Professor Asshole

This is Stronzo Bestiale, the fictitious Italian physicist, author of numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers. However, stronzo bestiale surely isn’t total asshole – that’s stronzo totale, which I think entered the Italian language via translations of American airport lit – but rather bestial arsehole, or monstrous arsehole, concepts much less sanitised and more evocative of our great shared European shittiness.

I was puzzled for a while by the gratitude uttered by Americans on sites like Trip Advisor and Booking.com when they have clearly been ripped off by restaurants and hotels belonging to Ali Baba and the 40 Neapolitans, but I think that visitors are just pathetically grateful to arrive in Europe and not find us gassing our neighbours, plugging donkeys, or scratching at our plague sores.

My Italian is progressing in leaps and bounds now I have discovered the spaghetti westernisms of Tex Willer, of which a place in Marina del Cantone has considerable supplies. Previously I had been on a diet of fascist/socialist improving literature for women and children, Lo Hobbit, Italo Svevo, and the Costituzione della Repubblica Italiana, none of which was really very much fun. However, Giuseppe Peano’s De Latino sine Flexione should clearly be implemented asap across southern Europe.

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Föcked Translation (413): I posted to a light-hearted blog called Fucked Translation over on Blogger from 2007 to 2016, when I was often in Barcelona. Its original subtitle was "What happens when Spanish institutions and businesses give translation contracts to relatives or to some guy in a bar who once went to London and only charges 0.05€/word." I never actually did much Spanish-English translation (most of my work is from Dutch, French and German) but I was intrigued and amused by the hubristic Spanish belief, then common, that nepotism and quality went hand in hand, and by the nemeses that inevitably followed.

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