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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Italian Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn the top 5 Italian pronunciation mistakes to avoid.
These are common mistakes that Italian learners tend to make. So pay close attention and make sure that you don't make these same mistakes too.
Are you ready? Then let's get started!
NOT ENUNCIATING THE VOWELS ENOUGH
Number 1: Not enunciating the vowels enough
Italian pronunciation is based on syllables where vowel sounds are predominant.
Many students of Italian do not enunciate the vowel sounds enough, which makes their pronunciation sound unnatural.
To correct this, you should try to open your mouth and let the air pour out, pronouncing each and every syllable clearly.
Pay attention to the way native Italian speakers enunciate the vowel sound in each syllable and try to imitate them.
Listen to the example.
"Roma (Rome)
(pause)
barone (baron)
(pause)
buongiorno (good day)
SHORTENING DOUBLE CONSONANTS
Number 2: Shortening double consonant sounds.
This is a common mistake because many students aren't aware that double consonants are actually pronounced for a longer duration in Italian than they are in English.
To solve this problem, try to lengthen the sound a little bit longer than you would in English.
In the following examples, pay attention to the duration that the double consonant sound is held and try to imitate it for yourself.
"motto (motto)
(pause)
valle (valley)
(pause)
spesso (often)
CAN'T PRONOUNCE ROLLED R'S
Number 3: Can't pronounce rolled R's.
r
This is arguably the most difficult sound for Italian learners to pronounce correctly.
It's quite a complex sound and in fact, it's one of the last sounds that Italian children learn how to pronounce.
The only way to solve this problem is to keep listening to native Italian speakers and practicing it yourself -- or practicing with us!
Listen to the following examples.
tre (three), parco (park), radio (radio), frigorifero (refrigerator)
We'll learn more about this sound in lesson 7.
MISPRONOUNCING GL
Number 4: Mispronouncing the G and L sounds together
This is another sound that's difficult for Italian learners to pronounce.
gl
It's a peculiar sound because it sounds somewhat like an English L but not exactly. The problem arises when speakers begin substituting the regular L for this sound.
Listen to [native speaker] and pay attention to the way it's pronounced in the following words.
maglia(mesh), meglio (better), aglio (garlic)
Don't worry if you don't get it straight away because we'll breakdown this sound in lesson 6.
MISPRONOUNCING CI
Number 5: Mispronouncing the C and I sounds together
ci
This sound is identical to the 'ch' in 'church'. The only difference though, is that it's stressed *even more* in Italian than it is in English.
Listen to the example.
cucina (kitchen), Lucia (Lucy)
Notice how the 'ch' sound is more stressed in Italian than it is in English? Be mindful about pronouncing the 'ch' sound when speaking in Italian.
Now you know the top 5 Italian pronunciation mistakes to avoid.
Try to be careful so that you don't commit these same mistakes. Still feel a bit worried? Over the rest of this series we'll cover all of these topics in depth.
In the next lesson, we'll start learning vowel sounds in Italian.
Which of these five mistakes is the hardest to avoid? Have you learned any tricks to deal with them? Let us know in the comments.
Stick with us and you'll overcome these quickly!
See you in the next Ultimate Italian Pronunciation Guide lesson!

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ItalianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Which of these five mistakes are the hardest to avoid?

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 03:57 AM
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Hi Mark,

one thing you could try is this: put the tip of your tongue on the gum behind your teeth, as if you wanted to pronounce an English T or D. Then, try blowing out the air from the passage between the tip of your tongue and your gum/palate. It may also help to try to do a continuous RRRRRRR sound, before trying any word.


If you still can't do it, don't worry too much. There are also some Italians who can't roll their Rs ๐Ÿ˜‰


I hope this helps!


Valentina

Team ItalianPod101.com

Mark
Friday at 11:01 AM
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I still have problems rolling my Rs and I grew up with one side of the family speaking traditional Spanish and taking three year sin high school ๐Ÿ˜ž.


Any tips?!

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 09:58 AM
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Hi Brian,


Thank you for posting and for the good tips!

I'm sure other users will take advantage of those. :thumbsup:


Grazie!

Ofelia

Team ItalianPod101.com

Brian
Friday at 11:51 PM
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When I first started learning Italian, I had the most trouble with the "gl" sound. At first, I pronounced it as "yi" (or "yee"), then "lyi" (or "lyee") before finally getting it right.


Second was the double consonants; while not as difficult, a good tip I read years ago was to think of it in English as two words, where the last letter of the first word is the same as the first letter of the next word (ex. "top post").


Rolling the r's was quite easy, as I studied a little bit of Spanish in high school (which also accounted for my pronunciation of "gl" similar to that of the Spanish double-L).

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 08:57 AM
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Hi everyone,


Thank you for posting!


@Simon, I hope the voice recorded was helpful!


@Norojika, the pronunciation of "r" is one of the most challenging thing also for a native child :laughing:

I recommend to keep practicing, after native speakers.

By the way there is also a lesson about "r", please have a look https://www.italianpod101.com/2015/04/10/ultimate-italian-pronunciation-guide-7-new-consonants-2/


Grazie e a presto!

Ofelia

Team ItalianPod101.com

Norojika
Saturday at 01:31 AM
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I don't have any problems except for the "r". I can more or less pronounce it most of the time (after exercising it for several years), but not before or after a "d" or "t". Listening or recording my voice doesn't seem to solve the problem. My tongue just isn't fast enough. Any ideas?

Simon
Friday at 09:12 PM
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Ciao Ofelia,


No, non ho giร  usato il 'Voice Recorder', lo proverรฒ subito!


No, I have not yet used the voice recorder, I will try it soon!


Grazie,


Simon.

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 03:24 PM
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Ciao Simon,


Prova ad esercitarti qui! Hai provato il "Voice recorder"?

Try to practice here! Have you tried the "Voice recorder" feature?


Se hai altre domande, lascia un commento!:thumbsup:

Ofelia

Team ItalianPod101.com

Simon
Friday at 12:24 AM
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Numero 3 certamente! Non posso pronunciare il mio 'r' in inglese, cosรฌ non ho una speranza in italiano! Dico 'w' invece 'r' e i miei amici italiani ridono! Anche 'gli' รจ un suono difficile, ma penso che io possa dire ora, dopo due anni!