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  2.28.2 Summary: The closed 'e' and open 'e' / 'gli-glo' / h / k / rolled 'r'


The open e is similar to the 'e' in the English word set. If you speak French, you find the open 'e' in words like mère, vrai, très.


As we already said, in some parts of Italy an open e can be pronounced as a close one and vice versa.

Example
  caffè = coffee open
  perché = why closed
  perfetto = perfect (the second e is open) open

The combination gli

If gli is followed by another vowel, the pronunciation is like lli in English, in words like million or brilliant or like the Spanish ll in words like caballo. If followed by another consonant, for example in words like glissare (to glide) it is just pronounced as in English in words like to glean.

Example
  gli = him
  ciglio = lash

The combination glo / gla / gle

The pronunciation is just the same as in English.

Example
  globo = bowol
  gloria = glory
  glucosio = glucose

The combination gn

Gn is pronounced like n plus i as a semivowel, you have this sound in the English word canyon. In Spanish the writing is more specatular, ñ, you have that in words like niño / child, cariño / sympathy.

Example
  cigno = swan

H is very easy

H is very easy, because it is not pronounced at all. Its main task, beside cosmetics, is to avoid that g becomes /dsch/ in words like ghiaccio. If you speak Spanish it is important to see, that there are many words where the h is written in Spanish, but not in Italian, habitar / abitare. In the very important verb avere, which is used to form the composed tenses, it is written in some forms but not in all of them (io ho / tu hai / lui ha / noi abbiamo / voi avete / loro hanno).

The 'k' is luxury l

The k is luxury in Italian and only appears in words borrowed from other languages, like ketchup. The corresponding sound is usually written qu or che (quando / when, che / what).

There is no doubt that the 'r' is the champion of the Italian sounds

This sound is the biggest obstacle for everybody no matter the mother tongue, German, English or French. We discussed about that sound in detail in chapter 2.16.

Examples
  burro = butter
  fare = to do
  capire = to understand
  sognare = to dream






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