How to pronounce C in Italian

Tue, 03/30/2010 - 11:14

Words by Pat Eggleton - In this Photo: a polygonal arch in Civitavecchia

It’s easy and it’s nothing to do with how many Cs!

  • If the C is followed by A, O or U – remember it by “cat, cot, cut” - it is a “hard c”, pronounced like a K:
    Calabria [ka-la-bree-ah]
    Coltello [kol-tel-oh]
    Cupola [koo-pol-ah – stress on first syllable]

  • A C followed by an H is also hard:
    Chiaro [kee-ar-oh]

  • A C followed by another consonant is hard:
    Credo [kray-do]

  • If the c is followed by an I or an E it is” soft” and pronounced like a CH:
    Città [chee-tah – stress on second syllable]
    Cena [chen-ah]

Try saying:
Civitavecchia [chee-vee-tah-vek-ee-a]