Italians are huge fans of acronyms, which makes reading Italian news and participating in discussions a little more difficult.
To help you survive the alphabet soup, here are the top Italian acronyms you need to learn.
Italian Acronyms: Why Do We Use them?
Although Italian abbreviations and acronyms may make your head spin, consider this text with and without them. Isn’t it neater with the abbreviations?
Example without abbreviations
“Mario leased a car from the Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino while on vacation in Italy. Radio Audizioni Italiane Uno and Telegiornale 4 were among the channels available in his hotel room.
For the daily Indice azionario della Borsa valori di Milano, Mario consulted the Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
He noticed a street rally for the Partito Democratico while looking out the window. Mario’s wife went to Unico Prezzo Italiano di Milano to replace her toothbrush after one of her luggage was lost by the airlines. She also wrote a postcard to her Sicilian friend Lucia, which required a Codice di Avviamento Postale.
Anna went to the local Azienda di Promozione Turistica for museum information later that day. Mario and Anna completed an Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto refund claim form at the end of their vacation to collect reimbursement of taxes paid on selected items.”
Example with abbreviations
“Mario leased a car from FIAT while on vacation in Italy. RAI 1 and TG4 were among the channels available in his hotel room.
For the daily MIB, Mario consulted the Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
He noticed a street rally for the PD while looking out the window. Mario’s wife went to UPIM to replace her toothbrush after one of her luggage was lost by the airlines. She also wrote a postcard to her Sicilian friend Lucia, which required a C.A.P.
Anna went to the local APT for museum information later that day. Mario and Anna completed an IVA refund claim form at the end of their vacation to collect reimbursement of taxes paid on selected items.”
What are Italian acronyms and how to pronounce them?
It may appear to be a zuppa di alfabeto, but as the examples show, you’d have to be a pazzo to write or say the whole phrase or word rather than changing the proper Italian abbreviation or acronym.
Known as acronimi (acronyms), abbreviazioni (abbreviations), or sigle (initials), Italian acronyms are made by blending the initial letters or syllables of businesses, organizations, and societies, as well as other terms, to form a new word.
Except for two-letter combinations, which are always spelled out, Italian acronyms are normally pronounced or read as if they were words rather than spelled out.
PIL (Prodotto Interno Lordo), D.O.C. (Denominzaione d’Origine Controllata), and STANDA (Società Tutti Articoli Nazionale Dell’Arredamento [Abbigliamento]) are all sounded like Italian words.
Other abbreviated forms are spoken letters for letters, such as PSDI (Partito Socialista Democratico Italiano) and PP.TT. (Poste e Telegrafi).
To determine the correct form, listen to native Italian speakers, particularly public speakers.
In any case, because the letters and syllables are still pronounced using the Italian alphabet, don’t forget how to pronounce Italian vowels and consonants.
Common Italian abbreviations and acronyms
Here is a list useful Italian acronyms list for you:
AA: (Trentino AA) -Alto Adige (South Tyrol)
AIFA: Agenzia italiana del farmaco
AN: Alleanza Nazionale
ANAS: Azienda Nazionale Autonoma delle Strade
ASL: azienda sanitaria locale
BCE: banca centrale europea
CNR: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, the largest research council in Italy
CTS: comitato tecnico scientifico
DAD: Didattica a distanza (pronounced dad)
DC: Democrazia Cristiana
DPCM: decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei ministri
EMA: European Medicines Agency
INPS: Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (National Social Security)
IRCCS: Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (research hospital)
ISS: Istituto Superiore di Sanità
LeU: Liberi e Uguali. Left-wing group
M5S: Movimento 5 stelle
OMS: Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità (WHO)
ONG: organizzazione non governativa, organizzazioni non governative (pronounced ong)
ONLUS: Organizzazione non lucrativa di utilità sociale
PIL: Prodotto Interno Lordo (GDP)
PD: Partito Democratico
PNRR: Piano nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza.
PS: pubblica sicurezza (dipartimento della pubblica sicurezza)
Rai: Radiotelevisione italiana
RSA: Residenze Sanitarie Assistenziali
Rt: L’indice di trasmissione del virus
SGR: Societa’ di Gestione del Risparmio (investment group)
SPID: Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale
Srl: Società a responsabilità limitata (LLC)
TG1, TG2, TG3: TeleGiornale (state-owned TV channels)
UNSIC: Unione nazionale sindacale imprenditori e coltivatori
Useful Italian abbreviations
Here are a few Italian abbreviations and their definitions that you may encounter throughout your visit.
- Sig. (Signor) – Mr
- Sig.ra (Signora) – Mrs
- Sig.na (Signorina) – Miss
- Dott. (Dottore) – Doctor
- VV.UU (Vigili Urbani) – Traffic Police
- POLSTRADA (Polizia Stradale) – Highway Police
- POLFER (Polizia Ferroviaria) – Railway Police
- A.C. (Arma dei Carabinieri) – Carabinieri (rarely used now and only seen on very old police buildings, most offices just display the word Carabinieri).
- A.A.T. (Azienda Autonoma di Soggiorno) – Local Tourist Board
- A.G. (Alberghi per la Gioventù) – Youth Hostels
- E.N.I.T. (Ente Nazionale Italiano per il Turismo) – Italian State Tourist Office
- S.C.V. (Stato della Città del Vaticano) – Vatican City
- Finally, here’s one you’ll see a lot of, especially on receipts and in stores:
- I.V.A. (Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto) – Value-added Tax (V.A.T.)
Italy uses acronyms in various aspects of life, from taxation to knowing which roads to avoid if you don’t want to be fined.
It’s an added layer of language learning, with a tiny bit of cultural knowledge thrown in for extra confusion. Some terms are not exactly translatable into your original tongue and may not even exist in your home country.
Because there are so many acronyms in Italian, this list is far from complete. Please let us know what additional Italian acronyms you’ve found handy in the comments section below.
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