A leading Italian author has warned that his native language is being dangerously undermined by the increasing use of English in everyday life. Crime writer Andrea Camilleri suggested that Italian was being subjected to a "devastating colonisation", with Prime Minister Mario Monti particularly guilty.
Reportagem: Alan Johnston
Andrea Camilleri is a literary celebrity in Italy. And he's best known abroad for his novels featuring his brilliant fictional creation, the Sicilian detective, Inspector Montalbano.
But the author is worried about the health of the language in which he works. Speaking earlier this week he took issue with the country's politicians for peppering their speeches with English words and phrases. Terms like 'welfare', 'governance', 'devolution', and even 'election day'.
The author said that Prime Minister Mario Monti was a leading offender. And it's true that Mr Monti does indeed frequently reach for English terminology. Here's an example from his first speech to Parliament. He just drops in the English phrase 'best practices':
And in the very next breath, he's at it again, sliding in that grim English term 'spending review':
Mr Camilleri said Mr Monti's habit was just part of what he called an "awful tradition" in Italian public life. Not enough, he said, was being done to take care of the national language.
And he gave a classic example. He said that when he served on a jury for a prize given by the Italian state broadcaster at the Venice Film Festival he was dismayed to find that the official language of the judging would be English.
literaly celebrity - someone very famous for their literature (celbridade literária, alguém que ficou muito famoso por sua obra literária)
took issue with - disagreed strongly with (discordou veementemente de algo)
peppering - to drop a few pieces over a surface as if with pepper (lançar alguns itens sobre uma superfície como se jogando pimenta do reino)
welfare - financial or other assistance to people from a government (sistema de assistência do governo)
governance - the way or system in which an organisation or government is managed (governança, a forma ou sistema sob o qual uma organização ou governo é administrado)
devolution - moving power from the centre (deslocando o poder do centro, devolução - de poderes)
reach for - decide to use (decide usar)
terminology - special words or phrases used in relation to a particular subject (terminologia, palavras ou frases usadas em relação a um determinado assunto)
drops in - casually and effortlessly uses (uso casual, natural)
best practices - working methods which are officially accepted as being the best ones within a particular business or industry (métodos operacionais oficialmente aceitos como sendo os melhores dentro de uma determinada indústria ou negócio)
at it - doing it (fazendo algo)
grim - worrying or dark (preocupante ou escuro)
dismayed - disappointed and unhappy (decepcionado e infeliz)