Aug
21
2014

Saturday Night in the Village

The other day, when I was weaving with Clara and Vincenza at the festival of Antichi Mestieri in Ponticello, Vincenza, watching Clara spinning the wool, began reciting a famous poem that we all studied at school: “Siede con le vicine su la scala a filar la vecchierella”. The poem is called Il Sabato del Villaggio by Giacomo Leopardi (1798 – 1837), and here below is the first verse with an excellent English translation by AS Kline. You can find the whole poem, together with many others, on Kline’s Free Poetry Archive: Poetry in Translation.

DSCN1646-001
Clara, alla filatura della lana. Photo: Geoff Chamberlain ©2014

To make it a bit easier to link the original Italian poem with the English translation, we’ve split the verse into four sections.

Il Sabato del Villaggio – Saturday Night in the Village

La donzelletta vien dalla campagna
in sul calar del sole,
col suo fascio dell’erba; e reca in mano
un mazzolin di rose e viole,
onde, siccome suole, ornare ella si appresta
dimani, al dí di festa, il petto e il crine.

The girl comes from the fields,
at sunset,
carrying her sheaf of grass: in her fingers
a bunch of violets and roses:
she’s ready, as before,
to wreathe her hair and bodice,
for tomorrow’s holiday.

francesco_paolo_michetti_fanciulla_abruzzese-001
Fanciulla abruzzese, by Francesco Paolo Michetti (1851 – 1929)

Siede con le vicine
su la scala a filar la vecchierella,
incontro là dove si perde il giorno;
e novellando vien del suo buon tempo,
quando ai dí della festa ella si ornava,
ed ancor sana e snella
solea danzar la sera intra di quei
ch’ebbe compagni nell’età piú bella.

The old woman sits spinning,
facing the dying sunlight,
on the stairway, with her neighbours,
telling the tale of her own young days,
when she dressed for the festival,
and still slim and lovely,
danced all evening, with those young
boys, companions of her fairer season.

filatrice
La filatrice. Photo: Anon.

Già tutta l’aria imbruna,
torna azzurro il sereno, e tornan l’ombre
giú da’ colli e da’ tetti,
al biancheggiar della recente luna.
Or la squilla dà segno
della festa che viene;
ed a quel suon diresti
che il cor si riconforta.

Already the whole sky darkens,
the air turns deep blue: already
shadows of hills and roofs return,
on the young moon’s pale rising.
Now the bells are witness
to the coming holiday:
you would say the heart
might take comfort from the sound.

DSCN1670
Uno scorcio di Ponticello. Photo by Geoff Chamberlain ©2014

I fanciulli gridando
su la piazzuola in frotta,
e qua e là saltando,
fanno un lieto romore;
e intanto riede alla sua parca mensa,
fischiando, il zappatore,
e seco pensa al dí del suo riposo.

A gang of little boys
shout in the tiny square,
leaping here and there,
making a happy din:
and the farmhand, whistling,
returns for his simple meal,
dreams of his day of rest.

Aug
21
2014

Saturday Night in the Village

The other day, when I was weaving with Clara and Vincenza at the festival of Antichi Mestieri in Ponticello, Vincenza, watching Clara spinning the wool, began reciting a famous poem that we all studied at school: “Siede con le vicine su la scala a filar la vecchierella”. The poem is called Il Sabato del Villaggio by Giacomo Leopardi (1798 – 1837), and here below is the first verse with an excellent English translation by AS Kline. You can find the whole poem, together with many others, on Kline’s Free Poetry Archive: Poetry in Translation.

DSCN1646-001
Clara, alla filatura della lana. Photo: Geoff Chamberlain ©2014

To make it a bit easier to link the original Italian poem with the English translation, we’ve split the verse into four sections.

Il Sabato del Villaggio – Saturday Night in the Village

La donzelletta vien dalla campagna
in sul calar del sole,
col suo fascio dell’erba; e reca in mano
un mazzolin di rose e viole,
onde, siccome suole, ornare ella si appresta
dimani, al dí di festa, il petto e il crine.

The girl comes from the fields,
at sunset,
carrying her sheaf of grass: in her fingers
a bunch of violets and roses:
she’s ready, as before,
to wreathe her hair and bodice,
for tomorrow’s holiday.

francesco_paolo_michetti_fanciulla_abruzzese-001
Fanciulla abruzzese, by Francesco Paolo Michetti (1851 – 1929)

Siede con le vicine
su la scala a filar la vecchierella,
incontro là dove si perde il giorno;
e novellando vien del suo buon tempo,
quando ai dí della festa ella si ornava,
ed ancor sana e snella
solea danzar la sera intra di quei
ch’ebbe compagni nell’età piú bella.

The old woman sits spinning,
facing the dying sunlight,
on the stairway, with her neighbours,
telling the tale of her own young days,
when she dressed for the festival,
and still slim and lovely,
danced all evening, with those young
boys, companions of her fairer season.

filatrice
La filatrice. Photo: Anon.

Già tutta l’aria imbruna,
torna azzurro il sereno, e tornan l’ombre
giú da’ colli e da’ tetti,
al biancheggiar della recente luna.
Or la squilla dà segno
della festa che viene;
ed a quel suon diresti
che il cor si riconforta.

Already the whole sky darkens,
the air turns deep blue: already
shadows of hills and roofs return,
on the young moon’s pale rising.
Now the bells are witness
to the coming holiday:
you would say the heart
might take comfort from the sound.

DSCN1670
Uno scorcio di Ponticello. Photo by Geoff Chamberlain ©2014

I fanciulli gridando
su la piazzuola in frotta,
e qua e là saltando,
fanno un lieto romore;
e intanto riede alla sua parca mensa,
fischiando, il zappatore,
e seco pensa al dí del suo riposo.

A gang of little boys
shout in the tiny square,
leaping here and there,
making a happy din:
and the farmhand, whistling,
returns for his simple meal,
dreams of his day of rest.

Aug
21
2014

Peter Mayle’s “A Year in Provence”

Image by Jorge Sanmartín Maïssa on Flickr

Image by Jorge Sanmartín Maïssa on Flickr

If you appreciate good autobiographies, you will certainly come to appreciate a book by British author Peter Mayle entitled A Year in Provence. Published in 1989, the story chronicles Mayle’s yearlong experiences in Provence, a geographical region in southern France. Mayle had une carrière lucrative (a lucrative career) in advertising in England but decided to leave it all behind to commit himself to a new career as un écrivain (a writer) in Provence. Accompanied by his wife Jennie, Mayle purchased a home in the village of Ménerbes and decided to write about his experiences as a British expatriate living in a new country. A Year in Provence became an international best seller, has been translated into more than twenty languages, and is the most famous of a series of books Mayle wrote about Provence.

A Year in Provence is divided into douze chapitres (twelve chapters), each one dedicated to a month of the year and covering les quatres saisons: hiver, printemps, été, automne (the four seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall). Mayle recounts his experiences learning the French language, enjoying la cuisine Provençale et bien sûr le soleil (Provençale cuisine and of course the sun), surviving le Mistral (a strong wind that can reach up to 100 km/hour) and forging long-lasting friendships avec le facteur (with the postman), les voisins (the neighbors) and les ouvriers (the workers) he hires to renovate their home.

The book is available on Amazon.com, but if you aren’t much of a reader, you’ll be happy to know it has been made into a TV mini-series produced by the BBC and featuring British actors John Thaw as Peter Mayle and Lindsay Duncan as his wife Jennie. Pay attention to Mayle’s vivid descriptions of Provençale food in particular. It will make your mouth water.

For those of you who have already visited Provence, you will certainly relive your experiences through this book. And for those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting the region, A Year in Provence is the next best thing.

Aug
21
2014

Advanced Spanish Review Lesson 10 Prefijos y Sufijos

¡Hola! ¿Cómo estáis?

Hoy vamos a practicar diferentes prefijos y sufijos.

Al final de este post encontraréis las respuestas a todas las preguntas de esta lección y podéis seguir el enlace de este post para ver el vídeo teórico original sobre el mismo tema.

To go back and watch the original video lesson please follow this link:

Advanced theory video lesson 10

Click here to view the embedded video.

1. Primero te voy a decir unos prefijos y me tienes que decir qué significan:

BIO-
DEMO-
HEMI-
HIPO-
MEGA-
POLI-
ANTE-
OMNI-
POS-
SUB-

2. Ahora te voy a decir unos sufijos y me tienes que decir lo que significan:

-MANCIA
-CRACIA
-ALGIA
-GAMIA
-ITIS
-ÁCEO
-IDA
-TOMÍA
-FORME
-TOR

3. Ahora tienes que decirme palabras con sufijo o prefijo que signifiquen lo siguiente:

Ciencia que trata de los seres vivos.
Quien niega la existencia de Dios.
Mitad de la superficie terrestre.
Espacio que rodea un lugar.
Estimar un valor inferior al que tiene.
Inflamación del oído.
Que lo puede todo.
Con la misma forma.
Que tiene varios usos.
Doctrina política en la que el pueblo ejerce la soberanía mediante la elección libre de sus dirigentes.

4. Por último dime qué crees que significan las siguientes palabras:

Megáfono.
Subterráneo.
Biografía.
Infrahumano.
Decímetro.
Rosáceo.
Arboriforme.
Escritor.

Bueno, pues ya hemos terminado la clase de hoy.

Espero que esta clase de prefijos y sufijos os ayude a comprender más palabras en español.

Nos vemos la semana que viene con más prácticas de español. ¡Adiós!

I hope you are enjoying my weekly interactive Spanish lessons. Follow this link for many more great resources to help you learn and practice Spanish.

Answers:

1.
Significa vida.
Significa pueblo.
Significa medio.
Significa debajo de o escasez de algo.
Significa grande o ampliación.
Indica pluralidad, abundancia.
Denota anterioridad en el tiempo o en el espacio.
Significa ‘todo’.
Significa ‘detrás de’ o ‘después de’.
Su significado propio es ‘bajo’ o ‘debajo de’.

2.
Significa ‘adivinación’, ‘práctica de predecir’.
Indica dominio o poder.
Significa ‘dolor’.
Aporta el significado de ‘unión’.
Significa ‘inflamación’.
Forma adjetivos que significan ‘perteneciente’ o ‘semejante a’.
Forma sustantivos derivados de verbos de la segunda y tercera conjugación, que generalmente significan ‘acción y efecto’.
Significa ‘corte’, ‘incisión’.
Significa ‘en forma de’.
En adjetivos y sustantivos, indica a gente.

3.
Biología
Ateo
Hemisferio
Periferia
Infravalorar
Otitis
Omnipotente
Uniforme
Polivalente
Democracia

4.
Aparato que se usa para ampliar el sonido de la voz.
Que está debajo de la tierra.
Historia de la vida de una persona.
Inferior a lo considerado propio del ser humano.
Una décima parte del metro.
De color parecido al rosa.
Con forma de árbol
Persona que escribe

Aug
19
2014

Sayings + Expressions 6: The Ground and the Sun

Liebe Leser,

Today again a saying and an expression. If you are down, because something struck you, and you do not know how life is supposed to be nice again… Remember the saying and expression below!

Auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein

Rainfall is followed by sunshine (every cloud has a silver lining)

This one is based on how rain and sunshine are generally seen. Rain is bad weather, while sunshine means good weather. So metaphorically, bad stuff is followed by good stuff. In nature, it is true that sunshine follows rain – and seeing it this way instead of the other way around is the positive approach, of course!

Use

It is often said when somebody is down, as an encouragement to think positive and look forward, because things will get better. “Bad weather” is only a phase, not a permanent situation. Example:

“Es ist ja schade dass Lisa Schluss gemacht hat, aber du weißt doch, auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein!”

“It is indeed a shame Lisa broke up with you, but you know that every cloud has a silver lining!”

Die Sonne nach dem Regen. (Image by Shawn Harquail at Flickr.com)

Am Boden zerstört sein

To be destroyed on the ground (to hit rock bottom)

This expression is about pure devastation, and to be devastated quite covers it as well. However, the interesting part is in the German translation. Am Boden means “on the ground”. It refers to location – where you are destroyed. But why would location make such a difference in how severely devastated you are? The expression comes from the Luftwaffe (Air Force). Hostile aircraft were destroyed before they could even ascend. So they were destroyed while they were on the ground – and that is devastating for the enemy, as he could not fight back with its planes, did not have a chance to resist. So to be destroyed am Boden is worse than being shot down, when resistance was already possible – so this kind of devastation is more severe.

Use

Connected to the saying above, this expression is quite related. When somebody is am Boden zerstört, the person is in such state of devastation, that he or she does not even believe in sunshine after the rain anymore. Let’s see that in an example:

Weil Lisa Schluss gemacht hat, ist er jetzt am Boden zerstört. Er sollte aber wissen, dass alles besser wird – denn auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein.

Because Lisa broke up, he is hitting rock bottom. But he should know, that everything will be better – because every cloud has a silver lining.