When we start learning a language, it’s not long before we learn days of the week and months of the year. In Italian, many of the words for months are similar to those in English.
Although there’s a few that always catch my students out in terms of pronunciation. The Italian for January, February, May, June and July for example can be tricky to pronounce correctly.
Let’s start with looking at the months of the year in Italian and how to pronounce them:
- January – gennaio – pronounced [gen-NAHY-oh]
- February – febbraio – pronounced [feb-BRAHY-oh]
- March – marzo – pronounced [MAR-tsoh]
- April – aprile – pronounced [ah-PREE-leh]
- May – maggio - pronounced [MAJ-joh]
- June – giugno - pronounced [JOO-nyoh]
- July – luglio - pronounced [LOO-lyoh]
- August – agosto - pronounced [ah-GOS-toh]
- September – settembre - pronounced [set-TEM-breh]
- October – ottobre - pronounced [ot-TOH-breh]
- November – novembre - pronounced [noh-VEM-breh]
- December – dicembre - pronounced [dee-CHEM-breh]
As you can see, we use a lower case first letter when writing these in Italian.
When talking about what we do during these months, we can use the preposition ‘a’. Let’s look at some examples:
- Torniamo in Italia a gennaio – We’re coming back to Italy in January
- Partite a febbraio? – Are you leaving in February?
- Hanno cominciato il nuovo lavoro a marzo – They started their new job in March
- Ci siamo sposati a maggio – We got married in May
- A luglio vanno tutti al mare – In July, everyone goes to the beach
- A dicembre si festeggia natale – In December, we celebrate Christmas
And finally, just like there is in English, there’s a little rhyme to remind you of how many days each month has:
Trenta giorni ha novembre, con aprile, giugno e settembre, di ventotto ce n'è uno, tutti gli altri ne han trentuno.
Thirty days has November, with April, June and September, there's just one with twenty-eight, all the rest have thirty-one.