Language lunedi’

Every Monday (lunedi’) I will offer a short lesson in Italian.

(*Italians do not capitalize the days of the week)

Italian is a phonetic language, meaning you pronounce the letters as you see them.  Of course there are a few exceptions.  And this lesson relates to the biggest exception.


My first lesson covers the letters C and G and how they work with certain other letters.

The C and G can have both soft and hard sounds.

C + A, O, U= hard sound


casa  (house) caffe’ (coffee)

cuore (heart)

Como (a city in Northern Italy where George Clooney has a house,the last name of the singer, Perry Como)como

G+ A, O, U=hard sound


gatto  (cat)

Guido (a man’s name)


C+ E,I=soft sound

(*This will sound similar to CH in English)


ciao (hi)

cappuccino (note that this word uses both c’s…the hard and the soft)


G+ E,I=soft sound sound

(*This will sounds similar to J in English)


gelato (ice cream)


But this is where things might seem tricky…how do you get the hard sound with C and G if there is an E or I?  Simple….just add an H before the vowel.  Sounds confusing, but once you see the examples below, it will all come together!  You have been utilizing this rule all this time, and you didn’t even know it!

CH+ E,I=hard sound


Chianti (a type of wine)

chianti (1)

Bruschetta (grilled bread flavored with olive oil, garlic and salt and often topped with other ingredients).  Please note the CORRECT pronunciation of this word is:  BrusKetta, not BruSHetta!

GH+ E,I=hard sound


spaghetti (a type of pasta)

This concludes our Language Lunedi’  for today….I hope it was informative and also a little fun!!!  Ciao!

Photo Attribution:

George: Trelawney3

8 Comments on “Language lunedi’

  1. i love this! esp the picture of george clooney! and the pic of the gelato is beautiful! i love the little language lesson-so fun! i cannot wait until next lunedi!

  2. I am very interested! I spent my holyday in Italy, where I bought an Italian language course, and some books for reading! I like the melody, the accent, sounds and words of Italian… Sometimes, when I have time, I like to follow the historical, etymological evolution of a word, to see the changes of the meaning from old Latin to Italian and other languages…. Especially it is useful when I want to understand some subtleties “behind” the appearance… It is so fascinating to see almost the same word in Latin, Italian and English, for example, with different meanings, with so called “drops” from different epochs… So, good luck to you in this interesting and noble intention of teaching italian!

    • Thanks Tofan! I too am intrigued by the evolution of languages. Even the differences in English from Australia to the UK to the US. Look forward to seeing you Monday! Buon fine settimana!

  3. Pingback: Language Lunedi’ – Conjugating the Verb “To Be” | Vino Vita Viaggi

  4. Pingback: Language Lunedi’ – Telling Time | Vino Vita Viaggi

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