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Italian sounds: consonants 2

In Italian, besides consonant sounds that correspond with a written symbol, there are:

  • written symbols that correspond with different sounds, according to the following vowel
  • sounds that do not exist in English.

Written symbols that correspond with different sounds, according to the following vowel

Written symbol Phonetic symbol Similar sound in English Spoken sound in Italian
c+ a/o/u k cat casa, cosa, cura
ch+e/i k key che, chiave
c+e/i chat cibo, cera
g+a/o/u g good gara, gola, guerra
gh+ e/i g get spaghetti, funghi
g+ e/i joke gelato, giraffa

Sounds that do not exist in English

Written symbol Phonetic symbol Similar sound in Spanish Spoken sound in Italian
gn ɲ niño gnocchi
gl+i λ llave figli
gli+a/e/o/u λ llamar famiglia, figlie, figlio, pagliuzza


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This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to Italian

Università per Stranieri di Siena (UniStraSi)

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