Learn Italian from Pinocchio: chapter 3, part 6

Pinocchio now has hair, a forehead, eyes and a nose; in this next part, he gets a mouth. This post continues your study of chapter 3 of Le avventure di Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. You will look at the Italian appearing in the following portion of text:

Dopo il naso gli fece la bocca. La bocca non era ancora finita di fare, che cominciò subito a ridere e a canzonarlo. — Smetti di ridere! — disse Geppetto impermalito; ma fu come dire al muro. — Smetti di ridere, ti ripeto! — urlò con voce minacciosa. Allora la bocca smesse di ridere, ma cacciò fuori tutta la lingua.

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 3

By now, you have become accustomed to the following wording:

Gli fece i capelli.
He made his hair.
He made hair for him.

Gli fece la fronte.
He made his forehead.
He made a forehead for him.

Gli fece gli occhi.
He made his eyes.
He made eyes for him.

Gli fece il naso.
He made his nose.
He made a nose for him.

Gli fece la bocca.
He made his mouth.
He made a mouth for him.

The first sentence of this post’s portion of text should present no problems. The text continues: La bocca non era ancora finita di finire (literally, the mouth still was not finished being finished) che cominiciò subito a ridere e a canzonarlo (that it immediately began to laugh and mock him). In better style, this can be translated as: even before the mouth had been completed, it began to laugh and mock him. Canzonare means to mock, to deride.

Geppetto, impermalito (offended, upset), tells Pinocchio to stop laughing: smetti di ridere! The verb here is smettere (to stop). Learn the informal command smetti di…!, if you have not already; its use is frequent in spoken Italian:

Smetti di ridere!
Stop laughing!

Smetti di fumare!
Stop smoking!

Smetti di parlare!
Stop talking!

Getting back to impermalito (offended, upset), this adjective comes from the verb impermalire (to offend, to upset [someone]). The reflexive form impermalirsi means to become offended, to take offence, to get upset. A few examples from Treccani:

La sua mancanza di fiducia mi impermalisce.
His lack of trust offends me; upsets me.

S’è impermalito per non essere stato invitato anche lui.
He took offence; got upset that he was not also invited.

What is interesting about impermalire is the root of this verb is per male. Perhaps you will remember the expression aversene per male from part 4, which means to get upset about it. This expression appeared in the sentence: Geppetto, vedendosi guardare da quei due occhi di legno, se n’ebbe quasi per male (…), where se n’ebbe quasi per male means he almost got upset about it.

Geppetto may have told Pinocchio to stop laughing, but it was like talking to the wall: fu come dire al muro (literally, it was like saying to the wall). He repeats himself: Smetti di ridere, ti ripeto! (Stop laughing, I repeat to you!). He yelled this in a threatening voice: urlò con voce minacciosa. Urlare means to yell, and minaccioso means menacing, threatening.

I shall end this post with a look at the entire last sentence of this post’s portion of text: Allora la bocca smesse di ridere (so the mouth stopped laughing), ma cacciò fuori tutta la lingua (but it stuck its tongue all the way out). Smettere di ridere means to stop laughing; smesse is the third-person singular, passato remoto conjugation of the verb smettere (to stop). If you wanted to say this using the passato prossimo instead, you would say ha smesso di ridere (he stopped laughing).

Smetti di ridere!
Stop laughing!

Ha smesso di ridere.
Smesse di ridere.

He stopped laughing.

The expression cacciar fuori la lingua means to stick out one’s tongue. Cacciar fuori or cacciare fuori means to pull out, to stick out.

Ha cacciato fuori un coltello.
He pulled out a knife.

Caccia fuori i soldi!
Pay up! (literally, pull out the money!)

The expression to stick out one’s tongue is also said as tirar fuori la lingua, where tirar fuori also means to pull out. Using the formal form, a doctor might say to his patient: tiri fuori la lingua! (stick out your tongue!). The informal form is tira fuori la lingua!

This post’s portion of text can be understood as follows: Dópo il nàso gli féce la bócca (after his nose, he made him his mouth). La bócca non èra ancóra finìta di fàre (the mouth had still not been completed), che cominciò sùbito a rìdere e a canzonàrlo (when it started to laugh and to mock him). — Smétti di rìdere (stop laughing)! — dìsse Geppétto impermalìto (said Geppetto, upset); ma fu cóme dìre al mùro (but it was like talking to the wall). — Smétti di rìdere (stop laughing), ti ripèto (I repeat to you)! — urlò con vóce minacciósa (he yelled in a threatening voice). Allóra la bócca smésse di rìdere (the mouth then stopped laughing), ma cacciò fuòri tùtta la lìngua (but it stuck its tongue all the way out).

Key usages from this post include: la bócca (mouth), canzonàre (to mock), sméttere (to stop), impermalìre (to offend, to upset), s’impermalìre (to take offence, to get upset), impermalìto (offended, upset), la mancànza (lack), la fidùcia (trust), invitàre (to invite), avérsene per màle (to get upset about it), ripètere (to repeat), urlàre (to yell), la vóce (voice), minaccióso (threatening), cacciàr fuòri (to pull out, to stick out), tiràr fuòri (to pull out, to stick out), la lìngua (tongue), i sòldi (money), il coltèllo (knife).