Pronunciation and spelling

If you are landing here from the introductory page From letters to sounds - or if you have already read it anyway - that's ok; otherwise, you are advised to read it first

The pronunciation of " b, d, f, l, m, n, p, t, v " is similar to the pronunciation of the Eng. consonants with the same spelling. No further comments will be given about them in the following pages.


A - As anticipated in the Introductory notes, Italian "a" always has the same sound [a] (similar to the vowel in "palm, father, ask, car" etc.) in all contexts, and whether it is stressed or unstressed. This means that the vowels in “casa, patata, banana” are all pronounced alike, with the last-but-one bearing the word-stress. It. has no "weak sounds" like the one in the first and in the last syllable of Eng. "banana".

E -       I -       O -

U - Always pronounced [u] as in Eng. "flu" (or in "student, fool, do"...). Remember "It. luna Eng. moon" as a pair of words containing a similar vowel sound. Fur "u" before another vowel or in "qu" see


C -       G -       H -       Q -

R -       S -       Z -

"Double" consonants

Clusters (di- or tri-grams)

GN -       GLI -       SC -

"Foreign" letters

J -       K -       W -       X -       Y -

Stress and intonation

Word stress


Other topics

Pronouncing loanwords

Capital letters