In this article, you will learn how to pronounce the letter S in Italian.
Most Italian consonants are pronounced like in English.
One exception is the letter S.
The Italian S has two sounds:
General rules about letter S pronunciation
• VOICELESS S – SORDA (SOFT SOUND): the letter S is pronounced like an English S
VOICELESS S – SORDA (SOFT SOUND)
➡️ S+ vowel (at the beginning of the word)
• VOICED S – SONORA (HARD SOUND): the letter S is pronounced close to an English Z
VOICE S – SONORA (HARD SOUND)
➡️ vowel + S + vowel
The demonstration between the two S (voiceless or voiced) is quite complicated because the Italian regional accents of S are could be different. In these cases, the difference in pronunciation never causes problems of understanding.
SOFT S – voiceless sound
More Examples for Italian Sounds – How to pronounce Voiceless SOFT S
HARD S – voice sound
More Examples for Italian Sounds – How to pronounce letter S
This pronunciation of this letter sounds terribly complicated, but in the end, it’s not that difficult. For that reason, it is important to get some practice.
Phrases to practice
1. Il guerriero combatte con la spada e lo scudo. (The warrior fights with the sword and shield.)
2. Nel bosco vivono molti scoiattoli. (Many squirrels live in the forest.)
3. Le rose rosse sono bellissime. (Red roses are beautiful.)
4. Stefano è seduto sulla sedia. (Stefano is sitting on the chair.)
5. Questo sapone è rosa (This soap is pinks)
Read and Listen to a Little story for Italian Sounds – How to pronounce Letter S
Simone ha sudato perchè ha fatto una corsa nel bosco. Ora è tornato a casa tutto sudato e vuole lavarsi il viso e le mani con il sapone per rinfrescarsi. Si siede sulla sedia e si mangia un piatto di spaghetti con il sugo.
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