Pronouncing Italian Vowels
The correct pronunciation in Italian can be difficult for some beginners. Yet it is standard and stays the same. Once the rules are understood it is simple to pronounce each word correctly. Here are some step by step instructions on how to pronounce the Italian vowels.
A – sounds like a in father
E – has two sounds: short vowel like e in pen and the long vowel similar to ai in fair
I – sounds like ea in tea.
O – has two sounds: like o in cozy or similar of o in cost
U – sounds like u in rude.
Italian vowels are always spoken in a sharp, clear fashion; they should never be slurred or pronounced weakly. Vowels always keep their value in diphthongs. Italian is a phonetic language. This means it is spoken exactly the way it is written. Italian and English use the same Latin alphabet, but the sounds by the letters are different in the two languages.
Pronouncing Italian Consonants
In Italian pronunciation can be difficult especially for beginners Yet much like the vowels the sound each consonant makes is a regular sound and remains the same, so once the rules are understood, it is simple to pronounce the words correctly. Here are the step by step instructions on the way the consonants are pronounced in Italian.
The consonants B, F, M, N, and V are pronounced exactly as they are in English.
When the C is before a, o, u and before a consonant it has the sound similar to the English letter K. When the C comes before the e and I it sounds very similar to the English sound of the Ch.
D is much more explosive in Italian than it is in English; with the tongue near the tip of the upper teeth but with no aspiration.
When G comes before a, o, and u and before consonants it sounds like the g in good; when it comes before e and i it sounds like the g in general.
Gli sounds like ll in million and Gn sounds like the ny in canyon.
The H in Italian is silent.
The L sounds like it does in English except with a sharper tone and more forward in the mouth.
Author: Scott Wells suggests Learning Italian Today