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Off topic: Information requested about foreign language speakers in Sicily
Thread poster: Vittorina Klingbeil

Vittorina Klingbeil  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:42
Italian to English
+ ...
Aug 12, 2008

A colleague of mine is looking at starting up an office in Sicily. This is not translation related, although it is languages and travel related. I would like to ask those colleagues who are either living in Sicily, or from Sicily, or who know something about demographics etc. in Sicily, your thoughts about where in Sicily would be a good option to start such an office, in terms of there being significant immigrant populations from northern Europe that have multiple languages, such as Spanish, French, German and Russian. Oh, and Italian and English too of course! To clarify, the goal would be to be able to relatively easily staff the office with people who have one or more of these languages.

Any comment much appreciated.
Many thanks

[Edited at 2008-08-12 20:04]

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NR_Stedman  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:42
French to English
Some preliminary thoughts Aug 12, 2008

Hello Vittorina
I have been living in Sicily on and off for 4 years (although my professional base is in Paris) and will give you my brief opinion on this beautiful and magic island. First of all it is 200% Italian and as far as significant numbers of immigrants are concerned, outside the camps for migrants in Lampedusa, I don’t know if there are any anywhere (though there seem to be quite a few Polish people here in Siracusa). You certainly don’t see them and quite honestly most Sicilians I know can hardly believe anyone would choose to come here and work. Structurally and administratively it is a hard job setting anything up and even things like getting an internet landline may take time (mine took 5 months). If you really needed multilingual staff then in my opinion you would have to base yourself in or near too either of the two big cities Palermo or Catania. These two cities have such larger-than-life and contrasting characters that advice on which to choose would be absurd. Another possible alternative would be in perhaps the most civilized and easy to live in part of Sicily which is around the Ragusa-Modica area This is also the least infiltrated by the mafia and may be worthwhile looking into as the local council seems to be very forward looking. They are building a new airport there and a new motorway. A final possibility would be Taormina because it is the top Sicilian resort with congresses all through the year.
I imagine though your friend must have his own knowledge of Sicily and business prerogatives to guide him.
Good Luck Nicholas

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Anna Fodale
Local time: 20:42
Portuguese to Italian
+ ...
a big city Aug 13, 2008

Hello Vittoria,
I'm Anna from Trapani. I think that Sicily is growing up, so that kind of business is a good idea. At the same time I think that it's important a good begin, and the better choose is a big city with a multicultural movement, like palermo or catania.
I'd like very much to work with an office like this, but there is nothing here, until now....

Good luck for your friend,

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United States
English to Italian
Catania Aug 13, 2008

I go often to Catania and think it is a great city for such a business. Also the Ragusa-Modica area is wonderful and has many tourists in summer.. also they are getting a new airport which will bring in more people. If your friend needs employees let me know. I'm itching to move to Sicilia and speak both English and Italian. While I am still learning Italian, I converse very well in day to day life and my reading/writing comprehension is very good.

Buona fortuna to your friend! Ciao, Rosa

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