Yesterday, former Italian Prime Minister and the world's foremost thrower of "Bunga Bunga" parties Silvio Berlusconi, age 76, "unveiled" (to use the odd and yet somehow entirely appropriate phrasing of MSNBC) his girlfriend, Francesca Pascale, "a 27-year-old political councilor in his People of Freedom Party." He also announced their engagement — or did he?
...Rumors have surrounded Berlusconi and Pascale since 2011; yesterday, on television, he told the country that the two were engaged. "Finally, I feel less lonely," he said. (Berlusconi is still married to his wife Veronica Lario, who looks more than a little bit like Pascale.)
Or so American outlets reported. According to CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, reports of an "engagement" are just a mistranslation:
Berlusconi is not getting married, however. His words,"Mi sono fidanzato" from the verb "fidanzarsi", to get engaged, have been mistranslated. Commonly, Italians use the verb to announce serious relationships as Berlusconi has done.
Professor of Modern Italian History at University College London (UCL), John Foot, told CNBC that Pascale is a"girlfriend, nothing more."
"In Italy the phrase 'Mi sono fidanzato' usually means 'I have a girlfriend or boyfriend' and not 'I am engaged to be married'. This can cause confusion abroad but is pretty clear in the Italian context," he told CNBC.
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