Pronunciation Help

Have a question about Italian grammar? Need a quick translation from Italian to English or vice versa? Post it here!
Post Reply
skamen
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:58 pm

Pronunciation Help

Post by skamen » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:19 am

I studied Italian for a while and was in Italy for a month last summer. I am now living in Italy and it seems like my Italian is getting worse. It must be everything that I'm trying to absorb and that I now aware of a lot more of the problems in my Italian speaking. I have a few quick pronunciation questions.

I have always had trouble pronouncing è and e. For quite a long time I pronounced them virtually the same way. How would you suggest that I pronounce è? I've read and been told to say it like the e in the English words met or pet. E (and) should be pronounced just like the English letter A. Is this correct? It's really hard for me to adjust my pronunciation of é because I have been saying it pretty wrong for quite a while. Any suggestions on how to improve my ability to pronounce this words differently and correctly (other than just straight up repetition and practice which very well may be the only way)

Also, how much should you roll the r in Italian? For grazie or prego how much do you roll the r (or should you roll it)? Also for a word such as imparare how much should you roll the Rs? My friend that I speak with quite a bit can speak Italian well but he is Peruvian. I wonder if maybe he rolls the Rs too much and that maybe I have started to as well.

I just feel a bit overwhelmed and insecure about my Italian at the moment. I'm hoping if I keep slugging away I can make a jump in the somewhat near future.

Grazie per il tuo aiuto,

-Scott

Andrew
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:04 pm
Location: Bomaderry, NSW, Australia

Post by Andrew » Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:20 pm

Hi Scott,

I'm obviously not the best person to ask (there are native Italian speakers here that would do much better :) ) but just thought I'd throw in my two cents:

As far as I know e should be pronounced like the e in 'pet' and è is just a shortened and stressed version of this same sound. I'm not sure who told you to pronounce 'e' like the English 'a' but in standard Italian this is incorrect. It's fairly difficult for a non-native speaker to tell the difference in sounds between è (it is) and e (and) in spoken Italian, but the context makes it very clear.

Where in Italy are you living? I'm not sure how much the local dialect would account for the differences...

Roby
Posts: 3850
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:06 pm

Post by Roby » Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:30 pm

Hi Scott.... Welcome to the forum

Please check out these links
http://www.impariamo.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2876
http://www.impariamo.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1416

Now that you are living in Italy, go to the bars, piazzas, etc. and listen to the people talk. Meet people so you can begin practicing your Italian with them. Don't worry if you make mistakes, in time it will all click. Don't be afraid to ask them how to pronounce the words ... Watch their lips and listen .

Where in Italy are you?
Roby
"Per raro che sia, il vero amore e' meno raro della vera amicizia."

"As rare as true love is, it is not as rare as true friendship."
- François de La Rochefoucauld

User avatar
polideuce
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:29 pm
Location: Salsomaggiore Terme
Contact:

Post by polideuce » Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:05 pm

Per quanto riguarda la differenza tra "è" ed "e" è giusto ciò che ti è stato detto e non mi preoccuperei troppo per come suona la "r"; io, per esempio, pur essendo italiano ho la "r moscia"...alla francese per intenderci, e in alcune parti d'Italia la "r" suona anche meno accentuata :)

skamen
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:58 pm

Post by skamen » Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:10 pm

I am currently in Bologna and I found a job teaching English in Modena. I am going to be moving into my apartment in Modena tomorrow.

Thanks for your suggestions. It seems like I am currently very preoccupied with my pronunciation of è and e. It seems like I've become more self-conscious of my pronunciations as I've learned more.

So would you not to say to pronounce "e" as the vowel sound in the English word "say"?

I hope that I can make it over this hump!

Thanks for your help,

-Scott

User avatar
polideuce
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:29 pm
Location: Salsomaggiore Terme
Contact:

Post by polideuce » Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:48 pm

ho ascoltato un po' di parole e il suono che più si avvicina alla "e", a mio avviso, è il suono della "a" in "way"o in "say" come hai scritto tu; per la "è" invece "pet" va bene :)
(in effetti "a" da sola suona in modo leggermente diverso)

MI ricordo che tempo fa qualcuno aveva postato un "podcast" (può essere?) in varie lingue, tra cui anche l'italiano, nel quale bastava digitare la parola in una finestra per sentirla pronunciata...guarda se riesco a recuperarlo e a riproporlo qui

skamen
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:58 pm

Post by skamen » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:02 pm

Grazie per il tuo auito polideuce.

Ciao,

-Scott

User avatar
polideuce
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:29 pm
Location: Salsomaggiore Terme
Contact:

Post by polideuce » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:07 pm

non l'ho trovato...sigh; ma ho trovato questo:
http://www.dizionario.rai.it/index.aspx?treeID=1
la "è" non la trovi, ma se cerchi "essere" e ascolti "ènno" (termine che non sapevo esistere) puoi sentire come viene pronunciata la "è" :)

User avatar
umberto
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:39 pm
Location: Italy

Post by umberto » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:23 am

I think you shouldn’t worry: it’s just a matter of time. Never forget that Italian phonetics is perfectly unambiguous: this means that to every grapheme corresponds one phoneme, one and only one, with just a few exceptions (1 letter = 1 sound). This doesn’t happen in English, where to a letter of the alphabet may correspond more than one sound (and God only knows how many!). I’ve also studied French, Spanish and German: well, I assure you that English phonetics is the hardest of all! Believe me, as for phonetics, there's nothing so hard as English! I’m sure that your hesitations will disappear soon!!!!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests