SmartPhrase.com: Italian: Pronunciation: Helpful Books for Italian;

Where is Italian Spoken?
Italian is not only spoken in Italy (Italia) and its islands. It is also spoken in Switzerland (Svizzera) although there are more speakers of German and French there.
There are large Italian communities in the USA (Stati Uniti) and Canada (Canada).

The Alphabet
In Italian, the alphabet is the same as for English, except that J, K, W, X , and Y are not used. These letters appear in some Italian words of foreign origin, however.

Accents
Acute (, , , , ) and grave (, , , , ) accents are used in Italian, and are called accento acuto and accento grave. Strictly the grave accent mark is used to mark stress on open vowels, and the acute accent mark on closed vowels. However, in practice, there are many situations in which a grave accent is used on closed vowels. The usual use of accents in Italian is to indicate that the stress falls on the last vowel in a polysyllabic word. In poetry the circumflex (, , , , ) accent is sometimes used to indicate the contraction of two vowels, or show where a syllable has been dropped.

Consonants (and combinations)

b

like b in boy, but softer

c

before e or i - like ch in chin
otherwise - like c in cat

ch

like c in cat

d

like d in dog, but softer

f

like f in fish

g

before e or i - like g in gymnastics
otherwise - like g in go

gh

like g in go

gl

like lli million

gn

like ni in onion

gu

like gu in anguish

h

always silent

l

like l in lime

m

like m in me

n

like n in nice

p

like p in pit, but softer

qu

like qu in quick

r

rolled/trilled like r in Spanish or Scottish

s

between vowels - like s in nose
otherwise - like s in sit

sc

before e or i - like sh in shut
otherwise - like sk in skip

t

like t in tape, but softer

v

like v in vase

z

either like ts in spits or ds in pads

zz

either like ts in spits or ds in pads

Vowels

a

long like a in father

e

() short like e in set, or
() long like a in say

i

like ee in meet

o

short like o in often, or
long like o in hope

u

either like oo in foot or w in well

Vowel Groups:
Strong vowels: a, e, o
Weak vowels: i, u

    strong + strong: pronounce as two seperate syllables.
    strong + weak: pronounce the weak one more quickly and with less stress than the strong one, unless the weak vowel in stressed, in which case pronounce it as a seperate syllable.
    weak + weak: generally the second is stressed more strongly.

SmartPhrase language pronunciation guide. Helping you to speak better Italian and talk with an accent the Italians can understand. Explaining the pronunciation of individual letters: consonants and vowels. Pronouncing phonemes and diphthongs. Phonology, phonetics, and dialects of speech. Language pronunciation guide for spoken sounds, speech, talking.

Italian: Pronunciation
General Words
Food & Drink
Staying Places
Transport
Money & Banks
Going Out
You & Family
Shopping
Medical
Problems
School
Numbers
Be Understood
Pronunciation
Helpful Books


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