Easy Italian Lesson 10 Pronunciation

Easy Italian Lesson 10 Pronunciation: Sounds Of Italian

The easiest Italian pronunciation is

ITALIAN PRONUNCIATION YOU KNOW FROM ENGLISH

The main purpose of all the previous nine Easy Italian Lessons has been to show you the similarities between English and written Italian that will enable you to read some Italian.

The secondary purpose is to prepare you for the next steps in learning this foreign language: listening to and then speaking Italian.

Sound similarities are far fewer than spelling similarities between Italian and English.

This lesson will help prepare you for a logical next step of learning: listening to Italian on audio of tourist phrases and pronouncing them.

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Italian Words You Know How To Pronounce

From all the Italian words in English, you actually know a lot about Italian pronunciation, but you’re probably not aware of it.

Some words in English may sound to you like they might be pronounced in a Italian way, but most adopted Italian words have been in English so long that you and other English speakers think of these words as English.

So some Italian words you already know how to pronounce in English.

You know much more about Italian pronunciation than you realize -- just because you know English.

This lesson will show you how much you already know about pronouncing Italian words.

Italian words that sound similar to English are the focus of this lesson.

Just as Italian words that look similar to English were the focus of all the previous nine Easy Italian Lessons.

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In these Easy Italian Lessons are letters written by someone taking a first trip to Italy -- and discovering that many Italian words are similar to English words.

Read Italian Words In English Sentences

The following letter in English has a few Italian words mixed in. This starts you reading a few Italian words in the easiest way – in a context of familiar English words in English sentences.

Reading Italian words in English sentences is the very easiest way to begin to read Italian.

In the following story, the ITALIAN WORDS are IN CAPITAL LETTERS.

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LETTER ABOUT THE SOUNDS OF ITALIAN

Dear Billy Bob,

Here in ROMA when I listen to people babble away in ITALIANO, every now and then an English-sounding word jumps out.

The easiest are the words borrowed from English, like BAR and RADIO and JEANS.

Next easiest are the Italian words we use in English, especially in the restaurants, like RISTORANTE and PASTA and PIZZA .

I went to a CONCERTO, which I know how to pronounce from English as “kohn-CHEHR-toh”.

Then I was surprised to hear a group of words I always thought were English and never suspected were Italian also, like il SOFA, il PANORAMA, lo SPORT and l'AUTO.

I took a lesson to learn how to talk Italian.

Il mio PROFESSORE is Nino, and he gave me my lesson in un BAR. He taught me some tricks to learn Italian faster.

For example, the word meaning NO in Italian is spelled and pronounced like the English word no. But the word meaning yes in Italian (SÌ) is pronounced like the English word: “see”.

"Phone" sounds something like hairdryer in Italian (PHONO).

The sound of "key" would be saying who (CHI) in Italian.

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If you say some names in English to an Italian, she hears an Italian word.

For example, the English name “Otto” sounds like eight in Italian (OTTO).

The name “Sue” sounds like on (SU).

"Lana" sounds like wool in Italian (la LANA).

The name"Mort" sounds like dead (MORTE)!

So in Italian TU (you) sounds like the English words "two, too, to".

If you say the English word "ago", the Italians hear AGO (which means sewing needle).

If you say "day" in English, the Italians hear DEI (which means gods).

These are easy Italian words for me, since we already know how to say them from English, even though I must remember that they mean something different in Italian.

A funny one is the Italian word for ‘men’s restroom’, UOMINI, which sounds something like “women”!

-- Candace

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PRONUNCIATION GUIDE

By sounding out the pronunciation guide, you should get the basic sound of the word — and an Italian person would probably understand you.

This pronunciation guide describes the sounds of Italian in a very simple way. Wherever possible it uses letter combinations of sounds from English that are closest to the sounds in Italian, so that you can combine these common English sounds into Italian words.

The pronunciations listed here are the Italian ones you would hear in Italy rather than the Americanized pronunciations.

In Italian some syllables are emphasized more than others, in most words. In the pronunciation guide, the stressed syllables are printed in capital letters. All these words and phrases may be pronounced somewhat differently in Italian than in English.

However, you don't need perfect pronunciation to make yourself understood in Italy (even though it would help because Italian people like it). As a tourists you need not be concerned with perfect pronunciation -- just good enough to communicate your needs.

By sounding out the pronunciation guide, you should get the basic sound of the word — and an Italian person would probably understand you.

This pronunciation guide describes the sounds of Italian in a very simple way. Wherever possible it uses letter combinations of sounds from English that are closest to the sounds in Italian, so that you can combine these common English sounds into Italian words.

The pronunciations listed here are the Italian ones you would hear in Italy rather than the Americanized pronunciations.

In Italian some syllables are emphasized more than others, in most words. In the pronunciation guide, the stressed syllables are printed in capital letters. All these words and phrases may be pronounced somewhat differently in Italian than in English.

However, you don't need perfect pronunciation to make yourself understood in Italy (even though it would help because Italian people like it). As a tourists you need not be concerned with perfect pronunciation -- just good enough to communicate your needs.

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ITALIAN WORDS YOU KNOW HOW TO SAY

Some of the obviously Italian words used in English, like ‘pizza’ and ‘opera’, you will recognize as Italian words you already know how to pronounce. As used in English, they retain their Italian pronunciation, more or less.

These Italian words in English can serve you as a good introduction to speaking Italian, because they are somewhat familiar words you already may know how to pronounce in the Italian way.

This Easy Italian Lesson focuses on pronunciation -- specifically on the pronunciation of Italian words that you already know how to say in English.

All the previous Easy Italian Lessons focused on the spelling of Italian words similar to English.

All the previous Easy Italian Lessons included the pronunciation of each of these Italian words that look like English words.

But Italian pronunciations were included only in case you would naturally try to pronounce these Italian words similar to English -- so that you could pronounce them the Italian way right from the beginning, rather than pronounce them as you always have said them in English, which may or may not be the same as in Italian.

So this lesson will show you how much you already know about pronouncing Italian words, but may not fully realize.

You may know many of these Italian words in English.

Or you may not know some of these Italian words in English.

If you do not immediately recognize some of these Italian words in English, simply skip over them and go on to the next Italian word that you do know from English.

So in the following lists, concentrate on the Italian words you do already know how to pronounce in the Italian way.

That way these Italian words in English that you know can serve you as a good introduction to speaking Italian.

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WORDS THAT SOUND ITALIAN IN ENGLISH

You may have noticed that words which sound Italian in English do not follow the usual English patterns of pronunciation.

Or on the other hand, you may be so used to some of these adopted Italian words in English that you may not have noticed that they do not follow the usual English patterns of pronunciation.

In the pronunciation guides for this lesson on Italian pronunciation, the phonetic pronunciations of all the Italian words are listed, even though they may be pronounced in Italian as they are in English (which elsewhere on this web site are put in quotation marks to indicate similar pronunciation in Italian as in English).

For this lesson on pronunciation of adopted Italian words in English, in some cases the pronunciation guides list the familiar English pronunciation of a Italian word, rather than the authentic Italian pronunciation, which may be the same or different from the English pronunciation of the Italian word.

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LEARNING ABOUT ENGLISH WHILE LEARNING ITALIAN

Knowing how Italian words in English are pronounced will primarily help you begin to learn Italian more easily.

But this will also increase your understanding of your native language. You will see how many English words are pronounced the way they are because of their Italian origin.

You also learn more about words in English that still seem Italian, especially ones you may have seen or heard before but aren’t sure how to pronounce or spell. You may also find some useful new words in English.

So while using this lesson about cognates as the best way to begin learning Italian, you will also learn more about English as a side benefit. Just as when you learned English, you were unwittingly learning quite a bit about Italian also.

At the bottom of this web page is a link to a list of Italian words in English that still sound Italian.

During this lesson you could consult that list on Wikipedia, which includes meanings, if you come across any Italian words in English whose meaning you are unsure of.

In the list on Wikipedia you will also find many more Italian words in English that still sound Italian, because this lesson includes only Italian words that demonstrate Italian pronunciation you know from English, but other ones are not covered in this lesson.

From this list you could also learn more about English as a side benefit.

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ITALIAN CONSONANTS YOU KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE IN ENGLISH

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Let’s start this lesson on Italian pronunciation the easiest way -- with letters pronounced in Italian the same way as in English!

SOME ITALIAN CONSONANTS ARE PRONOUNCED AS IN ENGLISH

B - D - F - K - L - M - N - P - Q - T – V

Some letters in English are not native members of the Italian alphabet, and appear only in foreign words or foreign names, specifically the following English letters: J – K – W – X – Y.

Other consonants in Italian are pronounced differently than in English -- but often in ways you may already know how to pronounce from English:

Some consonants in Italian have two pronunciations.

Some of these consonants in Italian have two pronunciations depending on the letter that is before that consonant -- usually determined by which vowel comes before the Italian consonant with two pronunciations.

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Z and ZZ pronounced "TS"

In Italian –Z– and –ZZ– are pronounced "TS", as in the Italian / English word “PIZZA”.

This sounds like the end of the English word ‘hits’.

Unlike this Italian –Z– pronounced "-TS-" in adopted Italian words, otherwise in English -Z- is usually pronounced as in: “zoo”, “zero,”, “zest”, “zip”, “zap”, “zing”, “zany”.

In the pronunciation guide here, the pronunciations “-Z-“ are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

pizza -- pizza -- [pee-TSah]

pizzeria -- pizzeria -- [pee-TSah-ree-ah, in English]

paparazzi -- paparazzi -- [pah-pah-rah-TSee]

mozzarella (cheese) -- mozzarella -- [moht-TSah-rehl-lah]

calzone (pastry pouch) -- calzone -- [kahl-TSoh-neh]

interlude (music) -- intermezzo -- [een-tehr-meh-TSoh]

square / marketplace -- piazza -- [pyah-TSah]

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Some words with –Z– pronounced "-TS-" you may have heard in Italian movies.

palace -- palazzo -- [pah-laht-TSoh]

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Other words adopted into English have had their original Italian pronunciations Anglicized and no longer in English have -Z- pronounced "-TS-".

terrazzo (mosaic floor) -- terrazzo (terrace) -- [teh-rah-zoh, in English] -- [teh-rah-TSoh, in Italian]

cadenza (music) -- cadenza -- [kah-den-zah, in English] -- [kah-den-TSah, in Italian]

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Z pronounced "DZ"

In Italian –Z– is sometimes pronounced "DZ", as in the Italian / English word “GORGONZOLA”.

Unlike this Italian –Z– pronounced "-DZ-" in adopted Italian words, otherwise in English -Z- is usually pronounced as in: “zoo”, “zero,”, “zest”, “zip”, “zap”, “zing”, “zany”.

In the pronunciation guide here, the pronunciations of –Z– as “DZ“ are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

gorgonzola (cheese) -- gorgonzola -- [gohr-ghon-DZoh-lah]

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C pronounced "CH"

In Italian –C– is pronounced "CH" before the vowels E and I, as in the Italian / English word ‘CELLO’.

Unlike this Italian –C– pronounced "CH" in adopted Italian words, otherwise in English -C- is usually pronounced in several ways.

Unlike Italian, English -C- is often pronounced as “S” before the vowels E or I or Y, as in: “cell”, “certificate,”, “cedar”, “ceiling”, “celebrate”, “cider”, “cigar,”, “cinder”, “circle”, “cycle”, “cyanide”, “cylinder,”, “cymbal”, “cynic”, “cypress”, “cyst”.

English -C- is sometimes pronounced as “K”, as in: “cabin”, “call,”, “camp”, “can”, “candy”, “car”, “card”, “cash,”, “cave”, “class”, “clean”, “cliff”.

In the pronunciation guide here, the examples of -C- pronounced "CH"are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

Italian –C– is pronounced "CH" before the vowels E and I:

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

cello -- cello -- [CHeh-loh]

ciao -- ciao -- [CHyah-oh]

ciabatta (bread) -- ciabatta -- [CHyah-bah-tah]

concert -- concerto -- [kohn-CHehr-toh]

vermicelli -- vermicelli -- [vehr-mee-CHeh-lee]

Leonardo da Vinci -- Leonardo da Vinci -- [dah veen-CHee]

Monticello -- monticello -- [mohn-tee-CHeh-loh]

Il Duce -- Il Duce -- [eel doo-CHeh]

Cinzano -- Cinzano -- [CHin-zahn-noh]

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fettuccini -- fettuccini -- [feht-toot-CHee-nee]

cappuccino -- cappuccino -- [kahp-poot-CHee-noh]

focaccia (bread) -- focaccia -- [foh-kaht-CHyah]

carpaccio (thin meat) -- carpaccio -- [kahr-paht-CHyoh]

capriccio (music) -- capriccio -- [kah-preet-CHyoh]

bocce (ball) -- bocce -- [boh-CHeh]

breccia (rock) -- breccia -- [breh-CHyah]

mosaic -- mosaico -- [mOH-zay-ihk, in English]

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Other words adopted into English have had their original Italian pronunciations Anglicized and no longer in English have –C– pronounced "CH".

cinema -- cinema -- [CHee-neh-mah, in Italian] -- [Sih-neh-mah, in English]

guide -- cicerone -- [CHee-CHeh-roh-neh, in Italian] -- [Sih-seh-roh-neh, in English]

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Italian –C– pronounced "K" (Except before the vowels E and I)

Like this Italian –C– pronounced "K", also in English -C- is sometimes pronounced as “K”, as in: “cabin”, “call,”, “camp”, “can”, “candy”, “car”, “card”, “cash,”, “cave”, “class”, “clean”, “cliff”.

(Unlike Italian, English -C- is often pronounced as “S” before the vowels E or I or Y, as in: “cell”, “certificate,”, “cedar”, “ceiling”, “celebrate”, “cider”, “cigar,”, “cinder”, “circle”, “cycle”, “cyanide”, “cylinder,”, “cymbal”, “cynic”, “cypress”, “cyst”)..

In the pronunciation guide here, the examples of –C– pronounced "K"are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

concert -- concerto -- [Kohn-chehr-toh]

casino -- casino -- [Kah-see-noh]

cupola -- cupola -- [Koo-poh-lah]

cappuccino (coffee) -- cappuccino -- [Kahp-poot-chee-noh]

calamari (squid) -- calamari -- [Kah-lah-mah-ree]

carpaccio (thin meat) -- carpaccio -- [Kahr-paht-chyoh]

confetti (paper pieces) -- confetti -- [Kohn-feht-tee]

cadenza (music) -- cadenza -- [Kah-den-zah, in English]

campanile (bell tower) -- campanile -- [Kahm-pah-neel, in English]

cognoscente (knowledgeable) -- conoscente -- [Kohn-yoh-shehn-teh or Kohg-noh-sehn-teh, in English]

canto (poetry) -- canto -- [Kahn-toh]

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balcony -- balcone -- [bahl-Koh-neh]

replica (copy) -- replica -- [rehp-lee-Kah]

portico (porch) -- portico -- [pohr-tee-Koh]

biscotti (cookies) -- biscotti -- [bees-Koht-tee]

incognito -- incognito -- [een-Kohg-nee-toh in English] -- [een-Kohn-yee-toh, in Italian]

simpatico (congenial) -- simpatico (sympathetic) -- [seem-pah-tee-Koh]

politico (politician) -- politico -- [poh-lee-tee-Koh]

ocarina (music) -- ocarina -- [oh-Kah-ree-nah]

volcano -- vulcano -- [vahl-Kay-noh in English] -- [vool-Kah-noh, in Italian]

scagliola (fake marble) -- scagliola -- [sKal-lyoh-lah]

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terra-cotta (pottery) -- terra cotta -- [tehr-rah Koht-tah]

al fresco (open air) -- al fresco -- [ahl frehs-Koh]

lingua franca (language) -- lingua franca -- [leen-gwah frahn-Kah]

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broccoli -- broccoli -- [broh-Koh-lee]

focaccia (bread) -- focaccia -- [foh-Kaht-chyah]

stucco (architecture) -- stucco -- [stuh-Koh, in English]

piccolo (music) -- piccolo -- [pee-Koh-loh]

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fiasco (flop) -- fiasco -- [fyahs-Koh]

fresco (art) -- fresco -- [frehs-Koh]

chiaroscuro (light & dark) -- chiaroscuro -- [kyah-rohs-Koo-roh]

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mascara -- maschera (disguise) -- [mahs-Kah-rah in English]

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CH pronounced "K"

In Italian –CH– is pronounced "K", as in the English / Italian words like ‘ORCHESTRA ’.

Also in English -CH- is sometimes pronounced as “K”, as in these words originally from Greek: “chaos”, “chaotic,”, “character”, “chameleon”, “chasm”, “chemical”, “chemotherapy”, “chiropractor,”, “chlorine”, “choir”, “cholesterol”, “choreographer”, “chorus”, “Christian”, “Christmas”, “chrome”, “chronic”, “echo”.

Unlike this Italian -C- pronounced "–K–" in adopted Italian words, otherwise in English -C- is usually pronounced in several ways:

English –CH– is often pronounced "–CH–" as in: “chain”, “change”, “charge”, “charm”, “cheap”, “check”, “cheer”, “cheese”, “cherry”, “chest”, “chew”, “child”, “chocolate”, “choice”, “chop”, “church”.

English –CH– is also pronounced "–SH–" in English / French words originally from French such as: “chef”, “chic”, “chalet”, “champagne”, “chauffeur”, “chaperone”, “chauvinist”, “chivalrous”, “chute”.

In the pronunciation guide here, the examples of –CH– pronounced "K"are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

orchestra -- orchestra -- [ohr-Kehs-trah]

zucchini -- zucchini -- [zoo-Kee-nee, in English]

Chianti -- Chianti -- [Kee-ahn-tee]

macchiato (coffee) -- macchiato -- [mah-Kyah-toh]

radicchio (chicory salad) -- radicchio -- [rah-dee-Kyoh]

bruschetta (garlic toast} -- bruschetta -- [broos-Keht-tah, in Italian]

machiavellian (devious) -- machiavellian -- [mah-Kyah-veh-lyahn]

architrave (architecture) -- architrave -- [ahr-Kih-trayv, in English]

chiaroscuro (light & dark) -- chiaroscuro -- [Kyah-rohs-koo-roh]

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G pronounced "J"

In Italian –G– is pronounced "J" before the vowels E and I, as in the Italian / English word ‘GELATO’.

Unlike this Italian –G– pronounced "J" in adopted Italian words, otherwise in English –G– is usually pronounced in several ways.

English -G- is often pronounced as in: “game”, “gas”, “get”, “girl”, “give”, “glass”, “go”, “gold”, “golf”, “good”, “gray”, “green”, “group”, “guide”.

English -G- is often pronounced “dj” as in: “gin”, “gel”, “gem”, “general”, “gentleman”, “genuine”, “geology”, “Germany”, “gym”.

In the pronunciation guide here, the examples of –G– pronounced "J"are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

Italian –G– pronounced "J" before the vowels E and I:

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

gelato -- gelato -- [Jeh-lah-toh]

generalissimo -- generalissimo -- [Jeh-neh-rah-lees-see-moh]

gesso (art) -- gesso (chalk) -- [Jehs-soh]

magenta (color) -- magenta -- [mah-Jehn-tah]

algebra -- algebra -- [ahl-Jeh-brah]

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nostalgia (homesickness) -- nostalgia -- [noh-stahl-Jyah]

mangia (Eat!) -- mangia -- [mahn-Jyah]

adagio (music slow) -- ad agio -- [ah-dah-Jyoh, in English]

giro (banking) -- giro -- [Jee-roh]

girandole (candleholder) -- girandola -- [Jee-rahn-doh-lah]

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G pronounced "G" as in “GO”

In Italian –G– is pronounced "G" as in “GO” except the vowels E and I, as in the Italian / English word ‘GRAFFITI’.

Like this Italian –G– is pronounced "G" as in “GO”, also the English -G- is often pronounced as in “GO” in: “game”, “gas”, “get”, “girl”, “give”, “glass”, “gopher”, “gold”, “golf”, “good”, “gray”, “green”, “group”, “guide”.

Unlike this English and Italian –G–pronounced "G" as in “GO”, otherwise in English –G– is often pronounced “dj” as in: “gin”, “gel”, “gem”, “general”, “gentleman”, “genuine”, “geology”, “Germany”, “gym”.

In the Italian pronunciation guide, the examples of –G– pronounced "G" as in “GO”are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

Italian –G– pronounced "G" as in “GO” (except before the vowels E and I):

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

gusto -- gusto -- [Goos-toh]

graffiti -- graffiti -- [Grahf-fee-tee]

gondola -- gondola -- [Gohn-doh-lah]

gallery -- galleria -- [Gahl-leh-ree, in English]

gonzo -- gonzo (foolish) -- [Gohn-zoh]

grappa (brandy) -- grappa -- [Grahp-pah]

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Negro -- negro (black) -- [nee-Groh, in English] -- [neh-Groh, in Italian]

segue -- segue -- [seh-Gweh]

linguine -- linguine -- [leen-Gwee-neh]

regatta -- regata (race) -- [reh-Gah-tah]

propaganda -- propaganda -- [proh-pah-Gahn-dah]

arugula (salad) -- arugula -- [ah-roo-Goo-lah]

archipelago (islands) -- arcipelago -- [ahr-kih-peh-lah-Goh, in English] -- [ahr-chee-peh-lah-goh, in Italian]

extravaganza -- stravaganza -- [ex-trah-vah-Gahn-zah, in English]

allegro (music cheerful) -- allegro -- ahl-lehG-roh]

obbligato (obligatory music) -- obbligato -- [ohb-blee-Gah-toh]

pergola (arbor) -- pergola -- [pehr-Goh-lah]

pellagra (disease) -- pellagra -- [pehl-lah-Grah]

lingua franca (language) -- lingua franca -- [leen-Gwah frahn-kah]

gran turismo -- gran turismo -- [Grahn too-reez-moh]

affogato (coffee & ice cream) -- affogato -- [ahf-foh-Gah-toh]

sgraffito (scratch decoration) -- sgraffito -- [zGrahf-fee-toh]

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GH pronounced "G" as in “GO”

In Italian –GH– is pronounced "G" as in “GO”, and as in the Italian / English word ‘GHETTO’.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

ghetto -- ghetto -- [Geht-toh]

spaghetti -- spaghetti -- [spah-Geht-tee]

ghibli (wind) -- ghibli -- [Geeb-lee]

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GG pronounced "DJ"

In Italian –GG– is pronounced “DJ", as in the Italian / English word ‘LOGGIA’.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

parmiggiano (parmesan cheese) -- parmiggiano -- [pahr-mee-DJyah-noh]

loggia (gallery) -- loggia -- [loh-DJyah, in Italian]

arpeggio (music) -- arpeggio -- ahr-peh-DJyoh]

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GLI pronounced "LLY"

In Italian – GLI – is pronounced “LLY ", as in the Italian / English word ‘IMBROGLIO’.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

imbroglio (complicated situation) -- imbroglio -- [eem-brohL-LYoh]

tagliatelle (flat noodles) -- tagliatelle -- [tahL-LYah-tehl-leh]

intaglio (art) -- intaglio -- [een-tahL-LYoh]

consigliere (adviser) -- consigliere -- [kon-seeL-LYeh-reh]

scagliola (fake marble) -- scagliola -- [skaL-LYoh-lah]

seraglio (harem) -- serraglio -- [sehr-raL-LYoh]

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GN pronounced "NY"

In Italian –GN– is pronounced “NY ", as in the Italian / English word ‘LASAGNE’.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

lasagne -- lasagne -- [lah-zah-NYeh]

bolognese (sauce for pasta) -- la bolognese -- [boh-loh-NYeh-zeh]

gnocchi (dumplings) -- gnocchi -- [NYohk-kee]

Pronunciation of Italian GN pronounced "NY" Anglicized in English in Some Words:

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

incognito -- incognito -- [een-kohg-nee-toh in English] -- [een-koh-NYee-toh in Italian]

magnificent -- magnifico -- [mah-NYee-fee-koh in Italian]

bologna (sausage) -- Bologna (city) -- [boh-loh-ney, in English] -- [boh-loh-NYah in Italian]

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S pronounced "S"

In Italian –S– is usually pronounced "S", as in the English / Italian word ‘SPAGHETTI’.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

spaghetti -- spaghetti -- [Spah-geht-tee]

stucco (architecture) -- stucco -- [Stuh-koh in English]

segue -- segue -- [Seh-gweh]

simpatico (congenial) -- simpatico (sympathetic) -- [Seem-pah-tee-koh]

seraglio (harem) -- serraglio -- [Sehr-ral-lyoh]

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casino -- casino -- [kah-See-noh]

nostalgia (homesickness) -- nostalgia -- [noh-Stahl-jyah]

gusto -- gusto -- [gooS-toh]

orchestra -- orchestra -- [ohr-kehS-trah]

consigliere (adviser) -- consigliere -- [kon-Seel-lyeh-reh]

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espresso -- espresso -- [eh-SprehS-Soh]

generalissimo -- generalissimo -- [jeh-neh-rah-leeS-See-moh]

gesso (art) -- gesso (chalk) -- [jehS-Soh]

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S pronounced "Z"

In Italian –S– is sometimes pronounced "Z", as in the English / Italian word ‘LASAGNE’.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

lasagne -- lasagne -- [lah-Zah-nyeh]

parmesan (cheese) -- parmigiano -- [pahr-meh-Zahn, in English]

risotto (rice dish) -- risotto -- [ree-ZOHT-toh]

mosaic -- mosaico -- [moh-Zay-ihk, in English]

fantasia -- fantasia (fancy) -- [fahn-tay-Zyah, in English]

gran turismo -- gran turismo -- [grahn too-reeZ-moh]

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SC pronounced "SH"

In Italian –SC– is pronounced "SH" before the letters E and I, as in the English / Italian word ‘PROSCIUTTO’.

Unlike this Italian –SC– is pronounced "SH" in adopted English words, otherwise in English -SC- is usually pronounced a different way:

English -SC- often pronounced -SK- as in: “school”, “scab”, “scald”, “scale”, “scalp”, “scam”, “scandal”, “scanner”, “scar”, “scare”, “scarf”, “scoff”, “scold”, “score”, “scrub”, “sculpture”.

In the pronunciation guide here, the examples of –SC– pronounced "SH"are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

prosciutto (ham) -- prosciutto -- [proh-SHyoo-toh]

maraschino (cherries) -- maraschino -- [mah-rah-SHee-noh]

fascia (architecture) -- fascia -- [fah-SHyah]

fascism -- fascismo -- [fah-SHism in English]

Understand? -- Capisce? -- [kah-pee-SHeh]

cognoscente (knowledgeable) -- conoscente -- [kohn-yoh-SHehn-teh or kohg-noh-sehn-teh, in English]

=====

SC pronounced "SK"

In Italian –SC– is pronounced "SK" (except before the letters E and I), as in the English / Italian word ‘BISCOTTI’.

English -SC- often pronounced -SK- as in: “school”, “scab”, “scald”, “scale”, “scalp”, “scam”, “scandal”, “scanner”, “scar”, “scare”, “scarf”, “scoff”, “scold”, “score”, “scrub”, “sculpture”.

In the pronunciation guide here, the examples of –SC– pronounced "SHK"are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

scampi (prawns) -- scampi -- [SKahm-pee]

mascara -- maschera (disguise) -- [mah-SKah-rah in English]

fresco (art) -- fresco -- [freh-SKoh]

biscotti (cookies) -- biscotti -- [bee-SKoht-tee]

fiasco (flop) -- fiasco -- [fyah-SKoh]

al fresco (open air) -- al fresco -- [ahl freh-SKoh]

chiaroscuro (light & dark) -- chiaroscuro -- [kyah-roh-SKoo-roh]

scagliola (fake marble) -- scagliola -- [SKal-lyoh-lah]

=====

Letter H- is NOT Pronounced in Italian

You may be familiar with the silent initial H- from some familiar English words, like "heir", “heiress”.

You may also be familiar with the silent initial H- in "herb" (most people pronounce herb as “erb”, but some pronounce the "H").

You are also familiar with the silent initial H- from some familiar names, like "Thomas", “Theresa”, and “Esther”.

Also 'homage', in which the H- is usually pronounced in English, but the French pronunciation "oh-MAHZH" (with a silent H- and with stress on the second syllable) is also heard about Hollywood films that honor a previous film by referring to it visually.

Similarly the -H- is not pronounced in the authentic Italian pronunciation of the following words adopted into English.

So these are more Italian words you will know how to pronounce from English, as long as you remember not to pronounce the letter ‘H’.

[NOTE: To better indicate the silent H- in the following Italian words, the silent H- is in lower case , while the rest of the word is in upper case – where ordinarily all letters would be in the same case.]

-----

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

hotel -- l’hOTEL -- [oh-tehl]

herpes -- l’hERPES -- [ehr-pehs]

hawaii -- hAWAII -- [ah-vah-ee]

honolulu -- hONOLULU -- [oh-noh-loo-loo]

haiti -- hAITI -- [ah-ee-tee]

-----

Letter H- is NOT Pronounced in Italian –GH-

In Italian –GH– is pronounced "G" as in “GO”, and as in the Italian / English word ‘GHETTO’.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

ghetto -- GhETTO -- [Geht-toh]

spaghetti -- SPAGhETTI -- [spah-Geht-tee]

ghibli (wind) -- GhIBLI -- [Geeb-lee]

Letter H- is NOT Pronounced in Italian –CH–

In Italian –CH– is pronounced "K", as in the English / Italian word ‘ORCHESTRA ’.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

orchestra -- ORChESTRA -- [ohr-Kehs-trah]

zucchini -- ZUCChINI -- [zoo-Kee-nee]

macchiato (coffee) -- MACChIATO -- [mah-Kyah-toh]

radicchio (chicory salad) -- RADICChIO -- [rah-dee-Kyoh]

machiavellian (devious) -- MAChIAVELLIAN -- [mah-Kyah-veh-lyahn]

architrave (architecture) -- ARChITRAVE -- [ahr-Kih-trayv in English]

chiaroscuro (light & dark) -- ChIAROSCURO -- [Kyah-rohs-koo-roh]

-----

(NOTE: With some English words used in Italian, the letter –H- is pronounced, for example in the following words: hall, hobby, handicap, hi-fi, field hockey, air hostess. So these are more Italian words you already know how to pronounce from English.)

=====

VOWELS IN ITALIAN

One word exemplifies Italian Pronunciation of three vowels: ‘gelato’ -- [JEH-LAH-TOH]

=====

-i- pronounced "-EE-"

In Italian -i- is usually pronounced "-EE-" as in ‘PIZZA’, and ‘ZUCCHINI’ (originally Italian words).

Unlike this Italian -i- pronounced "-EE -" in adopted Italian words, otherwise in English -i- is usually pronounced in several ways:

English -i- often pronounced "-ih-" as in: “bit”, “fit”, “kit”, “lit”, “mitt”, “nits”, “pit”, “quit”, “sit”, “writ”, “zit.”

English -i- often pronounced "-eye-" as in: “bite”, “fight”, “kite”, “light”, “might”, “night”, “plight”, “quite”, “rite”, “site”, “tight”, “write.”

In the pronunciation guide here, the pronunciations of -i- as "-EE-" are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH ITALIAN [SAY]

pizza -- pizza -- [pEE-tsah]

pizzeria -- pizzeria -- [pEE-tsah-rEE-ah, in English]

ziti (pasta) -- ziti -- [zEE-tEE]

diva -- diva -- [dEE-vah]

biscotti (cookies) -- biscotti -- [bEEs-koht-tEE]

-----

panini (sandwich) -- panini -- [pah-nEE-nEE]

zucchini -- zucchini -- [zoo-kEE-nEE]

fettuccini -- fettuccini -- [feht-toot-chEE-nEE]

crostini (small toasts) -- crostini -- [krohs-tEE-nEE]

casino -- casino -- [kah-sEE-noh]

cappuccino (coffee) -- cappuccino -- [kahp-poot-chEE-noh]

-----

spaghetti -- spaghetti -- [spah-geht-tEE]

confetti (paper pieces) -- confetti -- [kohn-feht-tEE]

broccoli -- broccoli -- [broh-koh-LEE]

calamari (squid) -- calamari -- [kah-lah-mah-rEE]

paparazzi -- paparazzi -- [pah-pah-rah-tsEE]

=====

-A- pronounced as "-AH-"

In Italian -A- is pronounced "-AH-" as in ‘LAVA’.

(This is similar British English, where -A- is also pronounced as "-AH-" )

(Unlike American English where -a- is also pronounced in various other ways, often as "-ay-" as in: “ace”, “brace”, “face”, “grace”, “lace”, place”, “race”, “trace”.)

In the pronunciation guide, it is written as -ah- to remind you, but the Italian do not draw out the sound like the English “ahh”, but rather say it shorter as in “bar”, and as in English words like “far” and “star’.

In the pronunciation guide here, the pronunciations “-AH- “ are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

alto -- alto -- [AHL-toh]

amaretto -- amaretto -- [AH-mAH-reht-toh]

adagio (music slow) -- ad agio -- [ah-dah-Jyoh, in English]

-----

lava -- lava -- [LAH-vAH]

pasta -- pasta -- [pAH-stAH]

grappa -- grappa -- [grAHp-pAH]

cantata -- cantata -- [kAHn-tAH-tAH]

mascara -- maschera (disguise) -- [mAH-skAH-rAH in English]

paparazzi -- paparazzi -- [pAH-pAH-rAH-tsee]

calamari (squid) -- calamari -- [kAH-LAH-mAH-ree]

salami -- salami -- [sAH-LAH-mee]

lasagne -- lasagne -- [LAH-zAH-nyeh]

marinara -- marinara -- [mAH-ree-nAH-rAH]

mafia -- mafia -- [mAH-fyAH]

mafioso -- mafioso -- [mAH-fyoh-soh]

macchiato (coffee) -- macchiato -- [mah-kyah-toh]

latte -- latte -- [LAHt-teh]

bravo -- bravo -- [brAH-voh]

-----

propaganda -- propaganda -- [proh-pAH-gAHn-dAH]

extravaganza -- stravaganza -- [ex-trAH-vAH-gAHn-zAH, in English]

regatta -- regata (race) -- [reh-gAH-tAH]

sonata -- sonata -- [so-nAH-tAH]

=====

-O- pronounced "-OH-"

In Italian -O- is pronounced "-OH-" as in ‘SOLO’.

In the pronunciation guide here, the pronunciations “-OH- “ are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

oboe -- oboè -- [OH-bOH, in English]

orchestra -- orchestra -- [OHr-kehs-trah]

oratorio (music) -- oratorio -- [OH-rah-tOH-ryOH]

omertà (mafia) -- omertà -- [OH-mehr-tah]

-----

solo -- solo -- [sOH-LOH]

torso -- torso -- [tOHr-sOH]

soda -- soda -- [sOH-dah]

pomodoro (tomato) -- pomodoro -- [pOH-mOH-dOH-rOH]

provolone -- provolone -- [prOH-vOH-LOH-neh]

bologna -- Bologna -- [bOH-LOH-nyah in Italian]

tortoni -- Tortoni -- [tOHr-tOH-nee]

politico (politician) -- politico -- [pOH-lee-tee-kOH]

soprano -- soprano -- [sOH-prah-nOH]

prosciutto -- prosciutto -- [prOH-shyoot-tOH]

loggia (gallery) -- loggia -- [loh-DJyah, in Italian]

rotunda -- rotonda -- [rOH-tuhn-dah in English]

polenta -- polenta -- [pOH-lehn-tah]

-----

piccolo (music) -- piccolo -- [pee-kOH-LOH]

mafioso -- mafioso -- [mah-fyOH-sOH]

imbroglio (complicated situation) -- imbroglio -- [eem-brohL-LYoh]

=====

-E- Pronounced "-EH-"

In Italian -E- is pronounced "-EH-" as in ‘PESTO’.

[Unlike -E- pronounced "-EH-" in adopted Italian words and many native English words, otherwise in English -E- is in some cases pronounced “EE” as in: “be”, “begin”, “behind“, “delay “, “delete“, “delicious“, ”region“, “repair“, “return“, “senior“, “these”]

In the pronunciation guide here, the pronunciations “-EH- “ are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

cello -- cello -- [chEH-loh]

pesto -- pesto -- [pEHs-toh]

presto -- presto -- [prEHs-toh]

tempo -- tempo -- [tEHm-poh]

ghetto -- ghetto -- [gEHt-toh]

festa -- festa (feast) -- [fEHs-tah]

fresco (art) -- fresco -- [frEH-skoh]

pepperoni -- peperoni -- [pEHp-pEH-roh-nee]

peperino -- peperino -- [pEH-pEH-ree-noh]

belvedere -- belvedere -- [bEHL-vEH-deer, in English]

tempera -- tempera (poster paint) -- [tEHm-pEH-rah]

generalissimo -- generalissimo -- [jEH-nEH-rah-lees-see-moh]

replica (copy) -- replica -- [rEHp-lee-kah]

gelato -- gelato -- [jEH-lah-toh]

fettuccini -- fettuccini -- [fEHt-toot-chee-nee]

semolina -- semolina -- [sEH-moh-lee-nah]

terrazzo -- terrazzo (terrace) -- [tEHr-rah-zoh, in English]

terra-cotta (pottery) -- terra cotta -- [tEHr-rah koht-tah]

-----

spaghetti -- spaghetti -- [spah-gEHt-tee]

polenta -- polenta -- [po-LEHn-tah]

magenta -- magenta -- [mah-jEHn-tah]

=====

-U- pronounced "-OO-"

In Italian -U- is pronounced "-OO-" as in ‘TUBA’.

[Unlike this Italian -U- pronounced "-OO-" in adopted Italian words, otherwise in English -U- is usually pronounced in several ways:

“YOO” as in: “cute” (versus ‘cut’), “butte” (versus ‘but’), “puny”, “putrid”, “queue”.

“UH” as in: “cut”, “but”, “bun”, “dud”, “gut”, “hut”, “just”, “luck”, “much”, “nut”, “pun”, “run”, “sun”, “tug”.

And as in: PUT

In the pronunciation guide here, the pronunciations “-OO-” are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

tutti-frutti (candy) -- tutti frutti (all fruits) -- [tOOt-tee frOOt-tee]

arugula (salad) -- arugula -- [ah-rOO-gOO-lah]

tuba -- tuba (tube) -- [tOO-bah]

tufa (rock) -- tufa -- [tOO-fah]

studio -- studio (study) -- [stOO-dee-oh, in English]

zucchini -- zucchini -- [zOO-kee-nee]

cupola -- cupola -- [kOO-poh-lah]

spumoni -- spumone -- [spOO-moh-nee in English]

spumante (sparkling wine) -- spumante -- [spOO-mahn-teh]

bravura (virtuoso) -- bravura (cleverness) -- [brah-vOO-rah]

prosciutto -- prosciutto -- [pro-shyOOt-toh]

=====

ENGLISH FINAL VOWEL –E– PRONOUNCED "EH" AS IN ITALIAN

In English many final vowels are silent, unlike in Italian where final vowels are pronounced, as in “LATTE”.

In the pronunciation guide here, the examples of final vowels pronounced in English "EH" are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

finale -- finale --[fee-nah-LEH]

segue -- segue -- [seh-gwEH]

latte (milk) -- latte -- [laht-tEH]

lasagne -- lasagne -- [lah-zah-nyEH]

linguine -- linguine -- [leen-gwee-nEH]

minestrone (vegetable soup) -- minestrone -- mee-neh-stroh-nEH]

amore (love) -- amore -- [ah-moh-rEH]

restaurant -- ristorante -- [ree-stoh-rahn-tEH]

spumante (sparkling white wine) -- spumante -- [spoo-mahn-tEH]

consigliere (adviser) -- consigliere -- [kon-seel-lyeh-rEH]

cognoscente (knowledgeable) -- conoscente -- [kohg-noh-sehn-tEH in English]

al dente (cooked firm) -- al dente -- [ahl dehn-tEH]

=====

Final Italian vowel Anglicized silent in English

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

campanile (bell tower) -- campanile -- [Kahm-pah-neel, in English]

cornice -- cornice -- [kohr-nihs in English]

dilettante (amateur) -- dilettante -- [dee-leht-tahnt, in English]

-----

Final Italian vowel dropped in English

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

mosaic -- mosaico -- [moh-zay-ik, in English]

gallery -- galleria -- [gahl-leh-ree, in English]

pilaster -- pilastro (pillar) -- [pee-lahs-tehr, in English]

=====

VOWEL COMBINATIONS

=====

-EO- pronounced "-EH-OH-"

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

cameo -- cammeo -- [kah-mEH-OH]

=====

-AO- pronounced "-AH-OH-"

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

ciao -- ciao -- [chyAH-OH]

=====

-IA- pronounced "-YAH-"

In the pronunciation guide here, the pronunciations of -IA- as "-YAH-" are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

fiasco (flop) -- fiasco -- [fYAHs-koh]

ciao -- ciao -- [chYAH-oh]

ciabatta (bread) -- ciabatta -- [chYAH-bah-tah]

-----

mafia -- mafia -- [mah-fYAH]

nostalgia (homesickness) -- nostalgia -- [noh-stahl-jYAH]

focaccia (bread) -- focaccia -- [foh-kaht-chYAH]

macchiato (coffee) -- macchiato -- [mah-kYAH-toh]

machiavellian (devious) -- machiavellian -- [mah-kYAH-veh-LYAHn]

fantasia -- fantasia (fancy) -- [fahn-tay-zYAH, in English]

mamma mia -- mamma mia (mother of mine) -- [mah-mah mYAH]

-----

square / marketplace -- piazza -- [pYAH-tsah]

trattoria -- trattoria -- [traht-toh-rYAH]

loggia (gallery) -- loggia -- [loh-djYAH, in italian]

chiaroscuro (light & dark) -- chiaroscuro -- [kYAH-rohs-koo-roh]

fascia (architecture) -- fascia -- [fah-shYAH]

breccia (rock) -- breccia -- [breh-chYAH]

=====

-IE- pronounced "-YEH-"

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

riviera -- riviera (coast) -- [ree-vYEH-rah]

pity -- pietà (sculpture) -- [pYEH-tah]

sienna -- Sienna (city) -- [sYEHn-nah]

consigliere (adviser) -- consigliere -- [kon-seel-LYEH-reh]

carabiniere -- carabiniere (military policeman) -- [kah-rah-bee-nYEH-reh]

condottiere -- condottiero (leader) -- [kohn-doht-tYEH-reh]

=====

-IO- pronounced "-YOH-"

In the pronunciation guide here, the pronunciations of -IO- as "-YOH-" are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

mafioso -- mafioso -- [mah-fYOH-soh]

impresario -- impresario (manager) -- [eem-preh-sah-rYOH]

carpaccio (thin meat) -- carpaccio -- [kahr-paht-chYOH]

radicchio (chicory salad) -- radicchio -- [rah-dee-kYOH]

imbroglio (complicated situation) -- imbroglio -- [eem-brohl-LYOH]

-----

intaglio (art) -- intaglio -- [een-tahl-LYOH]

seraglio (harem) -- serraglio -- [sehr-ral-LYOH]

adagio (music slow) -- ad agio -- [ah-dah-jYOH, in English]

arpeggio (music) -- arpeggio -- ahr-peh-djYOH]

capriccio (music) -- capriccio -- [kah-preet-chYOH]

oratorio (music) -- oratorio -- [oh-rah-toh-rYOH]

scagliola (fake marble) -- scagliola -- [skal-LYOH-lah]

=====

-IU- pronounced "-YOO-"

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

prosciutto (ham) -- prosciutto -- [proh-shYOO-toh]

=====

-UA- pronounced "-WAH-"

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

lingua franca (language) -- lingua franca -- [leen-gWAH frahn-kah]

=====

-UE- pronounced "-WEH-"

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

segue -- segue -- [seh-gWEH]

=====

-UI- pronounced "-WEE-" sometimes

In the pronunciation guide here, the pronunciations of -UI- as "-WEE-" are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

linguine -- linguine -- [leen-gWEE-neh]

Guido -- Guido -- [gWEE-doh]

=====

SUMMARY PRONUNCIATION GUIDE FOR ITALIAN IN ENGLISH

From the examples above of familiar Italian words in English, you already are familiar with some Italian pronunciation, as summarized below:

-----

Italian Consonants

Some Italian Consonants Are Pronounced As In English

B - D - F - K - L - M - N - P - Q - T – V

Other letters in Italian are pronounced differently than in English:

C -- Italian C is pronounced "CH" as in ‘cello’ or “K” as in ‘casino’

CH -- Italian CH is pronounced "K" as in ‘orchestra’

G -- Italian G is pronounced "J" as in ‘gelato’ or "G" as in ‘graffiti’

GG -- Italian GG is pronounced “DJ" as in ‘loggia’.

GLI -- Italian GLI is pronounced “LLY " as in ‘imbroglio’

GN -- Italian GN is pronounced “NY " as in ‘lasagne’

S -- Italian S is pronounced "S" as in ‘spaghetti’ or "Z" as in ‘lasagne’

SC -- Italian SC is pronounced "SH" as in ‘prosciutto’ or "SK" as in ‘biscotti’

Z & ZZ -- Italian Z is pronounced "TS" as in “pizza” or "DZ" as in “gorgonzola”

H -- Italian H is silent as in ‘spaghetti’ or ‘ghetto’

-----

Italian Vowels:

A -- Italian A is pronounced “AH” as in ‘lava’

E -- Italian E is usually pronounced “EH” as in ‘pesto’

I -- Italian I is pronounced “EE” as in ‘pizza’

O -- Italian O is pronounced “OH” as in ‘solo’

U -- Italian U is pronounced “OO” as in ‘tuba’

-----

Italian Vowel Combinations:

EO -- Italian EO is pronounced "EH-OH" as in ‘cameo’

AO -- Italian AO is pronounced "AH-OH" as in ‘ciao’

IA -- Italian IA is pronounced "YAH" as in ‘mafia’

IE -- Italian IE is pronounced "YEH" as in ‘riviera’

IO -- Italian IO is pronounced "YOH" as in ‘mafioso’

IU -- Italian IU is pronounced "YOO" as in ‘prosciutto’

UA -- Italian UA is pronounced "WAH" as in ‘lingua franca’

UE -- Italian UE is pronounced "WEH" as in ‘segue’

UI -- Italian UI is pronounced “WEE” as in ‘linguine’

-----

So from all the Italian words in English, you actually know a lot about Italian pronunciation of, which you may not have been aware of before this Easiest Italian Lesson.

[This list of pronunciations of some Italian letters includes only the pronunciations you already are familiar with from Italian words in English. So it is not a complete list of all Italian pronunciations, because there are some Italian sounds we do not occur frequently in English, for one reason.]

=====

STORY WITH ITALIAN WORDS THAT SOUND SIMILAR TO ENGLISH

-----

Things That You Can Do In Italy.

Cose Che Puoi Fare IN ITALIA.

-----

A coffee in the park.

Un CAFFÈ nel PARCO.

-----

A long game of tennis.

Una LUNGA partita di TENNIS.

-----

A diet based on fruits and yogurt.

Una DIETA a BASE di FRUTTA e IOGURT.

-----

Spend lot of money in a boutique.

SPENDERE molti soldi in una BOUTIQUE.

-----

Write a letter to the Embassy.

Scrivere una LETTERA all'AMBASCIATA.

-----

To use the hairdryer in the room.

Usare il PHONO IN CAMERA.

-----

To find a valley using a map.

Trovare una VALLE usando la MAPPA.

=====

An easiest introduction to Italian pronunciation is to pronounce each of these Italian words spelled somewhat like English.

By hearing how the Italian pronunciation is somewhat similar to and somewhat different from the English pronunciation you are familiar with, you will begin to get an understanding of the Italian pronunciation system.

Differences in pronunciation are important because all languages are systems of differences, specifically differences in sound, differences in spelling, and differences in meaning. For example, PAT, PET, PIT, POT, PUT. Differences in sound prevent one word from being confused with a different word that has a different sound – and should be made to sound different by speakers.

So if you mispronounce an Italian word, you might be pronouncing a different Italian word by mistake, and be misunderstood. This could happen with short words, but usually long words have enough syllables to make their meaning unmistakable. Usually you will not be misunderstood, and instead you will merely sound like you have an American or British etc. accent in Italian.

=====

PRONOUNCING UNFAMILIAR ITALIAN WORDS

This lesson has shown you how much you already know about pronouncing Italian words -- just because you know English.

From all the Italian words in English, you actually know a lot about Italian pronunciation, and this lesson has been designed to help you become aware of it.

Now you know much more about Italian pronunciation than you realized before you read this lesson.

So many Italian words you already know how to pronounce from English.

-----

This lesson has been designed to give you a basic understanding of the Italian system of pronunciation.

So on a trip to Italy you are prepared to encounter totally unfamiliar Italian words, because now you should be able to sound out unfamiliar Italian words syllable by syllable, based on what you now know about pronouncing Italian words -- just because you know English.

And you can feel confident that your attempts to sound out unfamiliar Italian words will be understood by Italians.

Because you don't need perfect pronunciation to make yourself understood in Italy. As a tourists you need not be concerned with perfect pronunciation -- just good enough to communicate your needs.

=====


Return to Easy Italian Lessons



For a similar approach in French, see Easy French Lesson 10 -- Pronunciation of French You Know from English.



For a similar approach in Spanish, see Easy Spanish Lesson 10 -- Pronunciation of Spanish You Know from English.




If you have finished these Easy Italian Lessons, you will find Easy Spanish Lessons even easier, because they are similar to Easy Italian Lessons.



If you have finished these Easy Italian Lessons, you will find Easy French Lessons even easier, because they are similar to Easy Italian Lessons.




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