How To Pronounce Italian Words

Italian is seen as one of the more romantic languages in the world. Saying a few words in Italian would definitely get most people in a loving mood. The language is also used in one of the world's most famous cuisines. Only a relative few people outside of Italy know how to speak Italian, but all of us certainly know about the various dishes that came out of Italy such as lasagna, risotto and focaccia, and even spaghetti!

Italy is also the cradle of the arts. Many great writers and musicians hail from this boot-shaped country in the Mediterranean. Opera is often written and sung in Italian so if you want to have a greater appreciation of this type of artistic expression, read on and learn how one can pronounce Italian words better.

  • Italian words are usually pronounced with the stress on the penultimate or the second-to-the-last syllable.
  • When referring to a man's proper name, the "e" in a word (most Italian words end with the letter "e") is often omitted. This is also the case with some masculine titles. The pronunciation of the word, however, as well as the position of the stress remains unchanged.
  • The spellings of professions are also often altered when preceding a masculine proper name. This means the word dottore or doctor becomes dottor when preceding an actual name of a physician.
  • Italian also features a lot of double consonants. Knowing how to pronounce words with these segments would definitely save you a lot of embarrassment next time you order at your favorite Italian restaurant or bistro.
  • Words with double f, l, m, n, r, s and v have the consonant sound prolonged. A double z is pronounced as if there is only one z. Consecutive letters "s" in a word are always not pronounced.
  • Diphthongs are sounds that are vowel-like but do not fall under the sound of any particular vowel. In Italian, diphthongs are the clusters of vowels that appear anywhere in certain words. These words approximate the sounds of "y" and "w" in the English language. Among the words with diphthongs include buono (good), fiore (flower), chiuso (closed) and piu (more).
  • Triphthongs are also inherent in the Italian language. These are the result of three consecutive vowels with a single sound. These triphthongs usually end with the letter "I". These words include tuoi (yours), miei (mine), buoi (oxen) and pigliai.

Italy is also known for fashion, so it will also be helpful to know how the names of the designers are supposed to be pronounced.

  • Bulgari - Ball-gah-ree
  • Hermes - Air-mez
  • Givenchy - Jhee-von-shee
  • Louis Vuitton - Loo-ee Voo-ee-ton
  • Moschino - Mo-ski -no

Learning how to pronounce Italian can be a chore, but with enough practice and perhaps watching a few Italian shows, you would be talking like a real Italian in no time. The best way to learn of course is not to simply read Italian words but to actually talk to other people who are natives of Italy or are learned speakers of the language.


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