per trattare con un bandito, ci vuole un bandito

English translation: if you\'re dealing with a crook, get yourself a crook

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Italian term or phrase:per trattare con un bandito, ci vuole un bandito
English translation:if you\'re dealing with a crook, get yourself a crook
Entered by: potra

19:48 Feb 6, 2012
Italian to English translations [PRO]
Slang
Italian term or phrase: per trattare con un bandito, ci vuole un bandito
Basically this means that a criminal is the person most suited to deal with another criminal.
It is a conversation between financiers, re: briberies etc.

I know there is a wise corresponding proverb, but cannot think of anything today.
potra
United States
Local time: 23:12
if you're dealing with a crook, get yourself a crook
Explanation:
Since the original isn't a proverb (only 24 Ghits), I don't see that we need an authentic English proverb to translate it (let alone an inaccurate one).

'Crook' is a good vernacular word that works well here.
Selected response from:

Oliver Lawrence
Italy
Local time: 05:12
Grading comment
This is a perfect fit! Thank you Oliver and thanks to all.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +6it takes a thief to catch a thief!
Wendy Streitparth
4 +1It takes one to know one!
Simona Vairo
4if you're dealing with a crook, get yourself a crook
Oliver Lawrence
4Game recognize game
texjax DDS PhD
4If you want to do business with a bandit, then get yourself a bandit.
James (Jim) Davis


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


45 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
It takes one to know one!


Explanation:
This is a general, yet common idiomatic expression. It can be inserted into the conversation if the 'type' of person that they are talking about (bandit, thief, financier) has already been established. Can you post some of the conversation?

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Note added at 49 mins (2012-02-06 20:38:01 GMT)
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OR

If you want to deal with a thief, you've got to THINK like a thief!

Simona Vairo
Italy
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in ItalianItalian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Giles Watson: Your first phrase doesn't address the central notion of negotiation. The second version gets a bit closer but isn't really an idiomatic expression.
10 mins
  -> hi giles, it was my best shot w/ out seeing any text :)

agree  Audra deFalco (X): I think this is the best choice given that we really have minimal context.
2 hrs
  -> thanks!
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
If you want to do business with a bandit, then get yourself a bandit.


Explanation:
This is a very colloquial version. You could make less so with "If you need to do business with a bandit, then what you need is a bandit"

James (Jim) Davis
Seychelles
Local time: 08:12
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Game recognize game


Explanation:
.

texjax DDS PhD
Local time: 23:12
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
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16 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
if you're dealing with a crook, get yourself a crook


Explanation:
Since the original isn't a proverb (only 24 Ghits), I don't see that we need an authentic English proverb to translate it (let alone an inaccurate one).

'Crook' is a good vernacular word that works well here.

Oliver Lawrence
Italy
Local time: 05:12
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 32
Grading comment
This is a perfect fit! Thank you Oliver and thanks to all.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
it takes a thief to catch a thief!


Explanation:
-

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Note added at 12 hrs (2012-02-07 08:39:10 GMT)
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Definition: Only a thief knows how a thief thinks and acts
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/it takes a thief to c...

Definition: used to mean that one dishonest person can guess what another dishonest person might do

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/it-takes-...

It does not necessaril literally mean "thief"

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Note added at 19 hrs (2012-02-07 15:30:46 GMT)
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@ Giles: The context (I am assuming) is that found in the following link(and many similar ones). I made my suggestion on the basis of the limited context given by the asker. Anybody who makes a suggestion "thinks" it may be correct, otherwise they wouldn't bother. Obviously constructive criticism is welcome from "more enlightened beings".

Wendy Streitparth
Germany
Local time: 05:12
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  tradu-grace: Only a thief knows how another thief will think and act. Can be extended to other professions and descriptions.
7 mins
  -> Thanks, Tradugrace.

neutral  philgoddard: This is a near equivalent, but we don't know if it's appropriate because the asker hasn't provided proper context.
32 mins
  -> Thanks, Phil. So hopefully Potra can judge whether its applicable or not.

agree  Peter Cox
6 hrs
  -> Thanks, Peter

neutral  Giles Watson: The phrase is "set a thief to catch a thief". Sadly, it fails to capture the key concept, which is negotiation, not ensnaring. We could lose the "bandito" but we need to render "trattare". PS "I think" is an opinion. Please tell us why you hold it! TIA.
10 hrs
  -> Maybe its not a literal translation but I think it captures the meaning.

agree  Isabelle Johnson: I agree. I think it reflects the spirit of the saying.
11 hrs
  -> Thanks, Isabelle.

agree  Jim Tucker (X): Sometimes close enough is close enough.
14 hrs
  -> Thanks, Jim

agree  tatyana000
15 hrs
  -> Thank you, Tatyana

agree  Yvonne Gallagher: think this is closest expression
20 hrs
  -> Thanks, Gallagy
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