

Geppetto then describes what he would like his burattino to be able to do, using vocabulary you have seen before:

ballare (to dance)
tirare di scherma (to fence)
fare i salti mortali (to do somesaults)

With his burattino, Geppetto says he will travel the world: girare il mondo. The verb girare means to turn, to go around. Here a few ways you might use it in Italian:

Ho girato l’angolo.
I went around the corner.

Voglio girare l’Italia.
I want to travel around Italy.

La strada gira intorno al lago.
The street goes around the lake.

Gira la chiave.
Turn the key.

Maybe you will remember the following example; you saw it in chapter 1, part 7:

Ha girato la testa dall’altra parte.
He turned his head the other way.

The reason he plans to travel the world is so that he can earn himself something to eat: un tozzo di pane (a piece of bread; tozzo is a chunk) and un bicchier di vino (a glass of wine).

Notice the use of the verb buscare in the text. The sense of it is to go find, to obtain.

buscare da mangiare
to go find something to eat

buscarmi un tozzo di pane
to go find (myself) a piece of bread

Geppetto then asks the falegname: che ve ne pare? (what do you think?). Be sure to learn this useful expression; the informal form used in modern Italian is che te ne pare?

This post’s portion of text can be understood as follows: — Ho pensàto di fabbricàrmi da me (I thought of making myself) un bel burattìno di légno (a nice wooden marionette): ma un burattìno maraviglióso (but a marvellous marionette), che sàppia ballàre (that knows how to dance), tiràre di schérma (fence) e fàre i sàlti mortàli (and do somersaults). Con quésto burattìno (with this marionette) vòglio giràre il móndo (I want to travel the world), per buscàrmi un tòzzo di pàne (to earn myself a bit of bread) e un bicchièr di vìno (and a glass of wine): che ve ne pàre (what do you think)?

Key usages appearing in this post include: fabbricàre (to make, to create), il burattìno (puppet), la marionétta (marionette), ballàre (to dance), tiràre di schérma (to fence), fàre i sàlti mortàli (to do somersaults), giràre (to turn, to go around), il tòzzo di pàne (chunk of bread, piece of bread), il bicchièr di vìno (glass of wine), buscàre (to go find, to get), che ve ne pàre?, che te ne pàre? (what do you think?).