Italy to sanction citizens for use of English words in official communication


A new law put out by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party might result in fines of up to €100,000 ($108,705) for Italians who use English and other foreign language in official communications.

The measure was proposed by lower chamber deputies member Fabio Rampelli, and it has the approval of the prime minister.

Although all foreign languages are included by the legislation, it is specifically targeted at “Anglomania,” or the usage of English words, which the draft claims “demeans and mortifies” the Italian language. It adds that this is made worse by the UK’s exit from the EU.

The bill, which has yet to go up for parliamentary debate, requires anyone who holds an office in public administration to have “written and oral knowledge and mastery of the Italian language.” It also prohibits use of English in official documentation, including “acronyms and names” of job roles in companies operating in the country.

Foreign entities would have to have Italian language editions of all internal regulations and employment contracts, according to a draft of the legislation seen by CNN.

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

The first article of the legislation guarantees that even in offices that deal with non-Italian-speaking foreigners, Italian must be the primary language used.

Article 2 would make Italian “mandatory for the promotion and use of public goods and services in the national territory.” Not doing so could garner fines between €5,000 ($5,435) and €100,000 ($108,705).

Under the proposed law, the Culture Ministry would establish a committee whose remit would include “correct use of the Italian language and its pronunciation” in schools, media, commerce and advertising.

This would mean that saying “bru-shetta” instead of “bru-sketta” could be a punishable offense.

The move to safeguard the Italian language joins an existing bid by the government to protect the country’s cuisine.

It has introduced legislation to ban so-called synthetic or cell-based cuisine due to the lack of scientific studies on the effects of synthetic food, as well as “to safeguard our nation’s heritage and our agriculture based on the Mediterranean diet,” Meloni’s Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said in a press conference.


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