English Loanwords in Italian

Published 21st July 2011
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Sometimes we do not realise how many English loanwords we have in Italian. Some of them have become very common, such as the very popular OK or weekend, with spellings varying from week end to week-end.

Italian has also borrowed several English words from the IT field. For example, unlike Spanish and French, where the computer is called ordenador and ordinateur respectively, Italian has kept the original English version. Well… if you want me to be picky, we actually do have a translation for computer, which is calcolatore elettronico, although I would probably be quite puzzled if I ever heard it from anyone! The same applies for the mouse, which is souris in French and ratón in Spanish, but is still a mouse in Italian. Other words such as router and browser have entered the Italian lexicon too.

In addition, the field of economy and finance is full of English words, such as shares, marketing, and branding. Franchising is another loanword that most Italians would understand, together with loft.

However, I have noticed that people who try to use as many Anglicisms as possible are often regarded as quite stuck up, and might risk seeming as though they just use them without actually knowing their real meaning, or bothering to think of an appropriate Italian equivalent. So, pay attention to how many English words you are using in a conversation – you never know how it may affect people’s opinions of you!

There are many more English loanwords in common use in Italy, such as beauty farm and resort. Can you think of more?



A volte non ci acorgiamo di quanti prestiti dall’inglese vi siano nella lingua italiana. Alcuni di questi sono diventati davvero di uso comune, come gli usatissimi “Ok” e “weekend”, che viene scritto in tanti modi, da “week end” a “week-end”.

L’italiano ha preso in prestito numerose parole inglesi nel campo dell’informatica. Ad esempio, mentre il francese e lo spagnolo traducono “computer” rispettivamente con “ordenador” e “ordinateur”, l’italiano ha mantenuto il vocabolo inglese originale. Comunque, se proprio volessimo essere puntigliosi, esiste una traduzione in italiano per la parola computer, che sarebbe “calcolatore elettronico”, anche se sarei davvero stupita se la sentissi mai pronunciare da qualcuno! Lo stesso discorso vale per “mouse”, che diventa una “souris” in francese e un “raton” in spagnolo, ma resta pur sempre un “mouse” in italiano. Anche altri vocaboli come “router” e “browser” hanno fatto il loro ingresso nel lessico italiano.

Inoltre, anche aree come economia e finanza pullulano di parole inglesi, come “share”, “marketing” e “branding”. “franchising” è un’altro presito che la maggior parte degli italiani comprenderebbe, insieme a “loft”.

Mi sono comunque accorta che le persone che utilizzano più anglicismi possibile sono spesso ritenute snob e alcuni sono portati a pensare che queste si riempano semplicemente la bocca con questi paroloni, senza però conoscerne il vero significato o tentare di trovare un equivalente in italiano. Quindi, fate attenzione a quante parole in inglese utilizzate in una conversazione 😉

Vi sono comunque tanti altri prestiti, come “beauty farm” e “resort”. Ve ne vengono in mente degli altri?


Manchmal bemerken wir nicht einmal wie viele englische Lehnwörter es im Italienischen gibt. Einige von ihnen wurden mit der Zeit sehr geläufig wie z. B. OK oder weekend, wobei sich die Schreibweisen von week end bis hin zu week-end unterscheiden können.

Außerdem hat sich die italienische Sprache einige englische Wörter aus dem IT-Bereich geborgt. Zum Beispiel, im Gegensatz zu Spanisch und Französisch, wo der Computer ordenador oder ordinateur genannt wird. Italienisch hat das Original aus dem Englischen übernommen. Okay… wenn du willst, dass ich pingelig bin, wir haben eigentlich eine Übersetzung für Computer –  nämlich calcolatore elettronico. Wobei Ich wohl ziemlich verwirrt wäre, wenn ich es jemals von einem gehört hätte.

Dasselbe gilt für die Maus, die auf Französisch souris und auf Spanisch ratón ist, aber im Italienischen immer noch eine Maus ist. Auch andere Wörter wie router und browser haben den Weg ins Italienische Wörterbuch geschafft.

Desweiteren ist der Wirtschafts- und Finanzbereich voll von englischen Wörtern wie shares, marketing und branding. Ein anderes Lehnwort wäre Franchising, das wohl die meisten Italiener, genau wie loft, verstehen würde.

Allerdings habe ich gemerkt, dass Menschen die versuchen möglichst viele Anglizismen  verwenden, oftmals als ziemlich hochnäsig betrachtet werden und riskieren manchmal so zu erscheinen, als wüssten sie tatsächliche Bedeutung des Wortes gar nicht oder sich nicht bemühen an ein Italienisches Synonym zu denken. Also pass auch wie viele englische Wörter ihr in einem Gespräch  verwendest. Du kannst nie wissen wie es die Meinung, die andere über dich haben, verändern kann!

Es gibt noch mehr alltägliche Lehnwörter im Italienischen wie z. B. beauty farm und resort. Fallen dir noch mehr ein?

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