In the past few weeks this video showing an adorable Italian grandpa (actually a cook or something close to) trying to pronounce “Worcestershire Sauce” has become viral and has charmed UK, reminding them why (almost) everybody loves Italians.
Now, the common stereotype about Italians trying to speak English is based on the irrepressible need we have to put a vowel at the end of each word that comes out of our (often moustached) mouths.
That is true indeed, if you consider that even during the fascist era the regime tried to italianize words such as “sport” (turned into diporto), “standard” (Standa is in fact the name of a famous chain of shopping malls) and even “Louis Armstrong” (akwardly translated as Luigi Fortebraccio). But this reluctance towards anglicisms is definitely not only a matter of twisted ideology and cannot be considerad simply as some sad remain of a shameful past or a good subject for comedy: recent studies show that this “allergy” seems to be almost innate, probably due to the sheer phonetic structure of Italian words. Long story short: Italians have the lowest proficiency in English language amongst all Europeans and are ranked 27th in the whole world. And that can lead to huge problems, especially when you try to flee from economic crisis and to make your way abroad.
by Enrico, Italian teacher at Kappa Language school