Diphthongs & Triphtongs
- Buono » good.
- Chiuso » closed.
- Fiore » flower.
- Ieri » yesterday.
- Invidia » envy.
- Più » more.
Italian diphthongs are always pronounced maintaining the sound og the individual vowels, and the closed vowel plays the role of a semivowel or a glide. You should pronounce diphthongs as follows:
- ai like 'i' in "fight"
- au like 'ow' in "brown"
- ei like 'ay' in "say"
- eu doesn't exist in English, run 'e' and 'u' together
- ia like "ya" in "yard"
- ie like 'ye' in "yes"
- ii not a diphthong but two syllables
- io like "yo" in "Yorick"
- iu like "ew" in "few"
- oi like 'oy' in "boy"
- uo like 'wo' in "won ton"
Triphthongs (Trittonghi)Triphthongs also exist. These are sequences of three vowels with a single sound, usually a diphthong followed by an unstressed i. Examples:
- Buoi » oxen.
- Miei » mine.
- Pigliai » (I) took.
- Tuoi » yours
- Noia » boredom.
- Febbraio » February.
- Baia » bay.
- Fioraio » florist
Each of the words below has a sequence of two diphthongs: <br>
- Ghiaia » gravel.
- Muoio » I die.
- Acquaio » sink.
- Gioiello »
Word Elision (Elisione)Elision is the omission (leaving out) of letters in between words, usually to make pronunciation easier.
The final vowel of an Italian word will often be dropped before a word being with an initial vowel and, in some instances, replaced with an apostrophe. This linking is called elision and is done to make a smooth transition from one word to the text. The vowel pronunciation and stressing remain the same.
- Lo amico => l’amico (the friend)
- La automobile => l’automobile (the automobile)
- Una università => un’università (a university)
- Di Italia => d’Italia (of Italy)
- Dove è => dov’è (where is)
- Sarà al buono => sar’al buono (it will be good)
- La amorosa => l’amorosa (the beloved)
- Quelle aria => quell’aria (this air)
- Tutto è silenzio => tutt’è silenzio (all is quiet)
- Dove è mia amata => dov’è mi’amata (where is my beloved)
- Fare l'amore => far l'amore (to make love)
- Dottore Nardi => dottor Nardi (Dr. Nardi)