Consonantic Digraphs

  • CH (found only before e or i): Its sound is like the English "k" sound; as "ki" sound in king. Examples:
    • Chiave  »  key.
    • Chiesa  »  church.
    • Anche  »  also.
    • Che  »  that, what.
    • Chi  »  who.
    • Perché  »  because.
  • GH (found only before e or i): Its sound is like the "g" in get, gift, gitar. Examples:
    • Spaghetti  »  spaghetti.
    • Ghiaccio  »  ice.
    • Ghirlanda  »  wreath.
    • Funghe  »  (he) escapes.
    • Ghetto  »  ghetto.
    • Laghi  »  lakes.
    • Maghi  »  magicians..
  • GLI : This sound is approximately like "ll" in million. Examples:
    • Aglio  »  garlic.
    • Bottiglia  »  bottle.
    • Famiglia  »  family.
    • Meglio  »  better.
  • GN: This sound is pronounced as the English "ny" like in canyon. The sound is actually the same as in the Spanish word "señorita" (seh-nyoh-ree-tah) (miss). Examples:
    • Bagno  »  bath.
    • Signora  »  lady.
    • Signore  »  gentleman.
    • Signorina  »  young lady.
  • SCH: This occurs only before e or i, and is pronounced like the English sk in diskette, sky, asking (remember the sound of italian vowels). Examples::
    • Dischi  »  disks, records.
    • Fiaschi  »  flasks.
    • Lische  »  fishbones.
    • Tasche  »  pockets.

Important: When ci, gi, and sci are followed by a, o, or u, unless the accent falls on the i, the i is not pronounced. The letter i merely indicates that c, g, and sc are pronounced, respectively, like the English ch, g (as in gem), and sh.

  • Arancia  »  orange.
  • Giornale  »  newspaper.
  • Ciliegia  »  cherry.
  • Ciao  »  hello.
  • Salsiccia  »  sausage.
  • Camicia  »  shirt.
  • Lasciare  »  to leave.
  • Scienza  »  science.



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