11 July 2008

Yet another reason to love Italy....Publicness

One of my favorite Italy blogs, Cross Cultural Moments, had a great post today about privacy. The thread begins a few posts back, about students' examinations, but I think this bit that she appended to the end is truly fascinating for we rhetoricians:

"Interesting aside: the Italians say 'privacy' in English as there is no true translation of the concept as we know it in Italian. So the new 'privacy laws' are called 'le leggi sulla privacy'. Now try applying those, when your language doesn't even recognize the essence of the concept! In true Italian style the laws are very, very thorough, so exacting in their detail that NO ONE could EVER hope to actually adhere to them properly! I know of someone who has set up a consulting business to help offices adhere to the ever changing privacy laws."

What I love about this is that the concept of "private" is so foreign that there isn't even a word for it. Talk about publics theory! It also is a great case for why an ever-growing vocabulary is key for we teachers to advocate. Without the words, the concepts may not even exist (is it turtles all the way down?!?).

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Imagine all of India not being able to say "Thank you"!

It's so good to step out of your own culture for a while. It makes us remember that what we think is essential is merely habit.

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