Friday, August 27, 2010

Word of the week- onlus

A funny-looking, un-Italian sounding word you'll find if you read Italian papers. It's an acronym that stands for organizzazione non lucrativa di utilita' sociale. In other words, they are a form of non-profit/not-for-profit organization (Italians will use the word no-profit for these.)

An ong is a specific kind of onlus, equivalent to an ngo (non-governmental organization.)

More on acronyms later, including a list of the more common Italian ones. In the meantime, do not take for granted that even international acronyms will be the same as in English. For example, WHO (World Health Organization) is OMS in Italian (Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanita'.) The UN (United Nations) is ONU (Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite.) On the other hand, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization, a part of the UN) is also FAO in Italian, despite the fact that it is headquartered in Rome.

(In the picture, the FAO logo, a blade of wheat with the Latin motto for "let there be bread.")