Being Italian Blog

The Importance Of Being A Double Consonant – A Cannelloni Story

As this picture shows, pronouncing double consonants is not very easy for many non Italian speakers, but it is very important in Italian.

As an Italian speaker, when I first saw this picture it took me a while to understand the joke. With an Italian accent in my mind, I was like “…he looks cahn-nehl-lonee… okay, this is not funny”, then I realised something was wrong and decided to read it with an English accent and… there you are! Okay. It was funny.

Another example? “anno” (year) vs. “ano” (anus)


Next time you want to wish your Italian friends a happy new year you want to be careful not to wish them to have a happy new anus!


How to…?

The sound is prolonged, but you still want it to sound natural and not forced… just make sure your listeners can percieve the difference.

Here is a list of words that only differ in a double consonant:

camino – fireplace
cammino – walk, stroll

capello – hair
cappello – hat

cassa – cash register
casa – house

lego – I tie, I fasten
leggo – I read

note – notes
notte – night

polo – pole
pollo – chicken

rosa – pink/ rose
rossa – red

sano – healthy
sanno -they know

sono – I am/they are
sonno – sleepy

speso – spent
spesso – often

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