Re: Italian language tapes
- From: B Vaughan<me@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2005 22:28:47 +0200
On Thu, 06 Oct 2005 22:24:11 +0100, DDT Filled Mormons
>On Thu, 06 Oct 2005 10:08:50 +0200, B Vaughan<me@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>On Thu, 06 Oct 2005 07:26:51 +0100, DDT Filled Mormons
>>>Note that you can do well just by studying a book, as Italian
>>>pronunciation is about as easy as it gets.
>>I don't find it anywhere near as easy as Spanish. For one thing, in
>>Spanish, you can always tell where the accent should fall, because if
>>it doesn't follow the rule, they put an accent over the vowel in the
>>I have a hard time with the Italian double consonsants, and with the
>>change in vowel sound depending on whether it's followed by a double
>>consonant or single consonant. When I say "tappeto" (rug) I'm often
>>misunderstood to have said "tappetto", which isn't really a word, but
>>would be understood as "little cork".
>Ah, those double letters. I can pronounce them ok, but I can't hear
>them yet. In fact, for a time I didn't even believe they existed,
>until I viewed evidence of it (cappello and capello).
>> There are even different vowel sound for words that are spelled
>>identically. For example the difference in sound between "e" (and) and
>>"e' " (is). OK, so the latter has an accent and therefore isn't
>>spelled the same.
>Well, the accent to me means it's just cut short. Seems to be
The sound of the "e" is different. The first is more like "ay" (but
without any diphthong) while the second is closer to "eh". However,
neither is exactly like any English vowel.
>>However there is "pesca" (fishing) and pesca
>>(peach), which are spelled the same but pronounced differently.
>Up here they are pronounced the same. I believe it's only in Tuscany
>they actually pronounce them correctly.
Maybe that explains the "e" and "è" similarity you mentioned.
Actually, it's not only in Tuscany that they're pronounced
differently. They're definitely pronounced differently here.
>>I have a lot of trouble with the word for "three", because I can't
>>reproduce that short e very well. People often think I said "six"
>>(sei) when I say "three" "tre' ", because I have trouble with the
>>short "e" and (like most English speakers) tend to diphthongize every
>>vowel. Even though the consonants are completely different, people
>>hear the vowel and understand "sei".
>Really? I just cut it really short and they seem to understand me.
Again, maybe those two sounds are more similar in Milan?
>>For a long time, I couldn't trill my r, but one day, when I was a bit
>>angry, the r's just trilled all by themselves.
>Ah, yes, the r's. That is something I focussed on from the first day,
>exaggerating it greatly to begin with. It seems you can't do it
I just couldn't do it, no matter how I tried. As a matter of fact, in
six years of studying Spanish in my youth, I never managed to trill an
>There is a little game I find myself playing. I speak Italian, and the
>stranger replies in English, then I continue in Italian, they persist
>in English, and so forth until one person gives up. I don't always
Often I really find it easy to express myself in Italian, especially
if I haven't spoken English for a while. I got stung by a bee this
summer, and went into a pharmacy to get something for the sting, which
was beginning to get really swollen. The pharmacist wanted to speak
English, maybe to impress his assistant, but in my slightly stressed
state, I just couldn't manage to switch to English.
After we left, my husband told me I had ruined the poor guy's day.
My email address is my first initial followed by my surname at libero dot it
I answer travel questions only in the newsgroup
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