A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Molto Bene: Q8 in Italy

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on February 21, 2007

Last night my father and I had supper with the Abu Owlfishes (my mother spent the evening trying to corral their unruly suburb into some semblance of order, by outlining a “comprehensive plan” to guide its development for the next decade).

Um Owlfish, who spent the evening sipping Norwegian sparkling water (yes – Norwegian water in Iowa. it was as much as mystery to us as we imagine it must be to the bottlers.), captured our beverage collection with her fountain pen while we lingered over coffee, and has now kindly posted her drawing at Printperson’s Journal.

At one point during a wide-ranging conversation whose topics ranged from water investment funds to rowboat maintenance (perhaps the evening did have a unifying theme: water & other liquids), the Owlfishes mentioned that one of Italy’s major gas station chains is Kuwaiti: Q8 Italia.


I had no idea and, since my command of Italian is really more a command of ancient Latin leavened with modern French, I had to search a bit further afield to find more information on the company. I found it on the website of a company called BEA, a software company (which describes itself a bit more eloquently as a world leader in enterprise infrastructure software, delivering powerful standards-based platforms for building enterprise applications and managing Service-Oriented Architectures even in heterogeneous IT environments. I have no idea what all that means, but I do know what software is.).

BEA developed a “unified integration platform” for Q8 Italia and cites the project as one of its customer case studies, all of which are, happily, written in English.

Its Customer Brief described Q8 Italia as follows:

Kuwait Petroleum International, under its ‘Q8 Sails’ brand, refines and markets fuel, lubricants, and other petroleum derivatives to a diverse customer base across Europe. 

With more than approximately 5,000 retail service stations (around  2,800 of them in Italy) as well as direct sales operations delivering fuel and heating oil to domestic and international users, Q8 is a well known, respected, and trusted supplier and business partner.

Kuwait Petroleum employs more than 7,000 staff worldwide; in Italy the company has more than 700 staff.

What Q8 Italia doesn’t have, according to the Owlfishes, is a pun that works well in Italian.

In English, Q8 sounds a lot like Kuwait: que-eight. In Italian, Abu Owlfish pointed out, Q8 sounds like coo-otto. Not like Kuwait at all!


4 Responses to “Molto Bene: Q8 in Italy”

  1. intlxpatr said

    Oh what fun. Wish I’da been there, too.

  2. We would have loved to have you there with us!

  3. abu owlfish said

    In fairness to the pun, I THINK that Italians pronounce Q8 as in English, but it hasn’t come up in conversation as often as you might imagine.

  4. Abu Owlfish – really? are you telling me that Arabic puns in English are not a frequent topic of conversation in Italy? I am shocked :-).

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