Improving your Italian pronunciation is one of the most difficult tasks when learning this wonderful language.
In fact, it’s not just a matter of understanding and mastering the Italian sounds but also of applying the right prosodic features – intonation, rhytm, accent, etc.
This, if you want to sound like a native Italian. If you don’t care sounding like an Italian, you can usually skip working on your intonation and rhytm.
So, how can you improve your Italian pronunciation?
As always, there isn’t a magic wand but there are many different exercises you can try. Let’s see them together.
TUNE YOUR EARS
If your problem is the pronunciation of certain Italian sounds, you can listen to the sound it’s causing you problems and then repeat it, many many times.
Luckily, nowadays there are many different online Italian dictionaries where you can hear the right pronunciation of Italian words.
Some examples are: Dizionario di italiano multimediale, Dizionario italiano, The free dictionary.
LISTEN TO ITALIAN SONGS
Listening to Italian songs and singing them can help you both to better understand the right pronunciation of Italian words and to pronounce them more easily.
To learn more about the benefits of songs have a look at Learn to speak Italian with Italian songs.
USE A MIRROR
If you’re struggling with specific Italian sounds try to use a mirror. Moving your mouth, and tongue as a native speaker would do, can help you pronounce the sound correctly.
To see how the mouth of an Italian speaker moves when pronouncing specific words, simply type “Italian pronunciation” on youtube, and you’ll be presented with plenty of videos. In alternative, you can rely on Italian tv programs.
TRAIN YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS
Listen to as many recordings, radio stations or native speakers as you can, watch as many movies as you can. In this way, you will start to understand some Italian prosodic features and/or to train your subconscious to recognize and apply them.
There are many online Italian radio stations like RAI Italy. For a list of Italian radio stations have a look here.
If, instead, you want to listen to some books read by professional actors, you can visit Ad Alta Voce.
PARROT NATIVE SPEAKERS
This is an exercise that you can actually enjoy and it’s a also a complete one. In fact, it’s very helpful to improve both your Italian accent, intonation, rhythm, and sounds.
Listen to real life conversations and just repeat what’s being said, as it’s being said, as best as you can. Do it many times, regularly.
You can use the medium you prefer: podcasts, videos, movies…
You can do this exercise with the help of a native speaker or with the help of the transcription of some audio or video files.
Pronounce a sentence and record yourself. Then, listen how a native Italian speaker pronounce the same sentence. Try to mimic his/her pronunciation a couple of times and then record yourself.
Now, play both the recordings. Can you hear the difference?
In this way, you can realize how you usually speak Italian and self-correct the mistakes yourself, honing in this way your Italian pronunciation.
Practicing is always one of the keys to success. So, remember to practice your Italian pronunciation regularly if you want to improve it. It takes some time but results will come.
What about you? How did you improve your Italian pronunciation? Or are you still struggling with it?
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