Learn Italian from Pinocchio: chapter 7, part 2

Geppetto, in this next part of your study of chapter 7 of Le avventure di Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, manages to enter his house, where he discovers Pinocchio lying on the floor with his feet burnt off. Out of compassion for his injured son, Geppetto addresses Pinocchio as Pinocchiuccio mio.

The first portion of text you will consider here reads as follows:

Geppetto, credendo che tutti questi piagnistei fossero un’altra monelleria del burattino, pensò bene di farla finita; e arrampicatosi su per il muro, entrò in casa dalla finestra.

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 7

Geppetto is forced to enter the house by the window. From this portion of text, learn the following usages: il piagnistèo (whimpering), la monellerìa (prank, mischief), fàrla finìta (to put an end to it, to be done with it), pensàre bène di fàre (to see fit to do, to think it best to do; literally, to think well of doing), arrampicàrsi su (to climb up).

You have already seen the noun monelleria before; you will recall that you first encountered it in chapter 3, when you read about le prime monellerie di Pinocchio.

The expression pensare bene di fare translates literally as to think well to do, but you can understand it as meaning to see fit to do, to think it best to do, or even simply to decide to do. Ho pensato bene di andarmene (I thought it best for me to leave; I decided to leave).

With the expression farla finita, you can talk about putting an end to something, for example: volevo farla finita con lui (I wanted to be done with him), volevo farla finita con tutto (I wanted to put an end to it all). The la in this expression is indeterminate.

To talk about climbing up, for example, a tree or wall, you can use the expressions arrampicarsi su and salire su, for example: arrampicarsi sugli alberi (to climb trees), salire sugli alberi (to climb trees), il gatto è salito sull’albero (the cat climbed the tree), mi sono arrampicato sull’albero (I climbed the tree), sono salito sul muro (I climbed up the wall), etc. In this portion of text, rather than arrampicarsi sul muro, Collodi uses arrampicarsi su per il muro. More specifically, you find arrampicatosi su per il muro, which translates as (having) climbed up the wall.

This portion of text can be broken down as follows: Geppétto, credèndo che tùtti quésti piagnistèi (Geppetto, believing that all these whimperings) fóssero un’àltra monellerìa del burattìno (were another prank of the marionette), pensò bène di fàrla finìta (saw fit to put an end to it); e arrampicàtosi su per il mùro (and having climbed up the wall), entrò in càsa dàlla finèstra (entered the house from the window).

The story continues:

Da principio voleva dire e voleva fare; ma poi, quando vide il suo Pinocchio sdraiato in terra e rimasto senza piedi davvero, allora sentì intenerirsi; e presolo subito in collo si dette a baciarlo e a fargli mille carezze e mille moine, e, coi lucciconi che gli cascavano giù per le gote, gli disse singhiozzando: — Pinocchiuccio mio! Com’è che ti sei bruciato i piedi?

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 7

Upon seeing Pinocchio spread out on the floor with his feet burnt off, Geppetto has compassion for his little marionette. Important usages to learn from this portion of text include: sdraiàto (lying down), intenerìrsi (to be moved), prèndere in còllo (to take to one’s bosom; còllo refers here to the front shoulder), baciàre (to kiss), la carézza (caress), la moìna (attention), il luccicóne (large teardrop), cascàre giù (to fall down), la gòta (cheek; this is a Tuscan usage equivalent to la guància), singhiozzàre (to sob).

When Collodi writes voleva dire e voleva fare, which literally translates as he wanted to say and he wanted to do, what you are to understand is that Geppetto wanted to have it out with Pinocchio by expressing his anger. That which he wanted to “say” and “do” was the punishment he intended to give Pinocchio.

The verb sdraiare is an important one to learn. If you laid someone down on the bed, such as a child, you can use the expression sdraiare qualcuno sul letto (to lay someone down on the bed). On the other hand, the expression sdraiarsi sul letto (to lie down on the bed) is used to talk about lying oneself down on the bed: l’ho sdraiato sul letto (I laid him down on the bed), mi sono sdraiato sul letto (I lay down on the bed). In the text, you find that Pinocchio was sdraiato on the floor.

The verb intenerire derives from the adjective tenero (tender), pronounced tènero. Intenerire, then, literally means to make tender. When used in reference to people, you can understand it as meaning to make emotional, to move, to touch: quelle lacrime lo intenerirono (those tears moved him). This verb can also be used in a literal sense; for example, to talk about tenderising a piece of meat, you can use the verb intenerire. In the text, you find intenerirsi, meaning to become emotional, to be moved, to be touched; for example: s’intenerì alle sue lacrime (he was moved by her tears). Lacrima is pronounced làcrima.

The expression prendere in collo refers to placing someone or something on the front shoulder: l’ha preso in collo (he took him to his bosom, he hugged him to his bosom). In the text, you read presolo in collo, which translates as (having) taken him to his bosom.

You will recall the verb cascare from the first part of chapter 7, when you read about Pinocchio’s tumble from the stool: E nel battere in terra fece lo stesso rumore, che avrebbe fatto un sacco di mestoli, cascato da un quinto piano. In the present portion of text, you read that large teardrops, or lucciconi, streamed down Geppetto’s cheeks: gli cascavano giù per le gote (literally, fell down his cheeks). La gota is a Tuscan equivalent of la guancia, meaning cheek.

Geppetto, overcome with emotion, addresses his little marionette as Pinocchiuccio mio. The uccio (uccia) ending can be used to show affection, in the way English might say little Pinocchio, dear Pinocchio, etc.

You can understand this portion of text as follows: Da princìpio (at first) voléva dìre e voléva fàre (he wanted to have it out); ma pòi (but then), quàndo vìde il sùo Pinòcchio (when he saw his Pinocchio) sdraiàto in tèrra (lying on the ground) e rimàsto (and having ended up) sènza pièdi davvéro (without feet for real), allóra sentì intenerìrsi (he then felt himself be moved); e présolo sùbito in còllo (and having immediately taken him to his bosom) si dètte a baciàrlo (he started to kiss him) e a fàrgli mìlle carézze (and to give him a thousand caresses) e mìlle moìne (and a thousand attentions), e, cói luccicóni (and with large teardrops) che gli cascàvano giù per le gòte (that fell down his cheeks), gli dìsse singhiozzàndo (said to him, sobbing): — Pinocchiùccio mìo (my little Pinocchio)! Com’è che ti sèi bruciàto i pièdi (how is it that you burnt your feet)?

Pinocchio then provides a long-winded recapitulation of virtually his entire lived experience thus far:

— Non lo so, babbo, ma credetelo che è stata una nottata d’inferno, e me ne ricorderò fin che campo. Tonava, balenava e io avevo una gran fame, e allora il Grillo-parlante mi disse: «Ti sta bene: sei stato cattivo e te lo meriti», e io gli dissi: «Bada, Grillo!…» e lui mi disse: «Tu sei un burattino e hai la testa di legno» e io gli tirai un manico di martello, e lui morì, ma la colpa fu sua, perchè io non volevo ammazzarlo, prova ne sia, che messi un tegamino sulla brace accesa del caldano, ma il pulcino scappò fuori e disse: «Arrivedella,… e tanti saluti a casa.» E la fame cresceva sempre, motivo per cui quel vecchino col berretto da notte, affacciandosi alla finestra mi disse: «Fàtti sotto e para il cappello» e io con quella catinellata d’acqua sul capo, perchè il chiedere un po’ di pane non è vergogna, non è vero? me ne tornai subito a casa, e perchè avevo sempre una gran fame, messi i piedi sul caldano per rasciugarmi, e voi siete tornato, e me li sono trovati bruciati, e intanto la fame l’ho sempre e i piedi non li ho più! ih!… ih!… ih!… ih!… —

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 7

Pinocchio may only be one day old, but his knowledge of Italian is already top-notch; from this portion of text, be sure to know the following usages, much of which you have already encountered: la nottàta (night), ricordàrsi (to remember), campàre (to live, to survive), tonàre (to thunder; this a variation on tuonàre), balenàre (to flash; used here in the sense of lampeggiàre, meaning to lightning), ti sta bène (it serves you right), meritàre (to deserve), il mànico (handle), il martèllo (hammer), la cólpa (fault), morìre (to die), ammazzàre (to kill), la pròva (proof), il tegamìno (little frying pan), la bràce (embers), il caldàno (brazier), il pulcìno (chick), scappàre fuòri (to escape, to pop out), il berrétto da nòtte (nightcap), affacciàrsi àlla finèstra (to look out the window), paràre il cappèllo (to hold out one’s hat), la catinellàta d’àcqua (basinful of water), la vergógna (shame, embarrassment), rasciugàrsi (to dry oneself).

In this portion of text, you have another example of how Pinocchio addresses his babbo with voi, when he says: voi siete tornato. Geppetto addresses Pinocchio with tu, however. Geppetto says to Pinocchio: com’è che ti sei bruciato i piedi?, in the second portion of text that you studied above.

You can use ricordarsi di to talk of remembering something: ti ricordi di me? (do you remember me?), non mi ricordo di averlo detto (I do not remember having said it), me ne ricordo benissimo (I remember it very well).

The verb campare has the sense of to keep oneself alive. The Treccani dictionary provides a few examples: campare d’elemosina (to survive on charity), campare del proprio lavoro (to live off own’s one work), campare d’aria (to survive on air; this is a figurative expression meaning to eat very little).

In the text, you find two different ways of scolding someone who has fouled up: ti sta bene and te lo meriti. Both mean you deserve it, although ti sta bene might be more literally translated as it serves you right.

Much of the vocabulary in this portion of text has already been encountered, so I shall end this post here with a break down of Pinocchio’s words, in two parts.

The first half of Pinocchio’s recapitulation breaks down as: — Non lo so (I do not know), bàbbo (dad), ma credételo (but believe it) che è stàta ùna nottàta d’infèrno (that it has been a hellish night), e me ne ricorderò (and I shall remember it) fin che càmpo (for as long as I live). Tonàva (it was thundering), balenàva (it was lightning) e ìo avévo ùna gran fàme (and I was very hungry), e allóra il Grìllo-parlànte mi dìsse (and then the Talking Cricket said to me): «Ti sta bène (it serves you right): sèi stàto cattìvo (you were bad) e te lo mèriti (and you deserve it)», e ìo gli dìssi (and I said to him): «Bàda, Grìllo (be careful, cricket)!…» e lùi mi dìsse (and he said to me): «Tu sèi un burattìno (you are a marionette) e hài la tèsta di légno (and you have a head of wood)» e ìo gli tirài (and I threw at him) un mànico di martèllo (a hammer handle), e lùi morì (and he died), ma la cólpa fu sùa (but the fault was his), perchè ìo non volévo ammazzàrlo (because I did not want to kill him), pròva ne sìa (the proof of it is), che méssi un tegamìno (that I put a little frying pan) sùlla bràce accésa (on the lit embers) del caldàno (of the brazier), ma il pulcìno scappò fuòri (but the chick popped out) e dìsse (and said): «Arrivedélla (good-bye),… e tànti salùti a càsa (and my regards to the family).»

The second half of Pinocchio’s words break down as: E la fàme crescéva sèmpre (and my hunger kept growing), motìvo per cùi (reason for which) quel vecchìno col berrétto da nòtte (that little old man with the nightcap), affacciàndosi àlla finèstra (looking out the window) mi dìsse (said to me): «Fàtti sótto (come underneath*) e pàra il cappèllo (and hold out your hat)» e ìo con quélla catinellàta d’àcqua (and me with that basinful of water) sul càpo (on my head), perché il chièdere un po’ di pàne (because asking for a bit of bread) non è vergógna (is not shameful), non è véro (is it not so)? me ne tornài sùbito a càsa (I immediately went back home), e perché avévo sèmpre ùna gran fàme (and because I was still very hungry), méssi i pièdi sul caldàno (I put my feet on the brazier) per rasciugàrmi (to dry myself), e vói siète tornàto (and you returned), e me li sóno trovàti bruciàti (and I found them burnt on me), e intànto la fàme l’ho sèmpre (and meanwhile I still have my hunger) e i pièdi non li ho più (and my feet I no longer have)! ih!… ih!… ih!… ih!… (oh, oh, oh, oh!)

*underneath the window