Italian Place Names and Streets to be Changed to English for the Winter Olympics in 2026

How signs will look on the Milan metro before and after the start of the Winter Olympics 2026.

The Organising Committee of the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics has announced that English will be the official language of the Games. In order to help foreign visitors to northern Italy, a number of changes will be made to street signs, metro stations, airports, towns and other locations for the duration of the Olympics. The Regions of Milano and Veneto have already established a joint Office of Official Translation which will have the legal power to force local authorities to change the language of signs to English.

The most significant changes will appear in the road signs outside many towns in the two regions. The airport of Malpensa, which serves the city of Milan, will be renamed “Bad Think” during February 2026. Venice’s main international airport, Marco Polo, will become “Mark Pole”. Other changes that will occur in Milan include:

  • Abbiategrasso will change to “May You All Have Fat”
  • Porta Romana will become “Roman Gate”
  • Via Fatebenefratelli will be called “Do Well Brothers Street”
  • Via della Spiga will change to “Ear of Corn Street”

A number of Milan metro stations will change their name:

  • Precotto will be termed “Pre-Cooked”
  • Pagano will be known as “They Pay”
  • Sesto San Giovanni will be called “Sixth Saint John”
  • Sesto Rondo will be styled “Sixth Round”
  • Bande Nere will be called “Black Bands”
  • Marche will be “Brands”
  • Pero will become “But”

In Veneto, signs pointing to the highest mountain in the Dolomites, Marmolada, will read “Marmalade” and feature a symbol of Paddington Bear eating a marmalade sandwich. The city of Treviso will temporarily be called “Three Face”.

Other temporary changes that will ensure non-Italian speaking visitors to the Games are able to enjoy their stay in Italy more easily have also been announced:

  • Instead of asking for a “cappuccino”, visitors will be able to order a “little hood”.
  • All menus will change the word “spaghetti” to “little strings”.
  • Instead of “tiramisù” customers will be offered a “pick-me-up”.

The Mayor of Milan, Beppe Sala, will officially become “Joseph Hall” throughout the Olympics, while the Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi, will be referred to as “Marius Dragons”. Italy’s President, Sergio Mattarella, will be styled “Serge Rolling Pin” (although several linguists have criticised this change as inaccurate).

For more information regarding the official signage changes, please contact the joint Office of Official Translation.

© Robert Dennis 2022, robertdennis.it

Nomi di luoghi e strade italiane da cambiare in inglese per le Olimpiadi invernali del 2026

Come appariranno i segnaletiche sulla metropolitana di Milano prima e dopo l’inizio delle Olimpiadi Invernali 2026.

Il Comitato Organizzatore delle Olimpiadi Invernali Milano-Cortina 2026 ha annunciato che l’inglese sarà la lingua ufficiale dei Giochi. Per aiutare i visitatori stranieri nel nord Italia, una serie di cambiamenti saranno apportati ai cartelli stradali, alle stazioni della metropolitana, agli aeroporti, alle città e ad altri luoghi per tutta la durata delle Olimpiadi. Le regioni di Milano e del Veneto hanno già istituito un ufficio congiunto di traduzione ufficiale che avrà il potere legale di obbligare le autorità locali a cambiare la lingua dei cartelli in inglese.

I cambiamenti più significativi appariranno nei cartelli stradali fuori da molte città delle due regioni. L’aeroporto di Malpensa, che serve la città di Milano, sarà rinominato “Bad Think” nel febbraio 2026. Il principale aeroporto internazionale di Venezia, Marco Polo, diventerà “Mark Pole“. Altri cambiamenti che avverranno a Milano includono:

  • Abbiategrasso cambierà in “May You All Have Fat
  • Porta Romana diventerà “Roman Gate
  • Via Fatebenefratelli si chiamerà “Do Well Brothers Street
  • Via della Spiga cambierà in “Ear of Corn Street“.

Alcune stazioni della metropolitana di Milano cambieranno il loro nome:

  • Precotto sarà chiamato “Pre-Cooked
  • Pagano sarà conosciuto come “They Pay
  • Sesto San Giovanni sarà chiamata “Sixth Saint John
  • Sesto Rondo sarà chiamato “Sixth Round
  • Bande Nere sarà chiamato “Black Bands
  • Marche sarà “Brands
  • Pero diventerà “But

In Veneto, i cartelli che indicano la montagna più alta delle Dolomiti, la Marmolada, reciteranno “Marmalade” e presenteranno un simbolo di Paddington Bear che mangia un panino alla marmellata. La città di Treviso sarà temporaneamente chiamata “Three Face“.

Sono stati annunciati anche altri cambiamenti temporanei che garantiranno ai visitatori non italofoni dei Giochi di potersi godere più facilmente il loro soggiorno in Italia:

  • Invece di chiedere un “cappuccino”, i visitatori potranno ordinare un “little hood“.
  • Tutti i menu cambieranno la parola “spaghetti” in “little strings“.
  • Invece di “tiramisù” ai clienti verrà offerto un “pick-me-up“.

Il sindaco di Milano, Beppe Sala, diventerà ufficialmente “Joseph Hall” per tutta la durata delle Olimpiadi, mentre il primo ministro italiano, Mario Draghi, sarà chiamato “Marius Dragons“. Il presidente dell’Italia, Sergio Mattarella, sarà chiamato “Serge Rolling Pin” (anche se diversi linguisti hanno criticato questo cambiamento come impreciso).

Per ulteriori informazioni sui cambiamenti della segnaletica ufficiale, contatta l’Ufficio congiunto della traduzione ufficiale.

© Robert Dennis 2022, robertdennis.it

Business English di Robert Dennis: il nuovo corso di inglese per fare strada, in edicola il 5 novembre!

Business English di Robert Dennis: il nuovo corso di inglese per fare strada!

Imparare inglese per il lavoro con il metodo più facile, divertente e effetivo mai visto in Italia! Scritto da Robert Dennis, insegnante di inglese commerciale con molti anni di esperienza sia in Gran Bretagna che in Italia e storico collaboratore del grande John Peter Sloan. 

Business English contiene dialoghi, vocaboli, la grammatica, esempi, consigli e spunti, ed anche esercizi ideati a aiutarti padroneggiare il linguaggio degli affari in tutti i principali situazioni del lavoro: come fare un colloquio di lavoro, incontrare clienti e colleghi, fare riunoni e presentazioni, scrivere e-mail, effetuare telefonate, fare il check in all’aeroporto e in albergo, ordinare il pranzo in un ristorante (anche se si tratta solo del cibo piuttosto triste di Londra).

Il volume è tradotto di Marta Castano con illustrazioni di Sara Pedroni.

Business English sarà disponibile in libreria dal 5 novembre e online su Amazon e Feltrinelli.it, ecc.

Business English: Il primo libro di Robert Dennis esce in edicola con Il Sole 24 Ore

Intervista con Robert Dennis e Francesca Milano del Sole 24 Ore su Instagram in diretta.

BUSINESS ENGLISH di Robert Dennis è un corso di inglese facile e veloce pensato per chi ha bisogno di comunicare nel mondo del business e degli uffici, dalla preparazione del curriculum e lettera di presentazione, passando per le modalità migliori per scrivere un’e-mail perfetta, più una vera e propria “guida di sopravvivenza” su come trovare un alloggio in affitto, orientarsi in una nuova città…

Con il consueto stile Gribaudo, questo corso di business English si cala subito nella pratica, rendendo possibile iniziare a comunicare fin dai primi passi. Ovviamente, senza mai rinunciare alla chiarezza e al rigore dei contenuti, garantiti da Robert Dennis, storico collaboratore di John Peter Sloan.

BUSINESS ENGLISH è ancora disponibile adesso in edicola con Il Sole 24 Ore.

Si può comprare Business English online su Shopping24, il sito e-ecommerce del Sole 24 Ore o Primaedicola.it

Some English language tips for smartworking

As part of the global effort to deal with the effects of the coronavirus, governments and businesses are encouraging employees to practice more smartworking. In this article, I look at some useful language that you can use to work remotely from home or some other location away from the office.

What is smartworking?

According to one definition, smartworking is “a new model of work that uses the new technologies and the development of existing technologies to improve both the performance and the satisfaction that is obtained from the job”. In practice, for most people it means using your computer and phone to do the things you would normally do in the office, i.e. sending emails and messages, taking part in meetings via Skype, making phone calls and using a variety of programs and platforms to interact with colleagues, clients and customers.

While there are almost limitless choices in terms of technology, the key words and phrases that you need to get your work done are fairly standard. You’re probably already familiar with the technical vocabulary and jargon in your industry. Whether you’re working from home or the office, the problem remains the same: what do you say in typical business situations?

Let’s look at some of these in detail:

Making phone calls

When you’re calling a customer or client, there are a number of phrases you can use to start the conversation. Always say why you’re calling someone:

  • I’m calling about the proposal I sent you last week.
  • I wonder if we could just have a chat about the situation in Germany.
  • I’d like to bring you up to speed with what’s happening here in Italy.

In the current climate, people might be reluctant to arrange face-to-face meetings. Here’s how you can suggest an alternative:

  • Maybe we can do / have a Skype call?
  • Let’s discuss it over the phone.
  • How does a conference call sound to you? I can ask Steve Richards from Marketing to join us.

Writing emails

Email remains the “workhorse” of everyday business. (A workhorse is the basic but reliable machine or technology that you use every day to get your work done.) You can improve your emails by making them more direct and using a conversational tone: write the way you speak. Avoid very formal language or complicated sentence structure.

Here’s an example of an email to an established customer from a member of the support team:

Dear Kim,

I hope you’re well and managing in the current situation. Hopefully, things will get easier over time.

I’m currently working from home. It’s not an ideal situation, although it does mean that I get to spend more time with my kids.

Thanks for your email. I’ve contacted Mary Bennett in Toronto and asked her to forward the relevant plans to you. I’ve also updated the online folder and sent you a PDF with the proposed changes.

Of course, there could be some unexpected problems over the next few months but I will be here to provide ongoing advice and support for the Mariposa project.

We really appreciate your loyalty as a client and whatever happens, our commitment to give you the best service we can will remain.

Looking forward to receiving your feedback.

Take care,

Edward Price
Customer Delivery Team

P.S. You’ve probably already heard that our annual Sales Conference in Jakarta has been postponed. Please check the News section of our website for updates.

Using Skype

The next best thing to a face-to-face meeting is a Skype call. It’s not always as smooth as an actual meeting and there can be problems or delays getting connected. Here are some phrases you can use to manage the situation:

  • I’ve got a problem with the sound. Can you hang on ( = wait) while I set up my microphone?
  • There’s a strange / funny echo. Can you move your mic ( = microphone) away from your speakers?
  • Hold on. I’m going to use my headset.
  • I can see you, but I can’t hear you. Have you got your audio turned on?
  • It’s not a very good connection. Can we try turning off the video?
  • OK, I can hear you now.
  • I can see you now. Yes, I can hear you loud and clear.
  • So, let’s talk about the designs for the new report. We’ve come up with three possible solutions…

The key to smartworking and using a combination of devices and platforms is to be as adaptable as possible. If you start a conversation on the phone and move to email, using consistent, natural language can help you to make a smooth transition. By employing a conversational tone across the different platforms, you can reassure your client or counterpart and demonstrate that you have a capable, professional approach to doing business. Finding the right mix of technical / formal terms and friendly, informal phrases will enable you to connect with the other person and help develop a good working relationship.

© Robert Dennis 2020

Are you smartworking? Would you like to improve the way you communicate with clients and colleagues in English? Contact me to discover how I can help you or your company to use English in the most effective way.

robertdennis.it

7 ways that you can improve your CV in English

I know: it isn’t easy writing a CV (curriculum vitae), especially if you’re doing it in English and you’re not a native speaker. (It might be some consolation to know that even if English is your mother tongue, it’s still really difficult!) 

But there are a few things you can do to make sure that a potential recruiter considers your CV and, hopefully, calls you for an interview. So, here are my tips for making your CV stand out from the rest:

1. Add a personal profile

I teach a lot of Italian students and I’m always surprised how few have a personal profile at the top of their CV. What is a personal profile, anyway? It’s one or two lines about who you are, highlighting your key qualities and skills. Think of it as the “USP” (Unique Selling Proposition) of your personal brand. Here’s an example of a great personal profile:

Highly-organised and resourceful management professional with the ability to inspire and lead others. I specialise in managing projects in the engineering and construction sectors. 

2. Include a Skills section

This can go at the beginning or end of your CV. Your skills are the things you’re good at. Choose the skills that are most relevant for the job for the job you’re applying for. Here are some examples of skills:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Highly numerate
  • Time management skills
  • Problem-solving ability 
  • Good listening skills 

3. Use more powerful adjectives and phrases to describe yourself

You’re applying for a job in an increasingly crowded and competitive market place. So don’t be afraid to “blow your own trumpet” (praise yourself or say why you are the best person for the job). Try using some of these words and phrases when you’re talking about yourself:

  • dynamic 
  • focused 
  • committed
  • successful
  • an effective administrator
  • an imaginative / creative designer 
  • a highly-experienced catering manager with a passion for gourmet food and fine wine

4. Be selective

When you’re deciding what to put in – and what to leave out – of your CV, focus on the “highlights” of your career and education. You don’t need to include every job you’ve ever had, especially if they’re not relevant to the position on offer. For example, if you’re applying for a job as a Team Leader in a telecoms company, do you really need to include your first job working in a shoe shop? Maybe you can compress earlier or similar jobs into a summary (and also avoid any gaps in your CV). Similarly, you don’t need to list every subject you studied at school or university. Choose the most relevant ones for the job you’re applying for now.

5. Give examples of your achievements

Some people add this as a separate section. You can also include your “greatest hits” in the relevant descriptions of the jobs you’ve done. Here are some examples of impressive achievements:

  • I increased sales of chilled ready meals in our Northern European markets by 14%
  • I organised an employee car pool that helped reduce the carbon footprint of our organisation.

6. Include your volunteering activities

Employers like to see that potential recruits are socially responsible people with commitment and a sense of values. If you’ve been active in the voluntary sector, this can also make you more employable. There are other benefits of including your volunteering or charity work, as well. For example, even if you’ve never had a management job, you’ve probably already got some management skills from your volunteering, e.g. organising / setting up projects; training other volunteers; managing resources and money; providing support and encouragement, etc.

7. Say what you do in your free time

Your hobbies and interests can be extremely relevant and help to distinguish you from other candidates with a similar professional profile or background. Sports and other leisure activities show that you like to keep fit, that you’re competitive and can show that you’re a team player. Travel and learning foreign languages (especially English) demonstrate your desire to learn more about the world and people from other cultural backgrounds. And artistic / creative hobbies can show a potential employer that you’re imaginative and able to see situations from a unique / original perspective.

Want to find out more about writing a really great CV in English? Contact me to discuss the best way of approaching potential employers, polishing your CV and covering letter – and how you can increase your chances of getting the job you really want by improving your English language skills.

robertdennis.it

How to introduce a new topic in English

By Robert Dennis

There are a number of different situations where you want to introduce a topic, theme or idea to the person or people you are speaking to. In this article we will explore some of these situations and also look at the most appropriate expressions you can use.

General conversation

In an informal conversation, you can switch to a new topic by using the expression by the way:

By the way, I saw Latif last week. He’s working at New Century Investments now.

Note that we often use by the way to introduce a difficult or awkward topic or to talk about something that’s really important to us but  to make it sound spontaneous or random:

Oh, by the way, you know that book on Strategic Management I Ient you six months ago, well, er, I wonder if you’ve finished it?

(Translation for non-British people: Give me back my book – NOW!)

You can also use the words listen or look, especially if you want to talk about something that’s very important or to make a suggestion or invitation:

Listen, there are going to be some important changes made here and I want you to know about these first.

Look, why don’t you read my report and give me some feedback when you’ve got time?

More formal situations

In a formal situation, such as a meeting or a presentation, you can introduce a topic by using phrases which signal to other people that you are about to say something interesting or significant. You can also use these expressions when you are doing a presentation:

I’d like to discuss

OK, now I’d like to discuss the next item on our agenda, which is the question of reorganising resources.

Let’s turn to

Right, well we’ve covered all the issues relating to Canada. Let’s turn now to our other North American markets and I’d like to start with Mexico.

(Mexico is in North America, by the way, as my Mexican students in London always pointed out. Never refer to Mexico as a South American country – at least when you’re talking to Mexican colleagues or clients.)

Let’s look at

Let’s look at the customer data for the period between March and July.

Discussions

In a discussion where people are expressing their opinions you can expand or stretch the topic by using expressions which suggest there are other questions that need to be answered:

We’ve discussed the situation in general, but we haven’t really looked at the underlying factors. I really think we should address those now.

What you’re saying about top female executives is really interesting, but I think we’ve overlooked the fact that there’s still a huge pay gap between men and women in many sectors.

We still need to analyse why there is resistance to change.

We haven’t really addressed the issue of net neutrality.

Changing perspective

Sometimes you want to introduce a new aspect of something you have already talked about or considered:

Let’s look at this from the other side

Let’s turn this round and look at it from the point of view of the manufacturers.

Put yourself in Terry’s position. Why would you accept less money for doing the same job?

Here’s a business English tip: in most business situations (and, in fact, in life generally) native speakers select from a repertoire of existing phrases and sentence patterns, which they customise and adapt according to the situation and the person they’re speaking to. You can can do the same! Spend some time reading and learning the key phrases – and use them in your job and your life!

© Robert Dennis 2019

I am a freelance business English teacher, copywriter and translator. Contact me to find out how I can help you and your company communicate more effectively with your target audience.

robertdennis.it

(Note: a version of this article first appeared on BigBusinessEnglish.com.)