Please leave your badge in reception…

Reception, break (pausa), badge (cartellino)… tutte parole entrate nel linguaggio comune anche in italiano. Il problema? La pronuncia! Ascoltate…

Mark Worden (Standard British accent)

I’d like to talk about some of the classic mistakes that one hears when Italians speak in English – or not so much when they speak in English but when they use English terms in Italian. For example, one that I hear… heard this morning and I hear, I think, pretty much every day is, when referring to the area in an office when… where you walk in and somebody asks you politely (1) what you want. The Italians invariably call this the “reception” (pronounced reception) but in fact… it is in fact the reception (pronounced “reseption”) because the “ce” – at least in this context in English – is pronounced as if it was an “s.”

Another great mistake is the word “break” as in “pausa” which the Italians often pronounce as “brek,” which nobody really knows what that means, but it sounds suspiciously like “Brexit,”  which is a word we’ve been hearing a lot recently.

And, finally, the… the mistake which one hears often is… is in fact a double mistake. The word “badge” (pronounced beige”), when they refer to the little thing that they give you so that you can walk into the office. It’s… the word should be (pronounced) “badge” and not “beige,” but in fact (2) badge is the wrong word. It’s… it’s a “pass” and I remember the first time I was told about a “beige” in… in an Italian office I automatically assumed that they were going to give me something which was the colour beige, but, no, it was a badge, but in reality it was a pass.


1    politely: educatamente
2    in fact: in realtà

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