Anglitaliano: English Words in Everyday Italian

We use a ton of Italian words in English.  More than many might think.  Just walk into a Starbucks, and you will probably walk out with something called a ‘LATTE‘ (Be careful asking for it in Italy, since all you will get is milk), and if it was a large, you will have asked for ‘VENTI‘, and you may have a bag with some ‘PANINI‘ as well.
How many time have you said ‘CIAO‘, even though you may have thought it was spelled CHOW?
At the OPERA, might you you yell BRAVO?  OK, all pretty obvious, but the list is actually almost endless!  Magnifico, crescendo, alto, bello/bella, etc.

But how about Italian use of English? Actually, there have been English words used commonly in Italian for ages, but recently it has really picked up, to the point that some call it ANGLITALIANO.  The Italian answer to Spanglish or Chinglish.  There is even a group dedicated on erase it from use, most appropriately called The Dante Alighieri Society.

How many English words exist in Anglitaliano?  Who knows?  But I listed those I could think of, and did about 5 minutes of googlage to see what I could put together.  Have a look.  The words in GREEN are English words that would be commonly understood by many Italians that don’t think they speak a word of English!

OKAY, this WEEKEND I used my COMPUTER and MODEM to go ONLINE to TEST my WEBCAM and EMAIL on the INTERNET with my new ROUTER.  The SERVER SOFTWARE asked for a PASSWORD, then made me DOWNLOAD a FILE.  Perhaps I lack the KNOW-HOW.

Later, I listened to an ALBUM with MUSIC by a BOY BAND, then a CD with BLUES, HIP HOP, GRIND, CORE, some POP STAR, JAZZ and a HIT by a ROCK BAND, but there was a BLACK OUT. WOW!

So I took off my BLUE JEANS and wore a SMOKING. I looked COOL, so went to a SINGLES BAR in a HOTEL that was full of SEXY women and had a COCKTAIL with the MANAGER who called me MISTER. She was BEAUTIFUL, with great MAKEUP and an EXTRA-LARGE T-SHIRT.   She was truly a BEAUTY with a great NEW LOOK.  I saw my EX with her BOYFRIEND who clearly found a BABYSITTER that night..  They deserve their PRIVACY, so I said BYE BYE and went to a PARTY.  Sadly, everyone was a SNOB. I began to feel the STRESS. I had a DRINK, then left for a CLUB to see a BAND I am a FAN of that plays DARK music.  The PERFORMANCE was SOLD OUT.. every TICKET!

Fortunately, I had a VOUCHER, so the STAFF let me in. OH YEAH! After the SHOW, there was a SUPER DEEJAY that had clearly been DOPING, and is probably on WELFARE.

Later I was hungry, so I got on my SCOOTER and went to a PUB, but I couldn’t decide between a HOT DOG, SANDWICH or a HAMBURGER, so ended up having a SNACK of  CRACKERSwhile watching some SPORT on the TV, followed by a TALK SHOW, a FILM, and a REALITY SHOW.

The following day, I went to the gym to do some SPINNING, JOGGING (or FOOTING) and BODY BUILDING before playing some TENNIS. Later, I took a car with lots of SEX APPEAL and a big STICKER for a TEST DRIVE, but it broke down at the STOP, and smelled of GAS. Maybe it was all the SMOG?  So I had to take it to the GARAGE.  Finally, after a little SHOPPING, I had a PICNIC for lunch with my BUSINESS PARTNER who shared some GOSSIP and NEWS about a friend with a HANDICAP that became a KILLER by giving someone’s PACEMAKER a SHOCK.  I thought about it and simply replied: NO COMMENT. It’s not a SCOOP, and has nothing to do with our PARTNERSHIP.  All I wanted was a BRIEFING and possible BRAINSTORMING about a new LOCATION for our BOOK SHOP, as well as our BUDGET and new SLOGAN. You know, a MARKETING MEETING.

That night I went to a BED AND BREAKFAST that was really nothing more than a LOFT with a BIG OPEN SPACE, instead of a RESORT.  After all, that is the latest TREND.  I read a FICTION, and went to sleep. GOOD NIGHT!

So how many “Anglitaliano” words can be drummed up in a single blog post?  Who knows?  Maybe this one is the LEADER and breaks a RECORD?

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  • Well, I guess I can cancel those Italian lessons I was planning! However, I bet those English words sound so EXOTIC in Anglitano…

  • Although I’ve heard some of these used, I haven’t heard all of them used. There are certainly a lot of Italian equivalents, like download is scaricare, weekend is ‘la fine-settimana’, online is ‘in linea’.

    Even if there are a lot of English words in Italian, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to understand what someone is saying. (Don’t forget to take dialects into account. That will just throw you off even more.) Inspite of knowing Italian well, I can still get lost in a conversation, no matter how many English words are thrown in there.
    .-= PassagetoItaly´s last blog ..Italy v. America: Do you ‘ration’? =-.

    • I have head most of them. Some are very commonly used by just about everyone (weekend, smoking, picnic, stop, jeans, privacy, etc), and some are equally interchangeable with their Italian counterparts.. Yes, you can scaricare un file, or also ‘fare un download’. But for the most part, these are simply chic. It is more cool to say Bye Bye than Ciao. Quite the social reversal of here, eh? Terms like BIG OPEN SPACE are cool marketing terms, and I have yet to understand the difference between FOOTING and JOGGING.

      In any case, I think Gail was kidding. Of course one would never be able to pull enough english words out of an Italian conversation to gather context. No more than an Italian would understand us if we were talking about a Starbucks experience 🙂

  • WARNING!!!! Do not ask for a “venti latte” in Italy. Since venti means 20 and latte means milk, you will end up with 20 glasses of milk on the bar counter and very puzzled barrista.

  • An amusing post, found may way here from your comments about Laura’s post on Belle Vita and have also seen you comment on Carol’s Blog.

    Will now be reading your blog as well:)

  • Rosetta Stone, somewhere in level 5, there is the lesson about farm and industry – the word? Pickup (as in pickup truck.) Apparently, I couldn’t pronounce it “Italian enough” according to their speech processor. When I vented to my Italian friend (I live in Florence) about the “peekUPpa” situation (my complaint: it’s not even an Italian WORD!), she informed me many of our Anglo words have been added to the “Italian dictionary” just as you mentioned. Interesting blog – thank you!
    .-= Valerie´s last blog ..Battiato and Blisters =-.

  • When I (very occasionally) go to a McDonald’s in Italy I never know how to pronounce “hamburger”, seems wierd to use English pronounciation while speaking Italian, but at same time don’t like to pronounce it with Italian accent either!!!

    • heheh… ahm-boorrr-ghearrrr 🙂
      Funny though, in the states you can’t pay me to walk into a McD’s, but when I am in Italy, after a few months I’ll have one just to get something that sort-of reminds me of home 🙂

  • arielariel

    Author Reply

    True! we use all those words, especially (many of them) in the advertising and/or marketing fields…

    and I think you will find the accent very very funny!

  • OlgaOlga

    Author Reply

    caio a tutti quanti.
    i know the website is dedicated to Italian and Italy, but it’s not only an Italian tendency, you can hear all these words mostly in all European languages. English was the pioneer in computer field and all those words were created in English first, non all of them have an Italian analogue. I work sia con italiano sia con inglese and these results and everyday use of engish words are obvious for me because of well…. global village and the expansion of english in business and international relations.

    • Hi Olga,
      Of course this is not something limited to Italian use of foreign words. Every country language does this to a large degree. It is especially done with English words because it is such a widely spoken second language world-wide. Some certainly do it to a greater degree — Look at Japanese.. they even have an alphabet dedicated to being used exclusively for foreign words — But this blog is about life observed in Italian culture, not life observed EXCLUSIVELY in Italian culture.

    • AnnAnn

      Author Reply

      Actually i have to disagree! There are countries in Europe that are trying to limit tis trend. I travel a lot and noticed that this trend is a lot more extended and exaggerated
      in Italy!

  • ToniToni

    Author Reply

    My least favorite use of English in Italian is “baby parking”, followed by “feeeeellling”.