Our company’s roots lie in Germany and as language professionals, we like to live up to one of the most common clichés about Germans: Accuracy and fussiness. Besides plural forms, compounds and articles (which regularly prove to be one of the main sources of error for non-natives), German spelling can also cause great confusion – and it can get worse when talking about online casino spelling. So let’s take a closer look at the words Casino and Kasino, or, as we say in German “Casino oder Kasino”?
Casino as an Italian manor house
The term “casino” is originally derived from Italian, more precisely from casa, which means house. The suffix “-ino” in Italian is used as a diminutive so casino literally is a small house. In a former Italian dictionary, it was described as an “elegant little villa in the countryside”. This later developed into a place where one would meet for recreation, dining, board games, smoking etc., so it is similar to the German Offizierskasino but less military-related. Instead, “casino” simply meant club.
While in other parts of the world the term “casino” primarily picked up the gambling aspect, in Italy it took another path and soon became known for hustle and bustle including prostitution. Nowadays, Italians would say “Che casino!” to say “What a mess!”. It is even used for referring to children making a racket thus having almost lost its dodgy connotation.
Modern-day use in Germany
The Kasino variation can be defined as a “germanised” as well as an antiquated version of the original “Casino”. Using Kasino in modern-day Germany will doubtlessly identify you as a member of the older generation as Casino has become the standard spelling for gambling halls, online casinos and sometimes even the military casinos.
A website that speaks of “Kasinospiele (casino games) or “Kasinobereich” (casino section) will inevitably come across as odd to the reader, potentially even deterring him/her. If you’re given the choice to play at an “Online Kasino” and an “Online Casino” in Germany, the vast majority would go with the latter. Having said this, it’s important to localize your website in a way that it reflects your target audience’s everyday language.
James Bond’s Casino Royale
Another great example of the ubiquitous and international use of casino is Casino Royale. The 21st installment of the world-famous James Bond spy movies based on the novels by British writer Ian Fleming was released in 2006. Bond (Daniel Craig) attends a high-stakes Texas Hold’em poker game in the Montenegro casino and faces off against the film’s villain Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) in a duel for $115 million, which he eventually wins with a straight flush for his final hand.
The name of the casino as well as the film title (for the alert reader: which is also where our company name comes from) is the same for most other European languages as well. For example, in Germany, the production companies opted for the same title as in the English original, marketing it as “James Bond 007: Casino Royale”. Other countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark did the same. Even in Malaysia, the film was released as “Casino Royale”.
So after reading about the history and usage of both words, would you know what’s what? Casino or Kasino? And also Online Casino or Online Kasino?
Now you know! And if you’re still using the wrong term, we’re here to help you!
Header Image Source: PublicDomainPictures
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