I bet you already know how to say ‘-ghi’ in Italian, but you haven’t made the connection yet. The easiest way to learn how to pronounce a word in Italian is by using words you already know as your starting point. The word to use here is ‘Lamborghini’ the famous Italian sport’s car manufacturer. The ‘gh‘ is hard as in ‘get’ and the the ‘i‘ is long as in ‘machine’.
Have a look at some words from the Howdoyousaythatword.com database containing ‘-ghi‘, so you can reinforce what you have learned.
In Italian, the ‘g‘s in ‘-ghi‘ and ‘-ghe‘ follow the same rules. The ‘h‘ is only there as a buffer to prevent the ‘i‘ or ‘e‘ from changing the sound of the ‘g‘. These letters, ‘i‘ and ‘e‘, always change ‘g‘ and ‘c‘ in English, Italian, French and Spanish, to slightly different sounds in each language.
The English words which remind you of this rule are ‘agile’ and ‘agent’ for ‘g’, and ‘cinema’ and ‘celebrity’ for ‘c’. In Italian, you pronounce the ‘g‘s in ‘gi‘, and ‘ge‘ like ‘j‘ too.
As I said before, the ‘h‘ in ‘-ghi’ acts like a buffer which prevents the ‘g‘ from changing its sound. The ‘h‘ is silent in Italian; you don’t pronounce it at all, ever.
Students of foreign languages often battle with pronunciation, but with simple rules, and audio examples to listen to, pronunciation rules are very easy to remember. The easiest way to learn how to pronounce a language is to use what you already know.
For a comprehensive list of all the most important rules for pronouncing words in Italian, please take a look at the Italian Hints page. And if you want to sound like a knowledgeable whiz at languages, take a look at the section which tells you how to see the differences between Italian and Spanish at the end of the Spanish Hints page. It is ridiculously easy!!!!
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