I just heard an Italian say (in a news clip) “Questo documento rappresenta un escalation…” (the last word pronounced as in English). I would have thought that if the word were to be borrowed, it would be Italianized as escalazione. Do English words have the sort of cachet in Italian that French words have, or used to have, in English?


  1. No answer to your actual question, but I frequently see cachet spelled “cache” these days, possibly thinking it has an acute accent. A surprising number of people also spell lose “loose”.

  2. What you have noticed, noticed too have I.

  3. According to Dante, who is Italian, English words have become quite common in Italy, and they don’t Italianize them. He says that Italian words all have a very definite meaning, and English words are often used, especially when speaking about politics, for a more subjective meaning. I have a little trouble getting my English-speaking brain around that, but it’s an interesting concept.

  4. Thanks, that’s fascinating!

  5. “According to Dante, who is Italian”
    Brain got put on hold for a few nanoseconds figuring out that one. The first thought was that someone had held a seance.
    From what I remember of my days in Italy, English words weren’t “italianized” — we’d be talking about American television shows, or something, and they’d say “Starsky-‘Utch!” (because of course you don’t say “h” in Italian) with a fairly good American intonation and it would always crack me up. I think on some foreign news programs I’ve seen occasionally newscasters (whom one assumes are being held to various pronunciation standards) also say English words with an American intonation (interesting, come to think of it, that that’s not an English intonation….).

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