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.
- A revolutionary Balkan gypsy begging flyer
The gypsy beggars and backing-track musos who work the Barcelona local train service systematically and efficiently are an example to Spanish local authorities looking to improve their act: no grasping, arrogant, incompetent, Weberian civil service; a fine tradition of no-budget graphic design; and simple, effective copywriting in the language most likely to mean something, not
- The use of phoney billing cooperatives by Spanish freelancers to avoid paying exorbitant autónomo social security contributions
This is not turning into a fucked translators blog, but it is said that freelance translation (or journalism, or such) in Spain is born of the same lunatic heroism that impels people to buy houses there or to walk its pavements.
- Not fucked translation
The Daily Mail and Tesco and various translation pundits just booked themselves into the nether stretches of the intestines of linguistic hell. From the Mule:
I’m not hungry, thanks! Tesco brands Finest spaghetti bolognese ‘the balls of grandad’
- Packaging features signs from an Italian market advertising ‘Le Palle de Nonno’ and ‘Coglioni di Mulo’
- They translate as ‘the
- The debasement of the European mind
A populist US senator meets an Italian organ-grinder in Rome in 1859.