Italian Shipwreck Radio Transcript Translated into “Mambo Italiano” Style Stereotype?

Little Italy --

Many mainstream media outlets have aired the dramatic radio transcript of the conversation between the Captain of the Costa Concordia and the port authority official, ordering the reluctant skipper back to his post aboard the ill-fated sinking shipwreck to help coordinate the rescue operation.

Here follows a brief description of the three variety of ways you may have already heard the Costa Concordia transcript broadcast, and one you have not:

1) The reporter or anchor (no pun intended) simply reads the transcript to the audience, which is very dry and not very dramatic.

2) The reporter or anchor plays the actual recording with Italian (or whatever language) being spoken in the background while an English translation is provided in the foreground, which is more dramatic but lacking authenticity and can be somewhat confusing, too.

3) The reporter or anchor as before plays the actual recording with Italian (or whatever language) being spoken in the background, while an English translation is provided in the foreground.

However, this version (3) of the transcript comes with a twist: it is read BBC documentary style. And that is having the transcript read in English, but by someone with an Italian accent (or whatever accent). Which makes absolutely no sense, except that it comes across to the unsuspecting audience as authentic, although quite insincere, if not downright misleading and insulting to the audiences’ intelligence.

Well, here at, we have discovered yet a fourth way to read the Costa Concordia transcript (or whatever foreign language transcript).

And that is by having it read BBC documentary style with the following exception: instead of the person(s) reading it in English with an Italian accent (or whatever accent), it is read by someone using a stereotype of an Italian-American accent – a “Mambo Italiano” accent (or whatever stereotype accent).

Granted, it is still somewhat insulting to the audiences’ intelligence, but it is much more sincere (condolences extended to Italians everywhere, for having to take a most unprofessional “hit” on this one).

Transcript of Radio Broadcast Begins…

Port Authority: Captain, can you a-tell me why you’re not a-board your ship, eh?

Captain: My ship?

Port Authority: YES, YOUR SHIP!!!

Captain: Oh, so suddenly she’s a-my ship now that she’s --

Port Authority: Captain, please. I’m a-begging you, get back to THE SHIP, okay?

Captain: The ship?

Port Authority: Yes, the ship.

Captain: She’s a-sunk, no?

Port Authority: No!

Captain: No?

Port Authority: No!

Captain: Well, from…ah…my…ah…life-a-boat she a-look a-like she is a-sunk.

Port Authority: No, no, no. She’s not a-sunk! She is a-sinking!

Captain: A-sinking? A-sunk? Potato Patato? Tomato Tamato? What’s the difference? All I see is water. Water everywhere.

Port Authority: What’s a-matter with you?

Captain: What’s a-matter with me? What’s a-matter with you?

Port Authority: Shut a-up your face!

Captain: You shut a-up your face!

[Eyewitnesses report a silent but heated exchange of insulting physical gestures by the way of arms and hands between the two, lasting for several minutes]

Port Authority [Reestablishing radio communication]: Captain!

[Singing overheard in the background from the Captain’s end]

Port Authority [Desperately Repeats]: Captain!

[Again, singing overheard in the background from the Captain’s end]

Port Authority: Captain!!!

Captain: ♪When the moon hits your eye like a-big pizza pie that amore♪

Port Authority: Captain, stop a-singing and get back to the ship!

Captain: No.

Port Authority: Why?

Captain: I didn’t a-feel like it.

Port Authority: What?

Captain: I just bought a new pair of red Italian loafers. You know, just a-like the Pope wears in Roma and I don’t a-want to get them a-wet.

Port Authority: Listen to me very carefully, Captain.

Captain: Yes, I’m a-listening to you. Go a-head.

Port Authority: If you don’t get back on that ship, you’ll be wearing your new red Italian loafers -- just like the ones the Pope wears, I know -- but only you’ll be wearing them up your [BLEEP]! Understand?

Captain: Sorry…I can’t a-hear you…The signal…she’s a-braking up…just a-like YOUR SHIP. Ciao!

…Transcript of Radio Broadcast Ends

Copyright © 2008-2012 by Robert W. Armijo. All rights reserved.

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