• Santino Santinelli

Italian Language and Pronunciation: "suoni dolci" and "suoni duri"


Pronunciation is one of the most complicated aspect of Italian language.

Many students have several problems while reading words wich include the letter "H".

This short guide can help you to understand better the correct pronunciation of some of the most popular Italian words.

First of all we need to say that in Italian we have two different sound:

suoni dolci (light sound, not strong) and suoni duri (strong sound, not light).

In Italian we define "suoni dolci" all words which include the letters (c/g/sc + i/e) without the letter "H", while we define "suoni duri", all words which also include the letter "H" (c/g/sc + H + i/e).

Here you can find a detailed list of "suoni dolci" and "suoni duri".

Suoni Dolci

C + vowels (i and e):

C + I = ci; for example: il CInema (cinema).

C + E = ce; for example: la CEna (dinner).

G + vowels (i and e):

G + I = gi; for example: il GIoco (game).

G + E = ge; for example: il GElato (ice-cream).

SC + vowels (i and e):

SC + I = sci; for example: SCIare (to ski).

SC + E = sce; for example: lo SCEnario (view).

Suoni Duri

C + H + vowels (i and e):

C + H + I = chi; for example: la CHIesa (church).

C + H + E = che; for example: CHE? (what?).

G + H + vowels (i and e):

G + H + I = ghi; for example: il GHIaccio (ice).

G + H + E = ghe; for example: il GHEpardo (cheetah).

SC + H + vowels (i and e):

SC + H + I = schi; for example: la SCHIena (back).

SC + H + E = sche; for example: la SCHEda (form).

More "suoni duri":

When words include the letters c/g/sc + vowels (a, o and u), the sound is always strong:

la CAsa (home).

la COsa (thing).

la CUcina (kitchen).

la GAbbia (cage).

il GOssip (gossip).

il GUsto (taste).

lo SCAvo (excavation).

lo SCOpo (purpose).

lo SCUdo (shield).

Now it is time to practice all these sounds... so don't waste your time and let's speak in Italian with me! For further information and lessons on Skype, please contact me per e-mail!

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