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Study Italian Online - An Interactive Italian Course for Young and Old
Lesson 1: Getting Started

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Italian pronunciation



Vowels:
Look at the following table and listen to the audio examples to each word, which will give you the correct pronunciation of the respective Italian sound. You will notice that the vowels in Italian are a little different from the ones in English.

sound/ letter: Italian ExamplesEnglish Examples
a
grazie
, stanza
master (brit.), rather
e
penna, staseranon-existent in English
i
sì
, leggi
eel, Steven
ogiorno, aloraclose to: owl, goal
u
tu
, lunedì
school, fool


Consonants:
The following table contains the pronunciation of a few consonants, which differ from their pronunciation in English. Listen again to the audio-examples and try to repeat aloud, what you hear.

sound/ letter: Italian ExamplesEnglish Examples
c before
e
, i
ciao
, c'
è
Czech Republic, Chimpanzee
c otherwisecampo, cosacomputer
g before
e
, i
giorno, gigologel, giro transaction
g with l, ngli, gnocci, bagnomillion, ninja
g otherwise
grazie
go, big
hhai, homute
sc before
e
, i
scenda, prosciuttolike 'sh' in English
z
grazie
, stanza
tzar, tsunami


Capitalization

In Italian, all words are spelled with lower case letters. The only exceptions are the names of people and animals, as well as names of locations and countries. Those words are always capitalized.

Exercise
Can you tell which of the following words, after translating them into Italian, are capitalized and which are not?

Example:
the river
lower case

move mouse over ?-fields
for correct answers
the school
?
America
?
to run
?
the room
?
Tanja
?
small
?
eaten
?




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