si accese la luce di una lanterna

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by fairymoon, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. fairymoon

    fairymoon Junior Member

    Ferrara
    Italian
    Ciao, I'm translating a funny short story, a parody.

    The two protagonists are in a dark stable. The original text is: "Dal fondo, si accese la luce di una lanterna che illuminò il volto di Terry."
    My attempt is :"From the bottom, the light of a lantern lighted and illuminated Terry’s face."

    I'm trying to avoid the repetition of light and lighted, but I can't use turn on, because the lantern is an old one, using fire, not electicity to work. Any suggestion?

    Thank you
     
  2. Matrap

    Matrap Est Mod In Rebus

    Abruzzo, Italy
    Italiano
    Ciao

    Immagino si possa dire semplicemente: "a lantern was lit".
     
  3. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    Hi fairymoon,

    Who is lighting the lantern? Does the reader know at this point? My attempt would be In the depths of the stable [at the back of the stable], someone lit a lantern, illuminating Terry's face.

    This would assume that neither Terry nor the reader knows who is lighting the lantern, but that someone lit it. If it's a magic lantern lighting itself, I'd have to think again. (Also, a stable doesn't have a bottom, so I'm assuming the lantern is lit by someone in the dark at the back of the stable. I could be wrong.)
     
  4. Odysseus54

    Odysseus54 Mod huc mod illuc

    In the hills of Marche
    Italian - Marche
    Also, maybe : " A lantern lit up from the back, illuminating Terry's face "
     
  5. fairymoon

    fairymoon Junior Member

    Ferrara
    Italian
    Terry is lighting the lantern and so his face appears. What about "In the depths of the stable, a lantern lit up from the back, illuminating Terry's face"?
    Thank you.
     
  6. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    Ah. Is Terry himself back in the dark depths of the stable, and someone else sees his face suddenly illuminated by the lantern that he (Terry) lights? Then we might have In the depths of the stable [or, at the back of the stable], a lantern lit up, illuminating Terry's face.

    You don't want "from the back" after "a lantern lit up," as it sounds here like it's trying to specify something odd about a back-lighting vs. a front-lighting lantern.:)
     
  7. Odysseus54

    Odysseus54 Mod huc mod illuc

    In the hills of Marche
    Italian - Marche

    Yeah, you are right :) - if we flip it, would it work better ?

    " .. from the back (of the stable) a lantern lit up etc. "
     
  8. CPA Senior Member

    Rome
    British English/Italian - bilingual
    Ecco il contesto.

    A lantern lit up at the back of the stable, illuminating/showing Terence's face. ;)
     
  9. novizio Senior Member

    English-American
    "Terry lit the lantern from the bottom which illuminated his face" (some old oil lanterns were lit by sliding up the glass piece and lighting it "from the bottom"). Secondo me, forse non c'entra il fondo della stalla.
     
  10. fairymoon

    fairymoon Junior Member

    Ferrara
    Italian
    In effetti, Terry si trova proprio in fondo alla stalla, e accende una lanterna che presumibilmente ha con sé; così la luce della lanterna gli illumina il volto.

    "In the depths of the stable [or, at the back of the stable], a lantern lit up, illuminating Terry's face

    I would go for, in the depths of the stable instead of "at the back..." because it gives a certain sense of mystery that suits well the atmosphere of fear (but remember it's a parody) in this part of the episode.
     
  11. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    If we flip it, I'd use "at" rather than "from": "from" would be used if you were specifying that something started from a specific location and then reached someone. For instance, "a voice called from the back of the stable" or "from the back of the stable, a light shone out" but not "from the back of the stable, a lantern lit up" or "a lantern lit up from the back of the stable." It's a subtle difference: I'm not sure I'm explaining it well.:) Although the person looking at Terry can see the light at the back of the stable, the light and the lantern are contained there: the point is not that the light starts from there and goes toward her.

    Is the original sentence --"Dal fondo, si accese la luce..."--good Italian? Would it be equally correct to say "Al fondo, si accese la luce..."?
     
  12. fairymoon

    fairymoon Junior Member

    Ferrara
    Italian
    I wouldn't say "Al fondo", it's not good Italian. On the contrary, I use and have read "Dal fondo" before. I see your point. You're right. Maybe a better Italian would be "In fondo alla stalla", meaning "at the back of the stable".
     
  13. Odysseus54

    Odysseus54 Mod huc mod illuc

    In the hills of Marche
    Italian - Marche
    I think I understand, however in Italian it works a bit differently - if you say "dal fondo si accese.." it works fine because your perception is that of a light originating from the back. That idea becomes the main idea , so you would say 'dal fondo'.
     

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