Rumble: Living in Italy - Part 5: Itanglish

My usual disclaimer: I love Italy. I love living here. I love the country, its people, its food, its culture... But it is a country with quirks, which make you smile.

Many people here don't speak a second language, not even younger people. They are not short of trying, though, as I described in my eBook chapter Itanglish - Italian food in English.

Last weekend, I saw this sign along the beach:

Sign in Itanglish

It seems they did not do too well in French neither.

More posts on The Road about Living in Italy


Anonymous,  20 November, 2008 20:30  

Might be a Flemish guy the creative mind that has got completely wrong also the Italian version? In fact is not "servizio di salvamento" but "servizio di salvataggio". That signal is a complete disaster in any language... but that happens wherever in the entire world. Bytheway not very popular English/French or Spanish in many areas of Northern Belgium.Funny..

Peter 20 November, 2008 21:04  

Indeed. now you mention it "salvataggio" would be correct...

It is true, funny signs can be found anywhere...

However, you must admit a 2nd language is not very common in Italy (exceptions apart)..

In North Belgium? Nooo. At least some English and French is spoken by anyone of 50 years and younger.. Four languages were compulsory when I went to school (at least in Flanders).. Whether they *want* to speak it, is something else ;-)


Anonymous,  20 November, 2008 21:28  

Infact, the fact that the majority of the Flemish I have to deal with "prefers" to stick with the "flemish language" doesn' t make things easy to anyone (ie tourists). That way to "protect" their territory they live in, don't think will bring anything good in the society. Again, that's my point of view. Probably I am too open mind. Cheers

Peter 20 November, 2008 22:04  


No, I think you are totally right. How can we be open to others if we are not open to other cultures, other languages... Be it for trade, tourism, or just "understanding" one another...


pumuckl 21 November, 2008 18:18  

actually they did pretty well in german. not a 100%, but not too big mistakes either :-)

Anonymous,  28 June, 2013 11:02  

They probably used Google Translate to write the sign :)).
But, unfortunately, in Belgium (Wallon Region at least) it`s the same. Nobody speaks a second language (not counting the immigrants).

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