Tomato/Tomahto. Turin/Torino.

Filed under: — Kate @ 7:08 am EST

Apparently, there’s some controversy over what to call the 2006 Winter Olympics. Both NBC and the Olympic Committee are using “Torino,” the city’s actual name.

But American media has traditionally used the Anglicized version, “Turin,” so this whole “Torino” thing has turned their worlds upside down.

Evidently, there’s a whole contingent of people who can’t seem to wrap their minds around it. The Shroud of Turin is the only thing they associate with that region, so “Turin” it must be!

Being a native of that region, Edo deals with this quite often.

“I’m from Torino.”



“Oh! Like the Shroud of Turin!”

Never mind that identifying Torino with the Shroud is like defining Philadelphia by the Liberty Bell—that is, if we kept the Liberty Bell hidden away and only allowed people to view it a few times a century.

Okay, I realize that it’s not what most people are accustomed to hearing, but it’s not as if “Torino” was just pulled from someone’s ass. We don’t typically say “Roma” or “Milano,” but we know what they mean… right?

Maybe I’m not the best person to pass judgment, since the words are interchangeable in my household, but come on! Are Americans really SO stupid that they can’t figure this out?

More Reading:
-NBC Says Torino, Others Say Phooey [Early Word]
-Turin or Torino? Depends on whom you ask [AP]

11 Responses to “Tomato/Tomahto. Turin/Torino.”

  1. Stan Says:


  2. Amber Says:

    I’m so out of it, I’ve only seen the bus posters and didn’t really register them. Now I know what they’re about, thanks to you. I guess I thought Torino was some snowboard company or something. *sticking head back in sand now*

  3. daveT Says:

    stupid is as stupid dooooooesssssssss.

  4. John Says:

    I don’t get it. Why would a shroud town host the winter Olympics?

  5. Manchild Says:

    A friend of mine is from Fiorentina / Florence. I’ve come across this sort of thing. I don’t think it’s purely an American thing, if that makes you feel better.

    On the other hand, I remember when America hosted the World Cup, and they showed American people on the streets who thought ‘Trinidad and Tobago’ was two countries. I had never seen that before.

  6. Torino this Says:

    While I agree that most Americans have a weak grasp on geography, NBC’s decision to use “Torino” is idiotic. The anglicized name of the city is Turin. By NBC’s logic, they should refer to all Italian cities by their Italian names — Roma, Napoli, Firenze, Venezia … etc. And why stop there? When the World Cup is in Germany, we should use Munchen and Koln as well.

    There is a reason for anglicizing names — it becomes part of our language. That’s why the Spaniards call Paris “Parigi” and London “Londres” … it makes sense. NBC’s decision doesn’t.

  7. Kate Says:

    Why hello there, anonymous poster. Is it really that big of a deal? Does it keep you up at night? Anyway, I think you may have somewhat missed my point.

  8. Edo Says:

    Torino This: The decision was not NBC’s, but the IOC’s, due to intense lobbying by city officials. When the original decision was made, the then president of the IOC said “Torino”. All the official materials are branded as “Torino 2006″.
    The city wanted to be identified as Torino and lobbied powerfully for it during the selection phase. NBC simply complied with the IOC’s and Torino’s desires.

  9. carla Says:

    Doesn’t there seem to be a bit of a disconnect when saying “Torino, Italy”?

    Turin, Italy
    Torino, Italia

    not a big deal, but since we’re picking the issue apart anyway… *shrugs*

  10. Kate Says:

    Carla, your question makes sense. But they are expecting all countries to use “Torino,” not just the US. So the French would say “Torino, Italie.”

    Also, Olympic locations focus more on the city and the region than they do on the country. The games are called “Torino 2006,” not “Torino, Italy 2006.”

  11. Kate Says:

    It seems like people have really misinterpreted my point, which was basically this: Are we all so narrow-minded and dumb that we can’t adjust to this? It’s not like “Torino” is extremely different or hard to say. So get over it!!