WHAT IS THE ITALIAN PRONUNCIATION BUNDLE?
The Italian pronunciation bundle is a set of the essential Anki flashcards to learn Italian pronunciation. It is made for Italian learners at the beginners level who would like to learn and memorize Italian pronunciation within 1-2 months. Even intermediate and advanced Italian learners will find this useful, especially if you still have Italian pronunciation problems. With this digital flashcard bundle, you’ll learn the Italian alphabet, Italian IPA pronunciation and Italian minimal pairs.
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WHY SHOULD I LEARN ITALIAN PRONUNCIATION?
Sounds of Italian are the Foundations of the Language
If we breakdown the Italian language and examine what makes up a language, we can see that Italian conversations are made up of sentences. Then, each sentence is made up of words. But each Italian word is made up of unique Italian sounds. These sounds are the foundations of the Italian language.
The sounds of Italian are different to your native language. Some of the Italian sounds aren’t used very often in the English language for example, such as the rolled R sound. The way we would pronounce letters from the alphabet are also different in English compared to Italian. In order to begin learning Italian and the sounds of Italian, we need to learn Italian pronunciation.
Learn Italian Pronunciation to Avoid Permanent Errors in Speaking
If you speak with terrible Italian pronunciation to a native Italian speaker, they may not understand you, even though your Italian vocab and grammar are perfect. We want to make sure that you get the foundations of Italian handled right from the beginning because it might be very difficult to change your accent later on.
Language experts call this phenomenon “fossilization”. It’s when language learners make permanent errors in the way they speak a foreign language because they constantly use language features of their native language. If you skip learning pronunciation, you’ll most likely create bad habits, which can prevent you from being able to communicate in Italian.
Self-correction and Boost of Confidence
If you have terrible pronunciation, then you’re more likely to face situations where you are misunderstood and confused. When this happens, you might feel embarrassed and frustrated because you’re unable to communicate properly and this hinders your ability to learn Italian.
It would be impossible to have a Italian tutor follow you everywhere and correct your pronunciation in all situations. So we recommend that the best solution to your poor pronunciation is to improve your ability to self-correct yourself. In this way, you will be able to catch yourself making pronunciation mistakes, and then correct yourself before miscommunication occurs. The Italian Pronunciation Flashcards Bundle helps you remember all of the important sounds of Italian so that you can self-correct your pronunciation in any situation.
When you improve your Italian pronunciation, you also get the added bonus of improving your confidence and motivation to learn Italian, and research studies have shown this to be true. By self-correcting your own pronunciation difficulties, it will help improve your listening comprehension and give you confidence to speak in Italian. Your Italian pronunciation can enhance your fluency and native speakers will understand you better.
HOW DO I LEARN ITALIAN PRONUNCIATION?
Italian pronunciation can be broken down into 3 parts; Italian alphabet, Italian IPA and Italian minimal pairs. All 3 parts will help to improve your Italian pronunciation in different but essential ways.
1. Italian Alphabet
In order to improve your pronunciation, the Italian alphabet is the first step because the alphabet is used to write out Italian words and represent Italian sounds. Native Italian speakers use this alphabet to write words and sentences, so it makes sense when learning Italian to start with the Italian alphabet.
Although Italian letters mostly look the same as the English alphabet, the Italian name of the letter and its use in Italian words will be different. Again, we want to familiarize ourselves with the Italian sounds in order to avoid “fossilization” from occurring and affecting your speech.
By learning the Italian alphabet, you’ll also expose yourself to some words that start with those letters. This can help you associate how those letters with sounds in actual Italian words.
2. Italian IPA
The Italian IPA (Italian International Phonetic Alphabet) is a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language. The IPA is useful because the IPA of a word tells you how to pronounce it correctly in Italian in a standardized way.
The regular Italian alphabet is different from the Italian IPA. Take the example of the Italian word “ghiaccio”, which means “ice”. If you read this Italian word as it’s spelled in regular Italian letters, then you may not pronounce it correctly.
As a native English speaker, you may pronounce it as “ge-hee-a-tsee-o”, but that is incorrect and a Italian speaker will be totally confused. You’ll feel embarrassed and not get your point across. But, if you read the IPA of ” ghiaccio “, you’ll find it spelled like this ” /ˈɡjat.t͡ʃo/ “.
By learning the Italian IPA you’ll be able to pronounce sounds in Italian from the written IPA. In time, you’ll be able to see the IPA symbols and know how the word should be pronounced correctly.
3. Italian Minimal Pairs
Minimal pairs are 2 words that seem very similar when you hear them, except for just 1 sound. In Italian, there are minimal pairs such as “marzo” and “marcio”, which mean “March” and “rotten” respectively.
These subtle differences in sound can make all the difference when you are trying to understand or speak Italian.
Learning the Italian minimal pairs can improve your pronunciation skills as well as your listening comprehension. This is proven by academic research.
Ann Bradlow from Cornell University and colleagues did academic research that found that minimal pair training results in improved pronunciation. Language learners of English improved their ability to discriminate between the /r/ and /l/ sounds to around 82 percent accuracy from 65 percent from a training period of 15-22 hours over 3 weeks.
In a recent study published in 2020, academic researchers from UCAM University did minimal pair testing in Spain. The researchers studied 52 language learners, focused on minimal pair words that compared sounds like /æ/ , /ɑː/ , /ʌ/ , and /ə/, as well as comparing the /s/ and /z/ sounds. They concluded that minimal pair training fostered substantial improvements in the learners’ perception and production of the target sounds.
Italian minimal pairs are important as there is strong academic evidence that shows that it can improve your Italian pronunciation. Also, if you can distinguish between the different Italian sounds, you’ll be able to understand Italian native speakers better and you’ll enunciate words clearer.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE ITALIAN PRONUNCIATION BUNDLE?
The Anki Italian pronunciation flashcards bundle includes all 3 digital flashcard decks for Anki you’ll need to learn Italian pronunciation. The 3 flashcard decks included are:
Learn the Italian alphabet with pictures and audio. Get familiar with the sounds & letters of the Italian language.
Learn the fundamentals in Italian pronunciation using the Italian IPA Anki flashcards.
Learn the most common Italian minimal pairs to improve your Italian pronunciation.
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