Italy makes a move to ban English and other foreign languages

Cecelia Hillyer, Writer

On March 31st, the right wing Brothers of Italy party introduced a bill to ban the use of English words in official communication including schools and places with non-Italian speaking consumers. The bill mentions all foreign languages but is hinted toward the use of English words. In order to be approved, both of Italy’s houses of parliament have to agree to the bill, but it is backed by the prime minister Giorgia Meloni. The right wing party states that the use of English “demeans and mortifies” the Italian language. 

The Italian-language encyclopedia contains 800,000 Italian words and 9,000 English words. Since 2000, the amount of English words in the Italian language has increased by 773 percent. A few days before the drafted bill was proposed, the government moved to defend the ban on laboratory created food to protect their culture’s cuisine.

There are many parts to the bill. It requires anyone that holds office in the public administration to have a “written and oral knowledge and mastery of the Italian language.” Foreign setups are required to have Italian editions of employment contracts and internal regulations. The first article of the draft states that offices that interact with non-Italian speaking foreigners must use Italian as the primary language. The second article voices that Italian would be mandatory for promotion and use of public goods and services. Not following the bill can result in a fine from 5k to 100k euros. The Culture Ministry would make a committee dedicated to making sure there is correct use and pronunciation of Italian in advertising, media and school. Under this bill, pronouncing bruschetta as “bru-sketta” could result in a punishable offense.