Thursday, March 20, 2008

Word of the week: raccomandato

Our word of the week is one of the many that does not have an exact English translation, and reflects cultural differences. Raccomandato is also a (partial) false friend, as the noun form does not mean something that is recommended, at least in an objective way. The raccomandato/a is a person who gets a job, promotion, or other significant benefit through personal connections. The practice is very, very common in Italy, as Italians themselves complain. You will say that there is no real meritocracy anywhere. This is true, but the extent of the problem is much greater in Italy. It is practically the norm.

Not to be confused with the raccomandata (registered/certified mail).