A prominent lawmaker in Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia (FdI) has proposed a bill, allegedly supported by the prime minister herself, which, if adopted, will penalize Italian officeholders and public administrators who use foreign words in official communications.
Under the legislation, proposed by Fabio Rampelli, a lawmaker for FdI who serves as the vice president of the Chamber of Deputies, those who fail to use the Italian language in official communications may face fines ranging between €5,000 and €100,000, according to a draft of the bill obtained by CNN.
The piece of legislation, which has yet to be debated in the lower chamber, establishes that Italian is the official language of the Republic and requires anyone who holds office in public administration to have “written and oral knowledge and mastery of the Italian language.” It also prohibits the use of English words on official documents. The use of English terms, the bill reads, “has become a communicative practice which, far from enriching [Italy’s] linguistic heritage, impoverishes and mortifies it.”
It notes that between 2000 and 2023, the number of English words that have merged into written Italian increased by 733%.
“It is not just a matter of fashion, as fashions pass, but Anglomania has repercussions for society as a whole,” the draft of the legislation reads.
“In the Italian Chamber of Deputies, we speak Italian. The battle continues on the use of our language instead of English. It is not clear why the hand sanitizer dispenser should be called a ‘dispenser,’” Rampelli wrote in a Twitter post published last November.
The bill, which consists of eight articles, is titled “Provisions for the protection and promotion of the Italian language and establishment of the Superior Council of the Italian language.”
In the introductory text of the legislation, Rampelli explains: “These are provisions that represent a barrier to the spread of the use of foreign terms instead of Italian ones and a tool to remove the linguistic barriers that limit the participation of Italian citizens in collective life.”
It states Italian will be “mandatory for the promotion and use of public goods and services in the national territory.”
Once the law is adopted by the parliament, foreign entities will be required to have Italian-language editions of all internal regulations and employment contracts.
The establishment of “the Committee for the protection, promotion, and enhancement of the Italian language in the national territory and abroad” by the Ministry of Culture is also outlined in the proposed legislation.