Tutorial Transcript

Hi everyone and welcome back to my channel! Or welcome, if you're new around here! The very first thing you want to do when starting to learn Italian is getting familiar with the sounds of Italian language, how letters are pronounced. It's very important because it gives you structure and it gives you a strong base to build your knowledge on. It can be pretty hard to learn sentences without knowing how to pronounce them. Pronunciation-wise, Italian is pretty easy because all you need to do is pronounce all the letters you see in a word. Obviously, there are a few sounds that might be confusing, such as CH, SCI, GL, etc, but we’ll get to those in a future video. For now, let’s just consider the very basic sounds of Italian, so we’ll go over the alphabet. It might seem too easy, strange, or basic, but it’s actually not. It happens that even intermediate students don't know how to name the letters in Italian. So, in language learning, there is nothing too basic and everything is worth reviewing. There are 21 letters in the Italian alphabet: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, z. /a/ as in "albero" (tree). The sound is open and the letter A is always pronounced /a/. /b/ as in "barca" (boat). /c/, /tʃ/ as in "cane", "cena" (dog, supper). The letter C can be hard (/k/) or soft (/tʃ/), depending on what lettere follows. /d/ as in "diario" (diary). /e/ as in "elefante" (elephant). The letter E can be open (/ɛ/) or closed (/e/): if there is a grave accent, the sound is open,; if there is an acute accent, the sound is closed; without any accent, the sound is closed. "Elefante". /f/ as in "farfalla" (butterfly). /g/, /dʒ/, as in "giro", "gara", "ghiro" (round, competition, dormouse). The letter G works as letter C, so it can have an open sound or a closed sound, depending on the letter that follows. The letter H is silent in Italian, Italian words that start with an H do not exist. The H can only be found within words. It is silent, it isn't pronounced. /i/, /j/ as in "isola" (island). /l/ as in "lavagna" (blackboard). /m/ as in "mare" (sea). /n/ as in "nipote" (nephew/niece/grandson/granddaughter). /o/, /ɔ/ as in "occhiali" (glasses). The letter O can have an open sound or a closed sound, as for "occhiali", the O is closed (/o/) because it's at the beginning of the word. /p/ as in "penna" (pen). /k(w)/ as in "quadro" (painting). /r/ as in "rana" (frog). /s/, /z/ as in "stivale" (boot). /t/ as in "tavolo" (table). /u/, /w/ as in "uva" (grapes). /v/ as in "violino" (violin). /ts/, /dz/ as in "zucchero" (sugar). Let's repeat together: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, z. In addition, there are five acquired letters that do not belong to the Italian alphabet, but they are used in loanwords from other languages. These letters are: J, K, X, Y, W. When we talk about letters, we have to use the feminine article "la" to say "la S", "la F", "la T", etc. "La parola telefono inizia con la T". The word "telefono" starts with a T. Even if you have a higher level of proficiency, I suggest you review the Italian alphabet and the basic sounds of Italian language. When you do this pronunciation exercise, make sure you move your mouth, so that it will be easier to pronounce the letters and to memorise the movement to do so. I hope this video is useful. I'll see you in my next one. Talk soon, bye!