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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!
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)
barone (baron)
buongiorno (good day)
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)
valle (valley)
spesso (often)
Number 3: Can't pronounce rolled R's.
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.
Number 4: Mispronouncing the G and L sounds together
This is another sound that's difficult for Italian learners to pronounce.
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.
Number 5: Mispronouncing the C and I sounds together
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!