The Italian government has proposed new language legislation. Requiring businesses operating in Italy to use Italian in all internal communications. The legislation is aimed at protecting the Italian language from the dominance of English. But English is the lingua franca of international business.

They suggest that the use of English in business is eroding Italian culture and identity. The government says that it is important for Italians to be able to communicate in their own language. It helps them to participate fully in society.

There has been criticism of the legislation. With some critics claiming that it is not realistic and would be hard to enforce. They say that it would be costly for businesses to translate all of their internal comms into Italian. Also that these laws could stifle innovation and make it more difficult for Italian companies to compete.

There are a number of reasons why a lingua franca is necessary. Firstly, it allows people from different cultures and backgrounds to communicate. This can be essential for trade, diplomacy, and other forms of cooperation. Socially, a lingua franca can help to promote understanding and tolerance. It can also help to break down barriers and create a sense of community.

The proposed legislation is in its early stages. It's unclear whether it will be passed into law. However, it has sparked a debate about the role of English in Italian society.

It is admirable to work to protect a native language. However, this movement has some issues: 

  • With over 1.5 billion speakers, English is the most widely spoken language in the world. 
  • Currently English is the language of international business, science, and technology.
  • English is a valuable tool. It promotes communication and economic development.

The issue of the use of English in business is complex. There is no easy answer. The Italian government's proposed legislation is one way of tackling the issue. But it is not the only way. It is important to continue to talk and to find ways to protect different languages. It's also vital that people have access to the English language.

The Italian government's proposed legislation could help to promote the use of plain language in business. 

Here are some specific examples of how plain language can be used in business:

  • Contracts: Contracts should be written in plain language. Then all parties involved can understand the terms and conditions.
  • Policies: Policies should be written in plain language. This is so that employees can understand their rights and responsibilities.
  • Instructions: Instructions should be written in plain language so that customers can follow them easily.

By using plain language, businesses can improve communication, increase understanding, and reduce costs. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and improved business performance. This is an interesting issue that challenges something Native English speakers can take for granted.  

English could benefit from words from other languages - here are some Italian words the English language needs.


Photo by Diane Picchiottino on Unsplash

Dave Child

Dave is the founder of Readable and has been building websites since the early 90s. He’s one of those fortunate people who gets to do what he loves for a living.