Italian language series: Leonardo da Vinci, fable 3

Favola 3

Il torrente

Il torrente portò tanto di terra e pietre nel suo letto, che fu po’ constretto a mutar sito.

— Leonardo da Vinci

Here is my translation of the fable:

The creek
The creek brought into its bed so much sand and stone that it was soon forced to find a new home.

For study purposes, here now is a literal translation of the fable, including accents in the Italian to show the stressed syllable of a word:

Il torrènte (the creek)
Il torrènte
(the creek) portò tànto di tèrra e piètre nel sùo lètto (brought so much earth and stones into its bed), che fu po’ constrétto (that it was soon obligated) a mutàr sìto (to change location).

Un torrente is a creek. Another term for creek is il ruscello. A river, on the other hand, is un fiume. A lake is un lago; a sea, un mare; a bay, una baia; an ocean, un oceano. These terms are pronounced as follows: torrènte, ruscèllo, fiùme, làgo, màre, bàia, ocèano.

La terra is earth, soil. A stone is una pietra. As in English, the Italian word for bed (il letto) can be used to refer to the bottom of a stream of water; example: il letto del fiume (riverbed).

The expression mutar sito means to change location, where the verb mutare means to change, to transform, and the masculine noun sito means site.

The adjective constretto as used here is a variation on the modern costretto, meaning obligated, compelled. Costretto is also the past participle of the verb costringere (pronounced costrìngere), meaning to obligate, to compel; example: mi hanno costretto a seguirli (they made me follow them, they obligated me to follow them).