Entro or by?

Prendete nota di quanto vi stiamo per dire, perché vi risparmierà spiacevoli fraintendimenti con colleghi o capi anglosassoni: se un lavoro è da consegnare “by Monday” vuol dire che il diretto interessato si aspetta di riceverlo per le 9 del mattino di lunedì (ovvero in tempo utile per essere “lavorato”), e non entro le 23:59 come a volte “entro lunedì” potrebbe far intendere!

Mark Worden (Standard British accent)

I think it’s fair (1) to say that British and Italian people tend to get on very well (2), certainly, the British love the Italians, they love Italy, and the Italians seem to quite like Britain and the British. There are obviously linguistic misunderstandings (3), but one of the biggest ones for me and I think for many other British people living in Italy is the word “entro” in Italian, which is not the same as the English “by.” And this can create a lot of problems, both for Italians who are trying to live and work in… in England, and for British people or Americans or other English-speaking nationalities who are living and working in Italy. If somebody says to you, “I would like this to be ready by Monday,” you immediately assume that they want it to be ready on their desk by 9 o’clock on Monday morning, but if an Italian tells you they would like something to be ready “entro lunedì,” this means that you have all of Monday in which to complete your task (4). And it’s happened to me on occasions when people have said, “We would like this entro lunedì” and if it’s not ready by 9 o’clock, I panic and apologize (5) and say, “Well, is it all right if it’s ready by lunchtime?” And I’m surprised when they answer back to say, “Yeah, of course, what’s the hurry? (6) No problem” I just assume this is Italian… the easy-going (7) Italian nature, but, no, it’s due to (8)… due to the different meaning (9) of the word… differences between “entro” and “by” and I imagine that likewise (10) many Italians have the reverse problem in English when somebody says, “I would like this to be ready by Monday,” and the English person is rather (11) surprised to know that why at  9 o’clock this thing hasn’t arrived, or indeed at 10 o’clock, or by lunchtime,then maybe at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon they ring up (12) to ask why on earth this thing hasn’t arrived yet, and in fact the Italian is then shocked to know, “But I said… you said, ‘entro lunedì,’ so I have the whole of Monday to prepare it,” but in fact no. So please remember that if an English person says, “I would like this by Monday,” it means they would like it by Monday morning and not by Monday evening!   


1 fair: giusto

2 get on very well: andare molto d’accordo 

3 misunderstanding: fraintendimenti

4 task: lavoro, compito

5  I apologize: mi scuso

6 what’s the hurry?: che fretta c’è?

7 easy-going: alla mano, rilassato

8 it’s due to: è dovuto a…

9 meaning: significato

10 likewise: allo stesso modo

11 rather: piuttosto

12 they ring up: chiamano (al telefono)

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.