A more subtle form of racism

Everyone is discussing about changes in portrayal of Native civilizations, removal of colonialism, and so on, but perhaps it’s not all: what about translations?

I’ll start with a preamble, which is necessary for every non-Italian reader. There’s a term, “terrone” (read: te-rro-ne), which is an expression used as an insult by (some?) northern Italians for referring to southern Italians.

There’s another term, “pacco da giù”, which can be translated as “box from below”, where “below” means south. Any terrone knows well what it is: it’s a box, full of food, which southern Italian families send to their sons/daugthers who have travelled to north for studying in univesities or working. So, if you have received a pacco da giù, you are clearly a terrone.

Now, the problem. There’s an achievement, which in English is named “The comforts of home”, which has been translated into Italian as… would you guess? It’s “Il pacco da giù”.

Obviously, I don’t know if there are similar examples in translations in other languages, but they could.

I’d propose a simple solution. Perhaps, the intent was ironic, so, why not translating it as “E.T. telefono casa”? It’s the Italian translation of “E.T. phone home”, from the film “E.T. The Extra-terrestrial”.