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Thoughts of an Italian translation intern

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Simone Zanetti spent three months with Global Lingo as a foreign student intern. On his last day, Simone left us with an overview of his time with us and what he’d picked up about English culture.

If you’d like to find out more about our translation internship programme read the job description and contact us if you’re interested.

Simone Zanetti

During the last three months I have been able to improve my English, appreciate Leeds and other cities such as York and London as well as getting to know the British people a little better. I was thinking that looking at the UK and its people from the point of view of an Italian guy like me may be something interesting to read and discuss.

Before doing so, I just wanted to thank everyone at Global Lingo for being extremely nice and understanding. As corny as it may sound, the atmosphere in the office has been amazing and it has really felt like being part of a family. All the details of the things I have seen and the cities I have visited will slowly fade away as time goes by, but rest assured I will never forget the people who used to be only colleagues at the beginning and who are now friends.

I have noticed loads of interesting things about the UK and its people which are different from home. Going through them all would take a long time, so I’ll be brief.

The main thing I have noticed is that British people are extremely civil. By that I do not mean Italians are not, but I was pretty shocked when I saw long queues of people waiting orderly for the bus (I think it’s well known Italians are not the best at queuing) and later on thanking the bus driver before getting off.

And now some things that, though lacking a real connection between them, are pretty interesting.

No kettles in Italy?

British people will be flabbergasted to learn that we don’t have kettles in Italy (I may be wrong but I personally had never seen one before getting here). We “fancy brews” as well, but water is warmed up on the hob or in microwave ovens.

A fascination with greeting card shops

I was amazed to see how English people appreciate greetings cards. There are actually shops whose only business is to sell them. A business like that would put up the shutters after one day in Italy whatever the economic situation.

Full English breakfasts

The traditional Italian breakfast consists mainly of sweet food and drinks such as biscuits, croissants, coffee or tea. Having a full English breakfast was simply amazing! It was also very interesting to slowly discover traditional British cakes such as hot cross buns, cinnamon whirls and teacakes.

Coca Cola Light

“Diet Coke” has been promoted as “Coca Cola Light” in Italy. I assume British women are not as touchy as Italian ones.

Watch the traffic lights

Traffic lights work differently. In the UK the amber light lights up when switching from red to green and the other way round. In Italy it lights up only when switching from green to red.

Cocktails at football

Finally, an interesting piece of news for football fans. When watching football matches in pubs, the logo appearing on the bottom right hand corner of the screen is a cocktail glass in Italy. It was very funny to find out that in the UK there is a pint of beer instead.

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