FONETICA

ALFABETO

A

*ah

B

bi
C

ci
D

di
E

*a

F

effe
G

gi
H

acca
I

*ee

L

elle
M

emme
N

enne
O

*oh

P

pi
Q

cu
R
 
erre
S

esse
T

ti
U

*oo

V

vi
Z

zeta

* English phonetic convention

Italian is normally is written with only 21 letters.

The remaining letters (JKWXY) are used
almost
exclusively for foreign words.
And here is how they are pronounced..
.
.

J = i lunga K = kappa W = doppia vu X = ics Y = i greca  or ipsilon

 

ITALIAN PHONETIC CONVENTIONS

CONSONANT  C  followed by a VOWEL

THE CONSONANT C HAS TWO POSSIBLE SOUNDS:

 "K" as in car

and "ch" as in cherry

BACK VOWELS

A O U

in Italian as well as in English, these
are called BACK VOWELS because they are pronounced in the back of the mouth

FRONT VOWELS

E I

So called FRONT VOWELS because they are pronounced in the front of the mouth.

Try


Sound  "K"

CASA COLORE CUBO

ORCHESTRA CHIMICA

Notice that we have to insert H  between  C  and E or I  (front vowels)
to produce the K sound. 

This is purely a convention.

 

 

Sound  "ch" (cherry)

ceramica Cina

ciao, cioccolato, ciuffo

 

For this sound, C precedes immediately the front vowels E or I  

With BACK VOWELS, we insert  I  between C and the vowels

This is purely a convention.

 

OF COURSE THIS IS CONFUSING TO ENGLISH SPEAKERS:

it would be much simpler if Italian used "H" instead of "I" to produce the CH sound with back vowels.

That at least would be symmetrical with the front vowels.

-- A --

ANOTHER WAY TO COMPARE THE PATTERNS

back vowels K sound ca co cu
  Ch sound cia cio ciu
                
front vowels Ch sound ce ci
  K sound che chi

-- B --


 

To summarize: 

C + back vowels:  CASA, COLORE, CUBO  (sound K)

C + front vowels: CERAMICA CINA (sound "ch")

 

For the sound K with E and I :   insert H   ORCHESTRA, CHIMICA

For the sound CH with A O U:   insert  I   CIAO, CIOCCOLATO, CIUFFO

 

By the way, here are two examples of a CIUFFO

                                                

 

ITALIAN PHONETIC CONVENTIONS

CONSONANT  G  followed by a VOWEL

G
behaves exactly like
C


GA
BBANA    SPAGO     GUCCI

SPAGHETTI      LAMBORGHINI


 

GELATO  GINO

GIALLO   GIORGIO    GIULIANI


 

TELEPHONE SPELLING

 

 

In Italian we use the name of cities (the initial).

Fo
r the word "CASA" (house) we would say: 

COMO, ANCONA, SIENA, ANCONA.


Some letters have a fixed city (Domodossola, Empoli) while for the others there are no strict rules.

 

  A = Ancona                         
  B = Bologna                         
  C = Como                             
  D = Domodossola                
  E = Empoli                            
  F = Firenze                           
  G = Genova                       
  H Acca = Hotel                   
  I = Imola                             
  L = Livorno                           
  M = Milano                          

full list

 

  N = Napoli                           
  O = Otranto                          
  P = Palermo                         
  Q "Cu" = Quadro                  
  R = Roma                             
  S = Siena                             
  T = Torino                             
  U = Udine                             
  V = Venezia                          
  Z = Zero                                 

 

Write the name of the city next to the corresponding letter

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
L
M

N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Z