Ciao, English! Italy's Right-Wing Government Wants Italian Language Only

The right-wing party led by Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (pictured above) has pushed forward proposed legislation that will ban the use of English and other foreign words in official communications, with fines of between €5,000 ($5,463) and €100,000 ($109,265). The goal of the legislation, which has received countrywide condemnation, is to “defend and promote the Italian language.” The Italian language — like most other languages in Europe — has adopted many English terms in recent years, in part because the terms indicated “new” things that didn’t belong to the Italian tradition (computer, social media, smart working), in part because the English language offers a more concise version of terms that in Italian would take quite a roundabout way to express. The adoption of English words into the Italian language is an object of endless debate in Italy, where opinions are split between protecting the integrity of the national language and accepting that living languages are fluid and constantly evolving. The proposed legislation takes a strong stance into this debate, pushing for a conservative approach that intends to virtually ban English words from the public administration, schools and universities. The proposed legislation still needs to go up for parliamentary debate.