Italian alphabet with pronunciation

Italian alphabet with pronunciation

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You are here because you want to learn Italian in a simple way, right? So in this course on Italian grammar for beginners we are going to discuss the Italian alphabet.

Alphabet is the foundation of every language. Italian alphabet is what you should learn first to enhance language abilities, because you will be able to write the word in correct way and read Italian, symbols, letters and text.

Italian alphabet originates from Latin. There are 21 letters: 16 consonants (b, c, d, f, g, h, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, z) and 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u). There are some foreign consonants (J, K, W, X, Y) that are not official. They appear in some words that come from foreign languages.
You have to know how to pronounce vowels and consonants in order to read Italian.Italian language is phonetic, it means that you can read it almost like it is written.

The vowel sounds are as follows:
A (a) - [ah] sounds like "ah" (father)
E (e) - [eh] sounds like "eh" (bed);
I (i) - [ee] sounds like "ee" (bee);
O (o) - [oh] sounds like "oh" (stop);
U (u) - [oo] sounds like "oo" (moon).

The consonant sounds are as follows:
B (bi) - sounds like "b" in English;
C (ci) - sounds like soft "ch" in "cheese" (before e, i, or y), or like "k" in "cat" (before a, o, u);
D (di) - sounds like "d" in English;
F (effe) - sounds like "f" in English;
G (gi) - sounds like "jee" in "jeep" (before e, i, or y), or like "g" in "go" (before a, o, u);
H (acca) - silent, not pronounced;
L (elle) - sounds like "l" in English;
M (emme) - sounds like "m" in English;
N (enne) - sounds like "n" in English;
P (pi) - sounds like "p" in English;
Q (cu) - sounds like "koo" in "cool" (it's always followed by "u");
R (erre) - sounds like "r" in English or trilled "r" at the end of words;
S (esse) - sounds like "s" or "z" (between two vowels) in English;
T (ti) - sounds like "t" in English;
V (vi/vu) - sounds like "v" in English;
Z (zeta) - sounds like "ts" or "dz" (at the beginning of a word).

The foreign consonant sounds are as follows:
J - sounds like "j" in English;
K - sounds like "k" in English;
W - sounds like "w" in English;
X - sounds like "x" in English;
Y - sounds like "y" in English.

In the Italian language there are many specific pairs of letters that make particular sounds that deserve a mention. Here are some of the common ones.
C + H (ch) - sounds like "k".
Example: chiesa [kjeza] (church);

C + I/E/Y (ci/ce/cy) - sounds like "ch".
Example: ciliegia [chiliyedja] (cherry);

C + A/O/U (ca/co/cu) - sounds like "k".
Examples: poco [poko] (little);

G + H (gh) - sounds like "g".
Examples: ghetto [getto] (ghetto);

G + L (gl) - sounds like "ʎ" or soft "l" (double "l" + "i" in "million").
Examples: figlio [fiʎo] (son), famiglia [famiʎa] (family);

G + N (gn) - sounds like "ɲ" or soft "n" ("canyon").
Example: gnocchi [ɲokki] (potato balls);

S + C + E/I (sci, sce) - sounds like [ʃ] or "sh" ("push").
Examples: sciarpa [ʃarpa] (scarf), sceda [ʃeda] (go down);

S + C + H (sch) - sounds like [sk].
Examples: pesche [peske] (peaches);

I + E (ie) - sounds like [je] or [ije].
Examples: pieno [pijeno] (full);

I + A (ia) - sounds like [ja] or [ija].
Example: piazza [pijatsa] (square);

I + O (io) - sounds like [jo] or [ijo].
Example: iodio [ijodijo] (iodine).

These are only some of the combinations. There are possibly other ones that will arise as you learn the Italian language. It is necessary to listen to native Italian speakers in order to get a natural appreciation of these sounds.
Now repeat all new words. We will see you in the next lesson, which will deal with the Italian Pronouns.
Good luck!