Italian pronunciation might pose some difficulties for the beginner. Yet it is very regular, and once the rules are understood it is easy to pronounce each word correctly. Quick, step-by-step instructions on how to pronounce Italian vowels with the approximate English equivalents.
Time Required: One month
- A—sounds like a in father
- E—has two sounds: short vowel like e in pen; long vowel, similar to ai in fair
- I—sounds like ea in tea or i in marine
- O—has two sounds: like o in cozy or similar to o in cost
- U—sounds like u in rude
- Italian vowels are always articulated in a sharp, clear fashion, regardless of stress; they are never slurred or pronounced weakly.
- Vowels (a,e,i,o,u) always retain their value in diphthongs.
- Italian is a phonetic language, which means that it is spoken the way it is written. Italian and English share the Latin alphabet, but the sounds represented by the letters often differ considerably in the two languages.