The funny fact is that they are written in english, sometimes with an A (“hat”, “bath”), sometimes wit a U (es. “stuck”), sometimes with an O (es. “lot”, “hot”), sometimes with an E (second in “letter”)…
WOW. That’s a mess.
Oh, I was going to forget… If italian pronunciation rules for A are sooooo simple, why english and american people simply can’t get right the italian A?
Simple answer… the IPA sound “a”, the only itlaian sound for A, is quite rare in english. The strange thing is that italian has only 7 vowels, much less than english. The 7 italian vowels correspond more or less to the 8 IPA “cardinal vowels”. Even if “a” is one of the 8 cardinal vowels, as I wrote it’s not so common in english. Check out this:
And, think about it… there are 6 graphic symbols for vowels in english… while the IPA sounds are 39… So english people do the same. But probably they associate the same sounds to different graphic symbols…
Thanks, this is very interesting. I’d like to add that vowels in Italian can be open or close. Exempli gratia: é (close); è (open). Then there are probably ten different sounds for vowels (5 x 2). And, despite an official and elegant official pronunciation exists for words, it’s on how people pronounce vowels here (open or close on each word) that you can get an important feedback on the regional accent. Anyway the main emission of sound doesn’t change, and infact we use the same symbol.
Yes, that’s why I said we have 7 phonetic italian vowels and only five symbols. I will write more in the second “lesson”.
But it’s not correct to say 5x2=10, because only E and O has the open and closed variant. So the basic vowels are only 7.
Anyway you are right, 7 are the basic italian vowels, but if you consider all the regional variations you could count up to 10 or more. Anyway, far less than english, which covers 3/4 of the chart…
If I think of english pronunciation (if I ever learned it), it’s probably one of the most difficult things I had to learn regarding that language. And that was accomplished mostly hearing it, and with a little help of a dictionary. It’s like a starting difficulty you can overtake only by speaking it and listen to it. You have to “live” the english language first. After you got into the pronunciation, main rules are not so difficult (or it’s just me that never learned them all )