Promissory notes at the tobacco shop?

An Italian dialogue I am reading notes that one can buy "moduli per cambiali" at a "tabaccai." Not being familiar with the term, I flipped to the translation and found "promissory notes." I thought I knew what that English term meant, but just to make sure, I looked it up. Hmm, it sure seems like a weird thing for a tobacco shop to sell, unless what is meant is something like a $20 savings bond, issued by the Italian government.

Does anyone know what these "moduli per cambiali" are? If they are, indeed, roughly the equivalent of savings bonds, that surely would have been a better translation, at least for American readers. Yet another illustration of the hazards of translation.

5 comments:

  1. I think that what is meant by the phrase would be a bill of exchange rather than a savings bond.

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    1. Thanks David. Do you mean something like travelers' checks?

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  2. I think it would be similar. Here is a site that shows the form: http://www.moduli.it/documenti/guide-alla-compilazione/cambiale-tratta-13018

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  3. David just wants to make sure there aren't two people owning the same piece of property.

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