We've looked at breath and breathing in Italian from different angles. Now let's talk about the absence of breathing. Here, too, we can look at it from a couple of different angles.
We recognize this word because it's used in English, too, often referring to sleep apnea. It refers to a temporary suspension of breathing. This can be intentional (as in diving with no oxygen tank):
Questa è la costa dei suoi grandi record di apnea, a meno quarantacinque metri nel sessanta,
This is the coast of his great free diving records, to minus forty-five meters in nineteen sixty,
Captions 10-11, Linea Blu Sicilia - Part 19Play Caption
Or it can be unintentional (as in sleep apnea or shortness of breath).
Il respiro corto, la difficoltà a respirare, a parlare, tipo apnea, era presente nel diciotto virgola sei per cento dei casi.
Shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing and speaking, as in apnea, are present in eighteen point six percent of the cases.
Captions 37-38, COVID-19 Domande frequenti - Part 2Play Caption
The noun affanno (breathlessness) is a great word with its double f and double n, especially if you know what it feels like to be out of breath. But it can also be used figuratively to describe that state of anxiety one has, also called "stress," like when you have to run around doing 10 things at once, and you're on a time crunch.
Stavo sempre a cercare lavoro, sempre di corsa, sempre in affanno
I was always hunting for work, always in a rush, always out of breath,
Captions 39-40, Volare - La grande storia di Domenico Modugno Ep. 1 - Part 10Play Caption
We have the adjective version, too: affannato
Let's just keep in mind that the word "stress" has become part of Italian colloquial vocabulary. lo stress, stressare, stressato.
We already talked about this adjective, but let's have a closer look.
e la vista mozzafiato della città
and the breathtaking view of the city
Caption 20, Villa Medici L'arca della bellezza - Part 7Play Caption
If we take apart this wonderful adjective, we get mozzare (to cut off) and fiato (breath). So if your breath is cut off, it's taken away. And let's not forget about another use of mozzare. It's part of one of our favorite Italian dairy products, la mozzarella.
There's a Yabla video in which Marika and Anna go to a place in Rome where they actually make mozzarella, to find out how it's made. Check it out!
la pasta filata viene appunto mozzata, o a mano o a macchina,
The spun paste is, just that, cut off, by hand or by machine,Play Caption
Have we missed any words having to do with breath and breathing? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.