False friends: Fiction

L’uso di fiction come sinonimo di sceneggiato tv, è tutto italiano. In inglese fiction significa “di fantasia”. In una libreria, per esempio, troverete le sezioni fiction (narrativa) e fact o non-fiction (saggistica). Avete presente la fantascienza (scienza di fantasia)? Non a caso è… science-fiction!

Mark Worden (Standard British accent)

The word fiction isn’t exactly a false friend. I would say it’s more a case of a misuse (1) of a word in Italian. When Italians talk about a “fiction,” as a TV programme involving drama, this bears very little relation (2) to the English use of the word, which is a type of literature. If you go into a bookshop or a library, it will be… divided essentially into two sections; fact” and “fiction.(3)  “Fact” is essays, subjects like sport or psychology, academic subjects, mathematics, anything like that, and… and “fiction” is all… all the rest, basically, stuff that’s been made up (4); novels (5), essentially, literarature. And what the English use when trying to describe what the Italians call “fiction” in the TV sense of the word is “TV drama” or a “TV series.” And I have to say that the word fiction has created a lot of confusion for… for Britons in Italy and perhaps for Italians in England, who knows?


1 misuse: uso improprio

2 bears very little relation: ha veramente poco a che fare 

3 “fact” and “fiction”: lett. fatti reali e finzione

4 stuff that’s been made up: cose che sono state inventate

 5 novels: romanzi

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