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Italy Seeks to Penalize the Use of English

by Staff


Under a new legislation, Italians who use English and other foreign words in official communications could potentially be fined up to €100,000 ($108,705).

The law has been introduced by Fabio Rampelli, a member of the lower chamber of deputies with open support from right wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and the Brothers of Italy party.

The legislation notes all foreign languages but has a particular focus towards extinguishing Anglomania or the use of English words, which the law draft states “demeans and mortifies” the Italian language—perhaps worsened by the fact that the UK is no longer part of the EU.

The bill is yet to be debated in parliament, but preliminarily requires anyone who holds an office in public administration to have “written and oral knowledge and mastery of the Italian language.” 

It also strictly forbids the use of English in official documentation, including “acronyms and names” of job roles in companies operating around Italy. 

A draft of the legislation, as reported by CNN, states that foreign entities would be required to have Italian language versions of all internal regulations, records, and employment contracts updated regularly. 

The draft bill also states “It is not just a matter of fashion, as fashions pass, but Anglomania has repercussions for society as a whole.” 

In the first article of the legislation it is specified that Italian must be the primary language used, even in offices or workspaces that deal with non-Italian speaking foreigners or partners. The second proposed article would make Italian “mandatory for the promotion and use of public goods and services in the national territory.” 

Fines between €5,000 ($5,435) and €100,000 ($108,705) could be issued for ignoring this law.

The Culture Ministry of Italy would establish a separate committee under the new law, drawing focus on the “correct use of the Italian language and its pronunciation” in schools, media, commerce, and advertising. 

A popular example of mispronunciation, such as saying “bru-shetta” instead of “bru-sketta” could become a punishable offense.

Other recent moves to safeguard the language include rules on how vegetarian and vegan food is described on packaging—with aims “to safeguard our nation’s heritage and our agriculture based on the Mediterranean diet,” according to Meloni’s Health Minister Orazio Schillaci.



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