Learn Italian from Pinocchio: chapter 5, part 6

After his meal flies out the window on him, Pinocchio has a conniption fit and regrets not having obeyed his babbo. In this post, which concludes your study of chapter 5 of Le avventure di Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, you begin with the following portion of text, the first of several:

Ciò detto, distese le ali, e, infilata la finestra che era aperta, se ne volò via a perdita d’occhio.

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 5

This portion of text begins with Pinocchio’s discovery that he would not be able to eat his egg because the contents of it flew away on him. From this line, learn the following usages: ciò détto (that said), distèndere (to extend), un’àla (wing), le àli (wings), infilàre (to slip out), la finèstra (window), apèrto (open), volàrsene vìa (to fly away), a pèrdita d’òcchio (as far as the eye could see).

You will remember from the last part of your study that the chick, or pulcino, has just popped out of the egg and said: Mille grazie, signor Pinocchio, d’avermi risparmiata la fatica di rompere il guscio! Arrivedella, stia bene e tanti saluti a casa! The use of ciò detto (that said) at the beginning of this post’s portion of text refers to these words spoken by the pulcino.

When talking about wings, the verb distendere means to extend. The past participle of this verb is disteso.

Il pulcino ha disteso le ali.
The chick spread its wings.

You will note that the plural of ala (wing) is ali. Both the singular ala and plural ali are feminine in gender.

un’ala rotta, broken wing
le ali rotte, broken wings

As for the verb infilare, when talking about doors, it means to slip out, to take off out, with the sense of being in a hurry. In the text, it is used to talk about going through a window.

infilare la porta
to slip out the door
to take off out the door

infilare la finestra
to slip out the window
to take off out the window

Infilata la porta di casa, saltò nella strada e si dette a scappare.
Once he had slipped out the front door (the house door [having been] slipped through), he jumped into the street and began to take off.

The expression volarsene via means to fly off, to fly away. The base of volarsene is, obviously, volare (to fly). The construction volarsene is similar to another one you have already encountered: andarsene (to go away).

Il pulcino se n’è andato via.
Il pulcino se n’è volato via.
The chick went away.
The chick flew away.

This first line of text breaks down as: Ciò détto (that said), distése le àli (its wings having been extended), e, infilàta la finèstra che èra apèrta (and the window that was open having been slipped through), se ne volò vìa a pèrdita d’òcchio (it flew off as far as the eye could see).

The story continues with Pinocchio’s reaction:

Il povero burattino rimase lì, come incantato, cogli occhi fissi, colla bocca aperta e coi gusci dell’uovo in mano.

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 5

All the vocabulary here has been encountered before, with the exception of incantato, meaning bewildered, transfixed, etc. You will remember that fisso means fixated, and that the shell of an egg is called il guscio.

This line breaks down as: Il pòvero burattìno rimàse lì (the poor marionette stood there), cóme incantàto (bewildered), cógli òcchi fìssi (with his eyes fixated), cólla bócca apèrta (with his mouth open) e cói gùsci dell’uòvo in màno (and with the eggshells in his hand).

Pinocchio, unsurprisingly, then has his conniption fit:

Riavutosi, peraltro, dal primo sbigottimento, cominciò a piangere, a strillare, a battere i piedi in terra per la disperazione, e piangendo diceva:

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 5

In this line, you have numerous usages that can be used to describe a temper tantrum. Vocabulary to be learned here includes: riavérsi (to come to, to regain one’s senses, to snap out of it), peràltro (however), lo sbigottiménto (dismay), piàngere (to cry), strillàre (to yell, to scream), bàttere i pièdi (to stamp one’s feet), la disperazióne (desperation, despair).

With riavutosi, you understand that Pinocchio has snapped out of his bewilderment resulting from seeing the chick’s having flown out the window. Riaversi can be understood literally as meaning to get oneself back.

Strillare is an important verb to learn; it expresses the English to yell, to scream. A few good examples, taken from the Treccani dictionary, include:

Vedendosi minacciata, la donna cominciò a strillare.
When she was threatened (upon seeing herself threatened), the woman started to scream.

Chi è che strilla in questo modo?
Who is screaming like that? (Who is it who is screaming like that?)

Non strillare tanto quando parli.
Do not yell so much when you speak.

Ho capito, ho capito, è inutile che strilli!
I get it, I get it, you do not need to yell!

Perché strilli, non sono mica sordo!
Why are you yelling? I am not deaf, you know!

This line of text breaks down as: Riavùtosi (having come to), peràltro (however), dal prìmo sbigottiménto (from his initial dismay), cominciò a piàngere (he started to cry), a strillàre (to yell), a bàttere i pièdi in tèrra (and to stamp his feet on the ground) per la disperazióne (out of despair), e piangèndo dicéva (and, crying, he said): […].

The story continues with the words spoken by Pinocchio during his fit:

— Eppure il Grillo-parlante aveva ragione! Se non fossi scappato di casa e se il mio babbo fosse qui, ora non mi troverei a morire di fame. Eh! che brutta malattia che è la fame!… —

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 5

No new vocabulary appears here; you will note, however, the use of the congiuntivo trapassato after se, and you will recall the expression scappare di casa (to run away from home).

Pinocchio’s words can be broken down as: Eppùre (and yet) il Grìllo-parlànte avéva ragióne (the Talking Cricket was right)! Se non fóssi scappàto di càsa (if I had not run away from home) e se il mìo bàbbo fósse qui (and if my dad were here), óra non mi troverèi a morìre di fàme (I would not now find myself dying of hunger). Eh! che brùtta malattìa che è la fàme (oh, what a terrible sickness hunger is)!

The entire last line of chapter 5 reads as follows:

E perchè il corpo gli seguitava a brontolare più che mai, e non sapeva come fare a chetarlo, pensò di uscir di casa e di dare una scappata al paesello vicino, nella speranza di trovare qualche persona caritatevole, che gli facesse l’elemosina di un po’ di pane.

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 5

From this line, learn the following usages: il còrpo (body), seguitàre (to continue), brontolàre (to grumble), chetàre (to quieten; this is a Tuscan usage), uscìr di càsa (to go out of the house, to leave the house; equivalent to uscìre di càsa), dàre ùna scappàta (to pop in, to head over; also fàre una scappàta), il paesèllo ([small] village), vicìno (neighbouring), la sperànza (hope), caritatévole (charitable), l’elemòsina (charity), fàre l’elemòsina di (to make charity of, to give away).

The verb chetare means to quieten, as in far tacere. It is based on the adjective cheto, meaning quiet. These are Tuscan or literary usages. Examples:

chetare un bambino
to quieten a child

chetare l’appetito
to quieten one’s appetite

Chetati! (pronounced chétati)
Be quiet!

This last portion of the chapter translates as follows: E perchè il còrpo gli seguitàva a brontolàre (and because his body continued to grumble away on him) più che mai (more than ever), e non sapéva cóme fàre a chetàrlo (and he did not know what to do to quieten it), pensò di uscìr di càsa (he thought to leave the house) e di dàre ùna scappàta al paesèllo vicìno (and to head over to the neighbouring village), nélla sperànza di trovàre (in the hope of finding) quàlche persóna caritatévole (some charitable person), che gli facésse l’elemòsina di un po’ di pàne (who might give him a bit of bread).

I shall end this post with more examples based on the construction non sapeva come fare a chetarlo, which you will find useful to learn:

Non sapeva come fare a chetarlo.
He did not know how to quieten it.
He did not know what to do to quieten it.
He did not know how to go about quietening it.

Non sapevo come fare a spiegarlo.
I did not know how to explain it.
I did not know what to do to explain it.
I did not know how to go about explaining it.

Non sapevo come fare a tornare a casa.
I did not know how to return home.
I did not know what to do to return home.
I did not know how to go about returning home.

Non sapevano come fare a sopravvivere.
They did not know how to survive.
They did not know what to do to survive.
They did not know how to go about surviving.