Saturday, January 26, 2013


This is a post that I'd been thinking about for a while, but hearing a discussion about the use of English words in Italian on the radio was the push I needed to put it together. Inglesismi is a term that's used for English words that are used in Italian. And in modern Italian there are a lot of English words that are used in daily speech, here are some of them.

Weekend - In Milan at least (where there's generally more acceptance of foreign words amongst the younger generations) the word weekend is used almost as much, if not more, than the Italian fine settimana (settimana is week, and fine is end).

Spot - a lot of words to do with advertising have been borrowed from English. PubblicitĂ  is the Italian word for an advert, but you'll also hear 'spot' being used (also in the plural form) for adverts on TV or radio.

Computer - There isn't another word for computer in Italian. Some words for recently invented technologies, such as tablet or touch screen have also been taken directly from English. A computer is used to send Most words to do with social networks have been borrowed from English, such as twittare for 'to tweet', or taggare which means 'to tag'.

Meeting - There are a lot of words in business, including the word 'business' itself, that are English. Meeting's another word which is used even though an Italian word for the same thing already existed. Riunione translates as meeting, assembly, or gathering; not necessarily business related, wheras the use of the word 'meeting' is used purely for work meetings.

Mister - The Italian word for a sports coach or trainer is allenatore, but in football the coach is also commonly known as the mister. The use of this word dates back to when William Garbutt, an English ex-football player, became Genoa's coach in 1912, the first professional coach in the history of Italian football.


Mark D said...

Good choice of inglesismi Nerys! I didn't know that about 'il Mister' and had often wondered! Years ago some used to say 'calcolatore' for computer, but you don't hear it much now. Sadly, I seem to hear 'weekend' shorted to 'week' rather a lot.. people saying "Ci vediamo questo week?"..often blissfully unaware that the meaning changes completely.

Nerys said...

Hi Mark! I think I just watch too much stuff about football! I've heard week being used too, the blissful unawareness of the person saying it amuses me...