Sunday, August 10, 2008

Starbucks Speaks Italian, or not...

It seems like writing Italian phrases and words is now considered somehow a "touch of class" in many coffee stores, restaurants and other commercial establishments. I find it flattering and I have no problems with it. I share this love for the Italian language.
On the other hand, I find it embarrassing for the people or corporations that spend time and money to write enormous phrases in Italian on their precious wall space when the phrase itself contains elementary school level spelling mistakes. Ouch!
Now, I do not claim that my English is perfect; far from it as you can see. However, rest assured that if I had to write a huge four words phrase in any language in my hypothetical coffee shop, I would make pretty darn sure I got the spelling correct! Especially if I use such word to try elevating the elegancy of the place!
Now check out this "thing" that I saw, and took a picture of, in a Starbucks near where I live:

This phrase is about 6-7 feet long on a wall, and it takes very little to find out that the spelling is WRONG. I could understand the mistake if it was hard to verify... however, it takes only 30 seconds to find out that there is a problem. The easiest way is to search for this exact phrase in Google. At the time I wrote this post there were only 8 results for this, all from pages with spelling mistakes, and Google even offers a different spelling. Note how it says: Did you mean: "La macchina del caffe". Well, click on that link and now you get 4,000 matches. Not bad. A quick look at the italian dictionary will confirm that "Macchina" is the correct spelling! Not the huge wall-inscribed "machina", which is an embarassment for Starbucks. YUK!


Gianni Conti said...

Grande Pasa, vorrei conoscere questi tipi che fanno gli eruditi scrivendo le frasi in italiano sulle pareti dei bar e poi commettono errori grammaticali simili.Veramente dei geni...comunque, dal tuo blog, leggo che ci sei già te che difendi la nostra lingua all'estero e comunque consiglieri a lor signori di visitare questo sito, può esser loro molto utile : :-)))))

Gianni Conti (Firenze) said...

Grande Pasa, vorrei proprio conoscere lor signori che si permettono di fare gli eruditi scrivendo frasi in italiano"non corretto" sulle pareti di Bar o Pub.
Leggendo il tuo blog devo dire che difendi alla grande la nostra lingua e certi "insulti" che la offendono, aggiungerei che certa gente farebbe bene a consultare, visitare e magari impostare come pagina iniziale all'apertura di internet il seguente sito : potrebbe essergli utile. Ciao Ciao

swag said...

Jokes about Starbucks speaking Fritalian aside, this is just pathetic. People in Starbucks' marketing department are clearly asleep at the wheel.