learning italian

Jul 27th, 2007, 10:46 PM
  #1  
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learning italian

I'm learning the basics of speaking Italian but I don't know how to pronounce the letter "e". Is it like "eh" or "A"? Also, how do I pronounce the letter g when the letter a follows like "ga" as in dogana (means 'customs' in italian)? Is it pronounced hard like 'gave'? Thanks.
Khristine is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 10:58 PM
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Hi

Have you tried checking out www.travlang.com ? On that site you can learn basic phrases on various languages and you can also hear prononciation. I just came back from Florence/Tuscany and we had a great time. But it would have been even better if we knew the language

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 02:22 AM
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Ok this is just a crash lesson so no flaming from you Fordorites! And there are variations. And not allowing for accents i.e assuming the Queen's english. Pronunciation of vowels is the most common error.

a: Is pronounced "u" as in umbrella. so dogana is pronounced dogunu.
e: is pronounced as in "e"gg.
i: is pronounced as in "i"gloo
o: is pronounced as in "o"range
u: is pronounced as in b"oo"k

Give it a try using the link suggested above.
worldinabag is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 03:00 AM
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I'm listening and repeating the phrases on the BBC lessons page.They have it set up "restaurant" "taxi" "shopping" "getting the hotel". That sort of thing.
My DH lived in Rome for about 4 years (20 years ago). He think's it will come back to him.
SuzieCII is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Hi everyone, thanks for your responses. It was really helpful. Now I can move on with my studying. I will definitely check out the website too! I have one month to learn as much as I can. Wish me luck!

Ciao!
Khristine is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 10:43 AM
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Well "A" is not pronounced like "U"..think of how Roma is pronounced or Capri etc. "A" is normally pronounced more like the "A" in father.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 11:04 AM
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In fact, there is a soft "e" and a less soft "e". For me this is subtle and different people in different places will sound slightly ... different. You don't really need to worry about it at this point. Most typically e has the sound of the English word "met" (the softer e), and occasionally more like the English word "pray", although that's too hard. When you say "prego" (you're welcome, most often, but also please) that e is softer than when we say "pray," less like a hard A. Stick to the sound in "met" and don't worry much about it - certain letter combinations will force the issue - for instance, the slightly stronger e sort of naturally comes out after r!

I don't think about it much (not that I'm fluent).

And "e" (no accent, meaning "and") and "è" (with an accent, meaning "is") also have that slight distinction. But it's a subtle difference and not the first thing you need to know. (Maybe not the 101st).

G is prounounced as a hard g as in the English "pogo stick". EXCEPT when it's not. When g is followed by e or i, it has the j sound, as in "page"in English or the Italian "magio" for the month of May. AND when it is followed by l or n, then g is virtually silent: sogno (dream) is pronounced "so-nyo", Bologna is "bo-lo-nya". Basically, g+l is a new letter, also g+n ... you don't hear the g, but it changes the sound of the l or n, as if adding a y.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 11:12 AM
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Hmm.
I think world and love are both right about "a":

I would pronounce dogana with both a sounds, i.e. the first a as in FAther, the second a as in Umbrella (the last a in umbrella will do, too, as a soft u sound.) It's a very natural combo, and most of those thousands of a-ending words in Italian have more of the "throw-away" "uh" sound with which we are familiar: tocatta, ciabatta (we wouldn't say "chee-ah-buh-tuh" but "chee-ah-bah-tuh". I don't know, Love, maybe I'm wrong. Do you end those words with "ah" or "uh"?

With no vero italiano around to use as reference, I'm thinking far too hard to be sure!!

tomassocroccante is offline  
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