Preserving the Language Of the Divine Comedy

Preserving the Language Of The Divine Comedy

It is no secret that 'English-isms' have permeated nearly every language in countries across the world. Recently, those trusted with the preservation and protection of the Italian language, The Accademia della Crusca, have accused the country’s education ministry of implementing an emerging educational text with dozens of English words and phrases. This comes as disturbing news as the threat of “English-ification” grows ever present in the Italian language. 


The committee, similar to it’s French counterpart, Academie française, has stated that it was “deeply concerned” that the text about entrepreneurship in business contained the phrases”team-building”, “start-up”, and “case history” among others when they feel that there are Italian equivalents that could have been just as effective. Because this has become “institutionalized,” according to the committee, The Accademia della Crusca contends that the education ministry needs to work to hold Italian language and culture,” in a higher regard, because “Rather than teaching students about entrepreneurship, the text seems to promote the systematic abandonment of the Italian language.”

Academie Francaise

Academie Francaise

Claudio Marazzini, the president of the academy, said the stated text would be difficult for Italian students to comprehend adding to a long list of points for the necessity to use native words over foreign ones. This linguistic compromise is not without a degree of being lost in translation as the meaning of some English words has been warped to the point where they aren’t recognizable to native English speakers. For example, "mister" has taken a new meaning as a football coach. The word, “location” has also come under fire specifically because there are three Italian equivalents (luogo, sito and posto) that could be used in it’s place.

Valeria Fedeli, the Italian education minister, however, has rejected criticism of the school text stating that her department was "committed to promoting Italian but also believed it was vital for schoolchildren to start learning English from a young age” and that  “Italian borrowed words from many other languages, not least Latin and Arabic.”

We hope you've enjoyed learning about how The Accademia della Crusca are Preserving the Language Of the Divine Comedy! How do you feel about the committee's efforts to keep the Italian language as pure as possible? Join the conversation below!