Italian alphabet and pronunciation (letters,...)
- 1.Italian alphabet and pronunciation
- 1.1.Italian alphabet letters
- 2.Italian consonants and pronunciation
- 2.1.Italian consonants similar to English
- 2.2.Italian consonants with different pronunciation
- 2.2.1.C and G in Italian
- 2.2.2.H in Italian
- 2.2.3.R in Italian
- 2.2.4.Z in Italian
- 3.Italian vowels and pronunciation
- 3.1.Italian vowel chart
- 3.2.Italian vowels with accents
- 4.Italian pronunciation rules
Italian alphabet and pronunciation
Italian alphabet letters
There are 26 letters in the Italian alphabet: 16 consonants, 5 consonants to write foreign words, and 5 vowels.
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
|A||a as in father||
|B||bì as in been||
|C||cì as in cheers||
Cane, Cena (Dog, Dinner)
|D||dì as in deep||
|E||e as in better||
|F||effe as in effective||
|G||gi as in giant||
Gatta, Giorno (Female cat, Day)
|H||acca, always mute||Hotel|
|I||i as in beer||
|J||gei as in Jay||Jeans|
|L||elle as in Ellen||Luna (Moon)|
|M||emme as in lemme||Mamma (Mom)|
|O||o as in odd||Orologio (Clock)|
|P||pì as in piece||Porta (Door)|
|Q||qu as in quality||Quaderno (Notebook)|
|T||tì as in t-shirt||Tavolo (Table)|
|U||u as in good||Uva (Grape)|
|V||vì as in Venus||Volare (Fly)|
Italian consonants and pronunciation
Italian consonants similar to English
Let's go through some Italian consonants that share similar features with English consonants.
|B as in Butter||Bambola||Doll|
|D as in Dad||Domanda||Question|
|F as in Fun||Fiore||Flower|
|L as in Love||Lento||Slow|
|M as in Mum||Matita||Pencil|
|N as in Number||Natura||Nature|
|P as in Power||Palla||Ball|
|Q as in Quantity||Quando||When|
|S as in Same||Stivale||Boot|
|T as in Time||Tesoro||Treasure|
|V as in Very||Vittoria||Victory|
Italian consonants with different pronunciation
Let's now outline some differences between Italian and English consonants.
C and G in Italian
The pronunciation of C and G depends on the letter that follow.
|C/G + e, i : sweet sound||Cena (Dinner), Gita (Trip)|
|C/G + a, o, u: hard sound||Casa (House), Golfo (Gulf)|
|C/G + H + e, i: hard sound||Chiedere (Ask); Ghepardo (Cheetah)|
H in Italian
The H in Italian is always mute. However, it produces a hard sound if it's after C or G and followed by certain vowels.
|Ricchi (rich, plural)||Ricci (Curls/Curly, plural)|
|Cechi (blind, plural)||Ceci (chickpeas)|
R in Italian
The Italian R has a slightly different sound than in English and it's called the "Rolling R".
It's pronounced by flipping your tongue just behind the upper front row of your teeth.
Z in Italian
Z is pronounced either dz or ts, depending on the word.
Listen to the following examples.
|Z as ts||Z as dz|
|Pazzo (Crazy)||Zio (Uncle)|
|Grazie (Thank you)||Mezzo (Means/Half)|
Italian vowels and pronunciation
Italian vowel chart
Here's a list of the 6 Italian vowels.
A good rule of thumb: all Italian words usually end with a vowel.
Italian vowels with accents
The Italian language also includes a set of accented vowels:
Mangeró (I will eat)
Ragú (Italian meat sauce)
Italian pronunciation rules
Unlike English or French, all the letters in an Italian word are generally pronounced and it's relatively easy to instantly know the pronunciation of any new word.
Keep in mind that pronunciation might vary from Italian region to Italian region.
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