Wella! ('Heya!' in English).
Welcome to your first personal Italian lesson =D
Objective: To learn the Italian alphabet.
Interesting fact: Italian is (apparently) the second-closest language to Latin after Sardinian and one of the five romance languages (French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish). All five are quite similar to one another, with French being a close second.
Advice of the day: Whether you already know some phrases or not, revision always comes in useful when studying a foreign language.
Fun fact: Everything is pronounced in Italian!
Here is the Italian alphabet. After each letter I have written its name in Italian (like 'C' in English is pronounced 'See') then its actual pronunciation.
A-'Ah' as in 'Ape' (bee)
B-'Bee' as in 'Bilancia' (Libra/Scales)
C-'Chee' as in 'Città' (City) in front of 'e' or 'i'.
BUT Pronounced 'K' as in 'Cat' (in front of a, o and u) as in cane (dog)
D-'Dee' as in 'Dito' (finger).
This 'D' is almost like the English 'Th' in 'This'-just place the tip of your tongue behind your two front teeth and say, 'Dee'
E-'Eh' as in 'Età' (age).
F-'Eff-eh'. (The italics signify the stress of the syllable). As in 'Fame' (hunger)
G-'Jee' as in 'Gene' (gene) when in front of the e or i.
BUT pronounced 'Geh' as in 'Gatto' (cat) in front of vowels a, o and u.
H-'Acca'. Silent letter. As in 'ho' (Pronounced 'oh') (I have)
I-'ee' as in 'Italia'
L-'El-leh'. As in 'Lungo' (long)'. If there are two 'L's' together, they are longer in sound. 'Pallone'-Ball
M-'Em-meh'. Same in English. If there are two 'M's' together, they are longer in sound. 'Mamma'-Mum
N-'En-neh'. Same in English. Longer in sound if two are together: 'Nonna'-Grandmother-Granny
O-'Oh' as in 'Polpo' (octopus)
P-'Pee' as in 'Padre' (father)
Q-'Koo' like 'Could' but deeper. You will always find it with a 'u' next to it, 'Qu', pronounced like 'Questo' (this).
R-'Eh-rreh' rolled 'R', like a Scotsman would probably say 'Red' as in 'rosso' (red).
S-'Eh-sseh' like 'Essendo' (being-gerund form) Longer in sound if two are together: 'TEssera'-Season ticket
T-'Tee' like 'Tea'. Similarly to 'D', pronounce it by placing the tip of your tongue lightly between your first two incisors, a bit like 'Think' but not aspirated. Two together are pronounced longer: 'Latte'-'Milk'.
U-'ooh' like 'Would' but longer and deeper. As in 'Ulivo' (olive tree)
V-'Voo' but deeper. As in 'Vino' (wine)
Z-'Dzeta'. Pronounced like 'ds' in lads' as in 'Zaino' (backpack)
BUT 'ts' in 'sits' in as in 'Pizza'.
Note: The five missing letters J-K-W-X-Y (LETtere esotiche) are pronounced as in English apart from J (mostly pronounced like a 'Y') and W (like a 'V').
J-I lunga (lit: long I)
When you say 'We!/Wella!' say it with an English 'W'-exception!
Advice for Spanish speakers: It is logical for you to attempt reading Italian as you would in Spanish since they are quite similar, but I really do not recommend it. The double 'LL' for example is pronounced like a longer 'L', not a 'Y' or a 'G' as in Spanish.
Ae-'ah-eh'. 'Paese'- town or country
Ai-as in 'Like'. Example: Mai-never
Ao-as in 'Owl'. Rarely used.
Au-'Ah-ooh' but shortened.'Aula'-classroom
Cc-'Ch' like 'Chin' before vowels 'e' and 'i'. Example: Uccello- Bird or Piccino- Child
Cc-'C' like 'Car' before vowels 'a' 'o' and 'u'. Example: Attaccare- to attack. Slightly longer in sound.
Ch/Cch-'K' as in 'Kin'. Example: 'Chi?' (pronounced like 'key')-(Who?/Whom?)
Ei-'ay' like 'Way'. Example: 'Dèi'-Gods
Eu-'Ay-oo' like 'May you...?'. Example: Europa-Europe
Gh-'G' as in 'Got'. Example: Ghiaccio-Ice (Pronounced 'GYA-cho)
Gl-if followed by 'e' or 'i' it is pronounced like a 'lyuh' such as 'Lyon'. Example: Luglio (LOO-lyoh)-July
Gn-'Ny' no equivalent sound in English but similar to 'Onion'. 'Gnocchi'-Potato dumplings
Ie-'Ye'. Example: 'Ieri'-yesterday.
Io-pronounced 'ee-yoh' on its own, but pronounced 'O' like 'Cot' in 'Ciò'-Cho (This/that) or 'Giovanni'-Jovanni (Johnathan)
Iu-'You' but deeper. Example: 'Chiunque' (ki-OON-queh)-Whoever/Whomever.
Sc-'Sk' before 'a', 'o' and 'u'. Example: Scuola (school). 'Sh' before 'i' and 'e'. Example: Sciare-To ski
ZZ-'ts' as in 'Sits' or, of course: 'Pizza'. (Did you know it quite literally means 'Pie' in English?) :)
Other things: the vowels a, e, i, o and u can all have accents above them. They mean slightly different pronunciation but don't worry about that just yet.
For now, I simply want you to know that if an Italian word ends in an accentuated vowel (like 'Città'-city), you must stress the last syllable. So it's not 'Cheetta' but 'cheet-AH'.
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