Italian politicians are trying to ban English words from their language in revenge for Britain leaving the European Union.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s nationalist Brothers of Italy party wants all Engish words, phrases and even initials banned from official documents.
The draft law text reportedly says that English is even worse than any other foreign language because the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU.
Under new rules – introduced by Fabio Rampelli, a member of the lower chamber of deputies, and backed by PM Meloni – the “Anglomania” use of English is branded “demeaning and mortifying” to the Italian language.
The new law would reportedly ban using any English “acronyms” in documents – like CEO and CFO for Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
Other flashpoints – according to local media – could be the way the British say the word ‘bruschetta’.
Under the new rules, just pronouncing the snack the English way – “bru-shetta” instead of “bru-sketta” – could land a EUR 100,000 (GBP 87,000) fine.
And commonly used English words like ‘deadline’ and ‘briefing’ could disappear from documents too.
The draft bill reportedly states: “It is not just a matter of fashion, as fashions pass, but Anglomania has repercussions for society as a whole.”
Article 2 of the bill is geared towards making Italian “mandatory for the promotion and use of public goods and services in the national territory”.
Failure to comply would result in fines ranging from EUR 5,000 (GBP 4,400) to EUR 100,000, according to the bill, soon to be debated in Italy’s parliament.
Rampelli, the bill’s sponsor, gave examples of some of the changes Italians can expect, saying: “In the lower chamber of deputies we speak Italian.
“We continue our battle for the use of our language instead of English.
“We can’t understand why we call an automatic hand sanitiser dispenser a ‘dispenser’.”
Instead of the English word ‘dispenser’, Rome would force officials to use the long-winded Italian expression, “dispensatore di liquido igienizzante per le mani”.
Like many languages in Europe, the Italian language has adopted a significant number of English words.
Experts reckon there are around 9,000 English words in Italy’s lexicon of 800,000 words.
And there has been a 773 per cent increase in the use of English words in the Italian language since 2000, according to local media.