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Found in Translation

We recently received the new Italian translation of Freakonomics. It is quite beautiful, and this image does it no justice. Only the Italians would think to combine yellow, purple, orange, and green and make it look so damn good.

Since our knowledge of the Italian language leaves something to be desired, we had a little fun with Babel Fish online translation. This edition has an additional subtitle “Il calcolo dell’incalcolabile” which Babel Fish reads as “the calculation of the incalculable one.”

The original subtitle “A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything” translated into Italian by the publisher and then back to English by Babel Fish comes out “a heretical economist plays with the numbers in order to explain the hidden side of the world in which we live.”

The Italian publisher also had Tito Boeri, a professor of economics at Bocconi University in Milan, write a preface to this edition. It begins something like “The reading of Freakonomics provokes two contrasting reactions. The first one of indignation. The second one of admiration.” Grazie bene, Tito!

Also entertaining are the translations of real estate terms. Take a look around. Is your home fantastico? Spazioso? Impeccabile, charme, and per intenditori?