Rubrica a cura di Sinclair de Courcy Williams – Talking Dante – EPISODE 17.
Faults (colpe) are defects or imperfections of character. That can also be used to speak about defects in a person’s appearance (aspetto) or a problem in the structure of a building or a break (interruzione) in an electric circuit. In tennis, if you make a mistake when you are serving (quando batti), that is called a fault. In showjumping (salto a ostacoli in equitazione) a fault is a penalty (penalità) for an error. A fault (faglia) is also a natural crack (spaccatura) in the earth where there is often seismic activity, for example, the San Adreas Fault in California. Notice also these important expressions: ‘It’s not my fault (I am not to blame – non è colpa mia)’; ‘It’s your own fault (è sola tua la colpa)’. You can find fault (criticize – cercare colpe, lamentarsi) and somebody who often does that is a fault.finder. If you are at fault (in errore, in difetto) then you are guilty (colpevole) or to blame in some way.
Falter (camminare in modo incerto o a fatica) is a verb that means stumble (inciampare continuamente) or to stagger (barcollare) or move unsteadily (precariamente). It can also mean lose courage or waver (vacillare). It can mean stammer (balbettare) or speak in a hesitating (esitante) way.
Forwards (in avanti) is an adverb that means ahead or in advance or in progression onwards (in avanti). The suffix –ward(s) is very often used to speak about direction: towards (verso) forwards, backwards, southwards, northwards. Sometimes you can use the alternative suffix –bound, as in southbound, northbound. There is even a Simon and Garfunkel song called Homeward Bound (in viaggio verso casa).
A maze is a kind of labyrinth (dedalo, intrico, ginepraio).
At the bottom (fondo) of the valley Dante arrives at a hill (colle). That will be very important later.
Restrained (here, imprigionato, costretto) is an adective that means repressed, kept in check (tenuto sotto il controllo di qualcun’altro). The verb is restrain.
Startle (spaventare) is a verb that means shock or cause a sudden sense of surprise or alarm. Here startling is a shortened form (forma accorciata) for that was startling.