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Translation conventions

Translation conventions:

I have aimed for clear English that accurately conveys the content of the Italian instructions, without making any attempt to replicate their literary style. Thus, I have freely altered grammatical constructions, phrase order, punctuation and so on, in order to present the content clearly and simply. Faced with a choice between pleasing, idiomatic English, and awkward English that more accurately conveys the sense of an instruction, or preserves some important ambiguity in the Italian, I have generally preferred awkward accuracy. Some jargon-terms are left untranslated.

Some conventions (I can't promise I've been entirely consistent - some of these translations were done years earlier than others):
  • Dita / Inches: Literally "fingers", also "inches" [Florio]. I have usually translated this as "inches", to make it quite clear that a unit of length is intended (usually defining the relative positions of the feet), not a hand movement. I leave it to the reader to consider exactly what unit of length, and whether identical to the modern inch.
  • A piedi pari / with even feet: I understand this to mean that the feet are side by side, but not necessarily close together; that is, that neither one is ahead of the other. Conversely dispari/"uneven" I take to mean "with one foot (at least the toes) ahead of the other" (as opposed to "distante", which usually seems to refer to the lateral distance between the feet).
  • Per fianco / flanking / diagonally: I've usually left this untranslated, for lack of a good, concise English expression to replace the Italian (I often use "flankingly" - with a wince - to translate its cousins fiancheggiato and fiancheggiando). Per fianco refers to a movement or position that is somewhat oblique - that has both forwards (or sometimes backwards) and sideways elements: how much of each you must decide. Santucci's definition of the Balzetto a piedi pari per fianco suggests that for him, at least, the direction angle is close to 45 degrees.
  • In prospettiva: The meaning is not clear - see discussions by Sutton and Sparti. My impression is that for Caroso in prospettiva means "not quite facing directly forwards", "mostly side by side, but a little oriented towards your partner", but that for Santucci it means "facing directly forwards" (as opposed to "mostly facing forwards, but a little turned"). These are in opposition: perhaps they used this difficult term in different ways; perhaps Santucci's meaning applies to all the authors. I've left it untranslated.
  • In passo / in passo naturale: Extensively used by Negri and Santucci respectively. I understand both to mean "the position in which you find yourself upon completion of a normal step", that is, with both feet on the ground, weight evenly spread, and one foot a little ahead of the other (though Santucci occasionally uses it where the feet are even, but some way apart; e.g. Rule 36). See Negri's and Santucci's step-descriptions for more detail.
  • Per contrario / on the other side: Sometimes untranslated, sometimes rendered as "on the other side". Where you are instructed to repeat a step or sequence of steps per contrario you perform the same motions in mirror-image (i.e. swapping instructions for left and right throughout, but not instructions for forwards and backwards).
  • / peacocking:
  • Mutanze / Variations:
  • Beginning with . . .: