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carla1604Monday 30th of May 2005 05:34:22 AM
Italian PRONUNCIATION - Italian pronunciation: VOWELS

As a general rule, the sound of Italian vowels is not affected by other letters. There is only one exception: when i belongs to particular clusters, its sound is not heard (I’ll talk about it later in this thread).

The Italian vowels are always pronounced clipped, that is they usually have a shorter sound than English vowels. To show how to pronunce italian words, sometimes phonetic spelling is used. This is made by adding an h to the final vowel of each syllable.

Example: the words vino, casa, citt would be spelled vyhnoh, kahsah, cyhtth. (Forgive me, I will not use phonetic spelling, I’ll try to record audio files instead).


Italian has 5 vowels: [color=blue]a, e, i, o, u[/color] and 7 vowel sounds: [color=blue]a[/color], [color=blue] [/color](closed e), [color=blue][/color] (open e), [color=blue]i[/color], [color=blue][/color] (closed o), [color=blue][/color] (open o), [color=blue]u[/color].

Italian [color=blue]a[/color] sounds like the english [color=red]a[/color] in c[color=red]a[/color]r, b[color=red]a[/color]th

Italian [color=blue][/color] (closed e) sounds like the english [color=red]ai[/color] in f[color=red]ai[/color]r or the english [color=red]ei[/color] in n[color=red]ei[/color]ghbour
some italian words pronounced with a closed e: vero (true), rete(network), sete (thirst)

Italian [color=blue][/color] (open e) sounds like the english [color=red]e[/color] in g[color=red]e[/color]t, l[color=red]e[/color]t, m[color=red]e[/color]t
some italian words pronounced with an open e: pieno (full), cielo (sky), serio (serious)

Italian [color=blue]i[/color] sounds like the english [color=red]i[/color] in mach[color=red]i[/color]ne, and like the english [color=red]y[/color] in g[color=red]y[/color]m

Italian [color=blue][/color] (closed o) sounds like the english [color=red]o[/color] in c[color=red]o[/color]al
some italian words pronounced with a closed o: nome (name), colore (color), voce (voice)

Italian [color=blue][/color] (open o) sounds like the english [color=red]o[/color] in l[color=red]o[/color]t, b[color=red]o[/color]x
some italian words pronounced with an open o: oro (gold), coro (choir), lotta (fight)

Italian [color=blue]u[/color] sounds like the english [color=red]u[/color] in r[color=red]u[/color]le

carla1604Tuesday 31st of May 2005 04:32:13 PM
ITALIAN CONSONANTS - ITALIAN CONSONANTS AND FOREIGN LETTER PRONUNCIATION

Many Italian words have double consonants. In Italian, double consonants sound stronger than in English.

[color=blue]B[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]B[/color].

[color=blue]C[/color] may sound like the English [color=red]K[/color] or [color=red]CH[/color] according to the vowel that follows it. It belongs to some special clusters, discussed in the following post.

[color=blue]D[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]D[/color].

[color=blue]F[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]F[/color] in [color=red]f[/color]lower, [color=red]f[/color]air, but never like the [color=red]f[/color] in o[color=red]f[/color]

[color=blue]G[/color] may sound like the English [color=red]G[/color] or [color=red]J[/color] according to the vowel that follows it. It belongs to some special clusters discussed in the following post.

[color=blue]H[/color] when at the beginning of a word, it is always soundless, like the English [color=red]H[/color] in [color=red]h[/color]eir, [color=red]h[/color]onour.
It also takes part to special clusters, discussed in the following post.

[color=blue]J[/color] can usually be found in foreign words only. According to the word, it may sound like the English [color=red]Y[/color], like the English [color=red]J[/color] or like the Spanish [color=red]J[/color].

[color=blue]K[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]K[/color]. Usually, it can be found in foreign words only.

[color=blue]L[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]L[/color].

[color=blue]M[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]M[/color].

[color=blue]N[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]N[/color].

[color=blue]P[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]P[/color].

[color=blue]Q[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]Q[/color]. It is always followed by vowel u.

[color=blue]R[/color] sounds like the Scottish [color=red]R[/color] in Edinbu[color=red]r[/color]gh or the Spanish [color=red]R[/color] in seo[color=red]r [/color] (rolled or trilled r).

[color=blue]S[/color] according to the word, it may sound either like the English [color=red]S[/color] in [color=red]s[/color]leep, [color=red]s[/color]pell or like the English [color=red]S[/color] in ro[color=red]s[/color]e, ea[color=red]s[/color]y
It also belongs to some special clusters, discussed in the following post

[color=blue]T[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]T[/color].

[color=blue]V[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]V[/color].

[color=blue]X[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]X[/color]. Usually, it can be found in foreign words only.

[color=blue]Y[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]Y[/color] and the italian [color=red]I[/color]. Usually, it can be found in foreign words only.

[color=blue]W[/color] can usually be found in foreign words only. According to the word, it may sound like the English [color=red]W[/color] or like the English [color=red]V[/color].

[color=blue]Z[/color] according to the word, it may sound either like the English [color=red]DS[/color] in be[color=red]ds[/color], or like [color=red]TS[/color] in ca[color=red]ts[/color]

carla1604Sunday 03rd of July 2005 09:57:31 PM
SPECIAL CLUSTERS - ITALIAN PRONUNCIATION - SPECIAL CLUSTERS
The pronunciation of some consonants changes when they come together and form one syllable (monosyllabic clusters).
Here is a description of Italian special clusters with the correspondent approximate English pronunciation.

[color=blue]CE, CI[/color]
When the letter C is followed by E and I, it has a soft sound (palatal pronunciation) like the English [color=red]CH[/color].

[color=blue]CE[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]CHE[/color]CK
[color=blue]CI[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]CHEA[/color]P


[color=blue]CIA, CIE, CIO, CIU[/color]
When the cluster CI is followed by A, E, O, U, the I is not to be heard any more. Its only function is to show that C has to be pronounced as the English CH. Therefore, [color=blue]CIA, CIE, CIO, CIU[/color] sound like the English [color=red]CHA, CHE, CHO, CHU[/color] (not CHYA, CHYE, CHYO, CHYU).

[color=blue]CIA[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]CHA[/color]LLENGE
[color=blue]CIE[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]CHE[/color]CK
[color=blue]CIO[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]CHO[/color]COLATE
[color=blue]CIU[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]CHOO[/color]SE


[color=blue]CHE, CHI[/color]
The letter H between C and E, or between C and I, gives the cluster a hard sound (guttural pronunciation).

[color=blue]CHE[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]KE[/color]TTLE
[color=blue]CHI[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]KEY[/color]


[color=blue]GE, GI[/color]
When the letter G is followed by I and E, it has a soft sound (palatal pronunciation) like the English J.

[color=blue]GE[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]JE[/color]T
[color=blue]GI[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]JEE[/color]P


[color=blue]GIA, GIE, GIO, GIU[/color]
When the cluster GI is followed by A, E, O, U, the I is not to be heard any more. Its only function is to show that G has to be pronounced as the English J. Therefore, [color=blue]GIA, GIE, GIO, GIU[/color] sound like [color=red]JA, JE, JO, JU[/color] (not JYA, JYE, JYO, JYU).

[color=blue]GIA[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]JA[/color]M
[color=blue]GIE[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]JE[/color]T
[color=blue]GIO[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]JO[/color]B
[color=blue]GIU[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]JU[/color]LY


[color=blue]GHE, GHI[/color]
The letter H between G and E, or between G and I, gives the cluster a hard sound (guttural pronunciation).

[color=blue]GHE[/color] sounds like the English [color=red] GE[/color]T
[color=blue]GHI[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]GI[/color]FT


[color=blue]GLI[/color]
The [color=blue]GLI[/color] cluster sounds approximately like the english [color=red]LL[/color] in MI[color=red]LL[/color]ION.

[color=blue]GLIA, GLIE, GLIO, GLIU[/color] sound approximately like the Spanish [color=red]LLA, LLE, LLO, LLU[/color].


[color=blue]GN[/color]
The [color=blue]GN[/color] cluster sounds like the spanish in SE[color=red][/color]OR, MA[color=red][/color]ANA.
It is also similar to the English [color=red]NI[/color] in O[color=red]NI[/color]ON.


[color=blue]SC[/color]
When followed by E and I, the SC cluster sounds like the English [color=red]SH[/color]. Though, when SCI is followed by A, O, U, the I loses its sound.

[color=blue]SCE[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]SHE[/color]LL
[color=blue]SCI[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]SHEE[/color]T
[color=blue]SCIA[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]SHA[/color]RP
[color=blue]SCIO[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]SHO[/color]P
[color=blue]SCIU[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]SHOE[/color]

When followed by HE, HI, A, O, U the SC is to be pronounced like the english [color=RED]SK[/COLOR].
[color=blue]SCHE[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]SKE[/color]LETON
[color=blue]SCHI[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]SKI[/color]
[color=blue]SCA[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]SCA[/color]RF
[color=blue]SCO[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]SCO[/color]RE
[color=blue]SCU[/color] sounds like the English [color=red]SCOO[/color]TER