Vowels are very straightforward, as there are only 5: A, E, I, O, U. They are always AH, EH, EE, OH, OO, nice and clear (yes, technically there is an "open" and "closed" version of E, but even Italians don't make the distinction very much).
Consonants (with the exception of "tricky stuff," below) are pretty much the same as in English, with the following differences:
In general, Italians pronounce every vowel in a word, so the word Euro (like the currency) is pronounced "eh-OO-roh". (Note that sometimes the vowels combine into "diphthongs" which sounds naughty, but it's just what naturally happens when you say the vowels really fast: Ciao could sound like "chee-ah-oh" but if you say it fast it comes out as "chow.")
When you combine the consonants C or G with I or E, there are some weird results. In particular, CI, CHI, CE, and CHE are pronounced the opposite of English:
CHI = "kee"
CI = "chee"
CHE = "kay"
CE = "chay"
...so the Navy base at Capodichino is Cah-poh-dee-KEE-noh. The Italian drink cappuccino is cah-poo-CHEE-noh.
GI, GHI, GE, and GHE are also pronounced differently, but it comes more naturally to English speakers:
GHI = "ghee"
GI = "jee" (think Rudy Giuliani)
GHE = "gheh" (think spaghetti)
GE = "jeh" (like San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples and the first name of 1/2 of Neapolitan men)
The following consonant combinations also look funny at first but aren't too hard to pronounce:
In general, the penultimate—the second to last—syllable is stressed. For example, arrivederci (goodbye) is "ah-ree-veh-DEHR-chee." However, there are two kinds of exceptions:
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