Usage of Italian.....

06/21/2012 - 14:16

I think I need to get this off my chest, as it bugs me no end on this Forum/Community site.Now we all agree that this site exists for primarily the English speaking Ex-Pat community right; and by English speaking I mean just that not differing to regions i.e. Scottish, Welsh, Irish or American etc etc. so the spoken or typed language should be in English. Then this being the case why do poster feel the need to select certain 'buzz words/phrases' in Italian? Do they feel it makes them more 'Italian' than others, more superior as they know (because they have Googled it beforehand) what it means, I am not sure, only I wish this would stop. Fair enough on words that only apply to Italian regarding types of taxes, Legal Terms, foods, plants, animals, places and traditions; but for God's sake is there an actual need to intersperse sentences with an Italian equivalent?The reason I post this is because of a conversation had the other week with a lady who said to me; ' I don't go on the Italy Forum much because I feel a bit intimidated that lots of them seem to be a bit snobby and use terms I can't understand' ... well the operative word here I think was SEEM as I'm sure this is the only benefit, that some SEEM to be knowledgeable. This is not a dig at any particular person or persons and if this offends you then Good; but if the Forum wishes to succeed then it should not have to send people scuttling to Google Translate every time someone posts a item about 'rifiuti' or 'tetto' or whatever, just say it in English.By the way, yes I do speak passable Italian and I am married to one, and this has nothing to do with Latin either....There !!!!


To be fair, if you spend a lot of time speaking Italian in a certain context (in our case with builders), the Italian word is the first that comes to mind and sometimes it's difficult to find the equivalent in English. We were recently discussing the type of 'zoccolo' we wanted as a finishing to the house - look it up in a dictionary and you get hoof, clog, plinth, skirting board, base support of a cupboard. None really translate the bit outside between the ground and window sills - in our case 1/2 metre high and coated with peperino stone. I knew the word for citofono from Italian flats long before I ever used the English 'entry phone' as UK houses don't usually have them. These are just two examples but our family - kids included - just use the Italian word where we have become used to it - it's nothing about showing off or trying to intimidate people - life's too short!

My italian is not good to say the least - plenty of room for improvement so sometimes I turn off a post as I haven't got the time or sometimes the inclination to get a dictionary out.  However I'm all up for people writing in italian if they could bracket the translation after...........I know I'm really selfish :)

I dot bits of Italian all over the place here and if it offends you, then sorry, but I'm not going to stop perche' e' spetta a me decidere (because it's my choice).  Hai la liberta di andare dove vuoi qui (You have the freedom to do what you want here) because others can either ask, try to learn o togliti dai piedi (work that bit out yourselves!) wink

It doesn't offend me in the slightest, what it does do it reinforces my opinion that people like to show off through their 'Virtual Personality' and as I said is there any need for it  just because one can (obviously specific words or terms can only be expressed in Italian) when lots of people on here find it frustrating. I am not trying to dictate to anyone how posts should be written as Mr/s Bower says 'Life's too Short' but spare a thought for some (not me in particular as I can understand most written Italian) who may find it tedious and effettuata (I think you know what this means....)

It encourages others to learn ma una parola (but one word) with one person does not a wordsmith make.  It should not reinforce any opinion (yours or others) that people (I) only use Googled phrases or Italian words here to show off or intimidate through a virtual personality and, even more importantly, I don't see anyone else complaining about the use of Italian on this forum except you Flip - so where are the "people on here that find it frustrating"? I would have thought you would actually encourage others to learn the language - by any means necessary. Lets just agree to disagree perche' l'analisi finale e' effettuata sia monitorando o non monitorando la situazione (because the final analysis is carried out by monitoring or not monitoring the situation). Va bene?    wink

Yes agreed Esme. I did point out that it bugs just me, maybe, others but who knows. I know you speak Italian, after all those years in Napoli I should hope so, but it is obvious that some do use Translate as it is often not spoken langauge but a translation of various words out of tense and meaning. But now I've got it off my chest, I'm happy. smiley

fully agree with what La Dolcevita has recomended and what Esme has put into practice. I only speak for myself but find it interesting, what the actual translation is if not the posters own interpretation.

Words banned from this forum and from your everyday English life. Ciao, Bon Voyage, Hasta la Vista, C5a va, Allo Allo, Deja Vous, aide-memoire, avant-garde, double entendre, je ne sais quoi, ghetto, graffiti, incognito, inferno, pizza, maestro, malaria, mezzanine, moustache, nepotism, opera, parasol, prima donna, pasta, propaganda, portfolio, quartet, regatta, semolina, solo, soprano, studio, tirantula, torso, tempo, stiletto, trio, umbrella, vendetta, virtuoso, volcano. Any of these words used in the English language are likely to have you perceived as being S E E M I N G L Y  knowledgeable unless you can form the rest of the foreign sentence around them. JUST DONT DO IT

Further, in order to envelope yourself in a foreign language - do you not find it difficult to translate every Italian word you have learnt - into English just so that you can post on an Italian forum for the "English" - "only?" - are other Foreigners not welcome on this site. Sometimes - there are words that simply cannot be translated word for word into English - and enveloping yourselves albeit in the odd words of Italian allows you to build the sentences when you do need it - In Italy. You are not double translating. Heard a word in Italian, phrase booked it, re used it back - oh and now it means something different? At least if you start using Italian words on this forum - people can correct you in context and you might possibly learn from it. I feel this urgency to maintain all forms of communication on an Italian forum - to ONLY BE IN ENGLISH -stifling - and somewhat narrow minded - and as for my previous post - where does it all stop - are you refusing to speak any foreign words? Sorry I am dumbfounded as to why this thread was created. If you want to ONLY SPEAK IN ENGLISH then setup and English Forum talking about other countries - you Xenophobes.

Fair enough on words that only apply to Italian regarding types of taxes, Legal Terms, foods, plants, animals, places and traditions; but for God's sake is there an actual need to intersperse sentences with an Italian equivalent? HOW did these words get into the English language? And why dont we know the rest of the sentence? There are sometimes words without an equivalent - but relevant to the task in hand, are you saying we should break these words down into English words and break down the fundamental meaning. When learning a language - you grasp onto every word and then use it - sometimes building a sentence. Please can you for the purposes of this thread detail words that are NOT ALLOWED TO BE USED just so that we can be sure whats NOT ALLOWED

Aspergers I think we get what you are on about but if you read and understand my original post, I don't want to ban anything, except inane rambling out of context. To reiterate, I had a bee in my bonnet about some posts seemingly interspersed with Italian words just for the sake of it; and questioned the need for it. So to go on about banning words that are in everyday usage in English, that presumably most people are 'au fait' (there just to prove my point) with, is simply absurd.

I'm one of those whose italian isn't up to speed with some of the stuff written on here - I'm doing my best honest - evening classes etc and when I'm over I take every opportunity to practice (much to everyones amusement!) - however when I'm on the forum I often don't have the time to go through the dictionary etc to make sense of things - some of us aren't living there yet so are a bit behind - bit like school in my case - could do better - and when it's translated by people who are fluent/almost fluent etc it's really helpful.  As somoene else put I tend to miss out those posts where there's loads of italian on it and it maybe that I might have something useful to contribute but I'd never know! 

La Dolcevita, I know it is very difficult if Italian isn't your first language, that's what prompted me to sound off about this, especially if people are looking for advice on a subject, the last thing you want to do is resort to a dictionary or phrase book to see what people have written in reply. Making people feel inferior because they don't unnderstand certain snippets of Italian is, in my opinion, no way to inform, help or educate them. All I'm asking is keep it simple or give a translation for those less competent in Italian.

"I only speak for myself but find it interesting, what the actual translation is if not the posters own interpretation" I see now what you mean Alexcal - but it's more or less the same thing - "do what you want - v - go where you want." blush