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English vs Italian: a linguistic nightmare

Another peek through the fascinating curtain of foreign languages: English and Italian. More words that exist only in one of the two languages, more words that I wish existed in English, more words that Italy butchered to create new amazing concepts.

English vs Italian language

The other day, which could be anytime between yesterday and November 2016, like in this case, I wrote a blog post about English language and how it’s perceived by Italians. I had a list of nice little words that I know for a fact that Italians can’t get right, or pronounce right; and a few more words that all Italians think they’re proper English but, as it turned out, they are not! Today I have two more words to add to this list of fake English words:

Cricket” = car jack
Rallenty” = slow-motion used in movies

Of course, I happened to come across these two extra words in the worst way possible: using them in a sentence while talking to puzzled Australians.

For your sole entertainment, I collected words that, not only have an Italian translation, but one Italian word translates two English ones!

Veleno” = poison AND venom
Ricordare” = remember AND remind

Now, I understand your confusion, but a passive or an active memory action should not deserve two similar words, unless you blatantly want to confuse all foreigners. To this day, I need to think of songs with those words in the chorus to pick the right option. Thank you Nickleback.

Sometimes, what we need to express a thought is not to be found within the possibilities offered by English language. That’s when I have to rely on Italian words, trying to export them for their unbeatable semantic value.


  • “Cialtrone”
Pronounciation: cha-l-troh-neh
Meaning: Lazy, despicable, with no work ethics nor respect for others. We’ve all met that one Clerk who is sitting there, clearly not busy, clearly paid, and won’t acknowledge you even after prompted. Then a sigh, and a slow head turn towards you to ask if you need anything. Then another sigh and a head shake, because the simplest task is just too much to handle.



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