lunedì 29 giugno 2009

SNAFU (Situation Normal, All things F***ed Up)

Comparing military ranks across armed forces may be difficult, as most countries in the world have different ranks for the Army and the Navy (to begin with); when the comparison becomes cross-national, the difficulty increases, as even countries sharing the same language (like the UK and the US) may have different rank names.

The situation is so dire that the NATO, wich is a military alliance among 28 countries, had to issue the STANAG (STANdardization AGreement) 2116, in order to make military ranks & rates comparable, and the members' armed forces interoperable.

If you look at this page, which just compares UK and US military ranks, you'll see that the STANAG 2116 has been far more successful for officiers than for enlisted men - there is still a veritable "balagan" (Hebrew term for "chaos") there.

That's why I titled this blog post "SNAFU", a popular WW2 acronym for such state of affairs.

Italy has 4 armed forces (the Army, the Air Force, the Navy and the Carabinieri - sort of military police) and 2 police forces (the Guardia di Finanza, a military corps, and the Polizia di Stato, which has dropped military status in 1981), with different rank naming systems; therefore a translator who has to convert an Israeli military rank into its Italian equivalent may find himself in deep trouble.

I'm trying to help him by combining info obtained from these webpages:

Here you can see the result table - with just a column devoted to Israeli military ranks, and six devoted to the plethora of Italian military and police corps :-)

Enjoy the reading, and all feedback are welcome.

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