More on language ( re: grab it)

An online petition calling on Italians to stop using English words for which there are equivalents in their own language gathered nearly 70,000 signatures before it was closed. The petition was called Dillo in Italiano or “Say it in Italian”, and was backed by the Accademia della Crusca, a language institute founded in Florence in 1583. Italians should not squander the “history, culture and beauty of our language”, said the campaigners, who highlighted the growing use of clumsy hybrid terms such as “footing” (jogging), “baby parking” (crèche) and “mister” (football coach). The issue seems to be one of mounting concern: the Italian navy recently caused outrage by using the English slogan “Be cool and join the navy” on a recruitment poster, while the government ran into trouble for referring to a piece of legislation as “the jobs act” rather than “la legge sul lavoro”. (The Week)

Italian is a beautiful language. English is, too, but why further undermine your own wonderful and ancient culture by using these silly expressions. The British use the word “creche” (which is French); now the Italians use “baby parking”. Kiddies produced by Toyota?

English has always adopted foreign words since the days of the Romans; it is expected. But the Italians have done this less. Their way of life is already under seige by a huge influx of people. Were I Italian I would protest these pseudo-English importations, too.

One Comment

  1. What if the reverse were the case? if Italian phrases invaded the English language? It wouldn’t be at all the same because replacing English with Italian is a win-win choice. For example, an English cliché like “You never know,” becomes “Non si puó mai sapere.” You can sing any Italian phrase, less so English.

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