A controversial Italian bill promoted by the majority party FdI is currently sparking discussions. The bill seeks to impose restrictions on the use of the English language in Italy, with the aim of preserving Italian language by imposing substantial fines of up to 100,000 euros.
The proposal was presented by Fabio Rampelli, deputy of Fratelli d’Italia and vice-president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.
Rampelli pointed out a well-known fact: “According to estimates from 2000 to today, the number of English words merged into the written Italian language has increased by 773 percent. Almost 9,000 are the Anglicisms currently present in the Treccani dictionary on about 800,000 Italian words”.
It didn’t take long for conflicting opinions to arise, with the Accademia della Crusca (the foremost linguistic authority in the country) being among the first to express their stance.
“The proposal to sanction the use of foreign words by law, with a fine as if you had passed through the red light, risks nullifying and marginalizing the work that we, as Crusca, have been conducting for years in order to defend Italian from the excesses of grossest xenophilia.”
This criticism was followed, among others, by the representatives of Movimento 5 Stelle, who highlighted how it is precisely the FdI-headed government that has established the Ministry of “Made in Italy”, using the English expression.
English in Italy and the Italian Bill
A mandatory use of the Italian language in public administration, to access goods and services and any public communication. Mandatory presence of interpreters and obligatory use of translation services for every event and conference held in the Italian territory. Exclusive use of the Italian language in employment contracts and prohibition of foreign acronyms or names to identify company roles.
Otherwise, the administrative penalties will range from 5,000 to 100,000 euros. These are the salient features that have emerged in recent weeks and have been disseminated by the media and news channels.
The full Italian text of the bill can be viewed at this address:
Within the eight articles of the text presented to the Chamber of Deputies, we read how the measure arises from the desire to protect our own language, comparing the efforts made so far with the actions taken by other countries.
“Switzerland has four official languages and a rich heritage of dialects. Since Italian is spoken only by 8.1% of the population and is in the minority compared to German (63.5%) and French (22.5%), the Federal Council has made the promotion of Italian a priority. In Italy there is no linguistic policy. Indeed, the language of politics in the new millennium has become increasingly anglicized by introducing foreign words into laws”.
We talked about Swiss multilingualism in Multilingual countries – Switzerland.
The proposal involved not only national realities, but also linguists and authoritative figures from all over the world.
Slator asked its readers, through its newsletter, if they felt it was right for a government to legislate on the use of national languages. The majority of respondents (69.2%) voted against the proposal, 17.3% in favor, and the remainder said “it depends on the involved language”.
Today, we want to expand this survey by proposing it to all our readers. What are your thoughts? Let us know your opinion in the comments sections of our social channels!
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