1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Zuppa di Alfabeto: Italian Abbreviations and Acronyms

Understanding Italian Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Initials

By

AQ, BOT, ISTAT, and SNAproFIN. VF, CWIB, FALCRI, and RRSSAA. Italian abbreviations and acronyms might make your head spin, but consider the alternative:
While on vacation in Italy Antonio rented a car manufactured by the Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino. In his hotel room the channel choices included Radio Audizioni Italiane Uno and Telegiornale 4. Antonio consulted the Italian financial paper Il Sole 24 Ore for the daily Indice azionario della Borsa valori di Milano. While looking out the window, he saw a street rally for the Partito Democratico della Sinistra.

Since the airlines lost one of her suitcases, Antonio's wife went to Unico Prezzo Italiano di Milano to replace her toothbrush. She also wrote a postcard to her friend Regina in Sicily that required a Codice di Avviamento Postale in the address. Later on that day Sabrina went to the local Azienda di Promozione Turistica office for information on museums. At the end of their trip Antonio and Sabrina filled out an Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto refund claim form in order to receive a refund of taxes spent on certain goods.
Now consider the same passage using Italian abbreviations and acronyms:
While on vacation in Italy Antonio rented a FIAT. In his hotel room the channel choices included RAI Uno and Tg4. Antonio consulted the Italian financial paper Il Sole 24 Ore for the daily MIB. While looking out the window, he saw a street rally for the PDS.

Since the airlines lost one of her suitcases, Antonio's wife went to UPIM to replace her toothbrush. She also wrote a postcard to her friend Regina in Sicily that required a C.A.P. in the address. Later on that day Sabrina went to the local APT office for information on museums. At the end of their trip Antonio and Sabrina filled out an IVA refund claim form in order to receive a refund of taxes spent on certain goods.
Stirring The Soup
It might seem like a zuppa di alfabeto, but as the examples show, you'd have to be pazzo to write or speak the complete phrase or term instead of substituting the appropriate Italian abbreviation or acronym. Known as acronimi (acronyms), abbreviazioni (abbreviations) or sigle (initials), Italian abbreviations and acronyms are formed by joining the initial letters or syllables of companies, organizations, and societies, as well as other terms, to form a new word. Some of them even evoke the topic they stand for. For example, in Italian the word luce can mean "light, brightness, sunlight," all possible references to the movies. LUCE is also the Italian acronym for L'Unione Cinematografico Educativa, the national cinema educational organization.

Tasting The Minestra
Wondering what spices to add to the zuppa di alfabeto? In general, Italian abbreviations and acronyms are usually pronounced or read as if they were words rather than spelled out, with the exception of two letter combinations, which are regularly spelled out. Acronyms such as PIL (Prodotto Interno Lordo), D.O.C. (Denominzaione d'Origine Controllata) and STANDA (Società Tutti Articoli Nazionale Dell'Arredamento [Abbigliamento]), are pronounced as if they were Italian words. Other abbreviated forms, such as PSDI (Partito Socialista Democratico Italiano) and PP.TT. (Poste e Telegrafi) are pronounced letter for letter.

Listen to native Italian speakers, especially public speakers, to determine the correct form. In any event, don't forget how to pronounce Italian vowels or how to pronounce Italian consonants, since the letters and syllables are still pronounced using the Italian alphabet.

Italian Abbreviations and Acronyms: A B C D E F G H I L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Related Video
Italian Salsa Verde
Babycenter's Jasmine Kim on the challenge of technology
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Italian Language
  4. Games / Puzzles
  5. Italian Abbreviations - Italian Acronyms - Italian Initials

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.