Archive for the 'Italian' Category

  Italian journalist and author Beppe Severgnini has come up with a rule for good writing. It’s the PORCO rule: Pensa, Organizza, Rigurgita, Correggi, Ometti (Ponder, Organise, Regurgitate, Correct, Omit). I’m not mad about the PORCO rule because: a) “Porco” is Italian for pig. Not the cute kind of pig you see in a film like Babe (for which the […]

Today, 2 June, is the Festa della Repubblica, Italy’s National Day. So for my Italian readers (and everyone else too!) here’s a song from Naples performed – in the Neapolitan dialect – by my daughter, Olivia. About Reginella “Reginella”, written in 1917 by Libero Bovio and Gaetano Lama, is a bitter-sweet song about lost love and innocence. The singer sees his old love, his […]

One of the problems bilingual families face when choosing their babies’ names is finding something that’s easy to pronounce in both parents’ countries and languages and for both sets of relatives. We didn’t follow that rule when our first child, a boy, was born. We were living in Rome at the time but for me […]

The New York Times has published an interesting article on the new words and terms being used by Europe’s citizens as a result of the economic crisis. Some of the terms are lifted directly from English. Take “spreaddite acuta”, or acute spreaditis, used by the Italian media to describe Italy’s bond-yield problems. Or “downgradare”, referring to […]

“An object-lesson in how not to contract out a public service”. That’s how the Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, described the centralised system for supplying interpreters to the justice system. (See also my previous post on Ministry of Justice language services). Headlines have included: “Court interpreter farce halts murder trial” […]

I became an “empty-nester” when my daughter moved away in September to attend Leeds College of Music. Harry, our son, had left two years earlier. So lots of changes — emotional changes and practical ones too (for example, loading up the washing machine far less often and struggling to get to 30 items to qualify for […]

Do you ever find that a certain word or phrase keeps cropping up in your work? In your source material, I mean, not your end-product. For me right now it’s “credibility” (or credibilità, to be precise). That’s because I do a lot of translation and editing for Italian government organisations and Italy is focused on […]

Earl Bush served for many years as press secretary for Richard J. Daley, a controversial mayor of Chicago who was a forerunner to another Bush, George W., in his mangling of the English language. Examples are: “Gentlemen, get the thing straight once and for all — the policeman isn’t there to create disorder, the policeman […]

One of my very first dates with my (now) husband was a concert by Lucio Dalla and Francesco De Gregori in Taranto, in 1979. We were to meet in the doorway of the apartment block where I was living. Vito was about half an hour late, having forgotten the time while in the shower. For […]

I’ve got Google.com set up as my browser home page. I usually just glance at the little announcements under the logo and search box. However, this morning I noticed the announcement on the changes to their terms and conditions. It said: We’re changing our privacy policy and terms. Not the usual yada yada. Learn more […]