Learning a new language is always a good challenge to fix a different pronunciation and phonetics. Very often some sounds are really difficult to repeat in order to produce the right native sounds.Sometimes it takes so much time to practice and you never feel confident and enough brave to start a conversation because of those awful sounds.
Dealing with the Italian pronunciation: ci; ce; lo; gli; gu… and all the vowels like a o u e i? Try to repeat the following words:Cisternino; Ceglie Messapica; Torre Guaceto; Locorotondo… what do they mean? Nothing, they identify just four lovely Apulian places. The theory is to learn by experience, and just follow us in our itinerary, it will probably help you to push and pronounce those names in the proper way.
Let´s start our pronunciation lecture: listen and repeat: Ci-ster-ni-no.
You will experience the sounds on the spot and discover that it is a picturesque southern town. Cisternino is so real and genuine, white houses, cobbled streets, small ‘piazze’. But more interesting is the fact that here you can eat such a good meat … more words to pronounce: ‘car-ne’ (meat and not cane> dog) and ‘fornello pronto’ (“ready oven”), two common things in this place because they refer to the local butchers (macellerie) where people can select the meat they like and the butcher will grill it and serve it in front of them.
Again, listen and repeat: Ce-glie Mes-sa-pi-ca.
Ceglie Messapica is an interesting place to pronounce and visit, 20 minutes by car from Cisternino. It is a fantastic town, also well known for its great local trattorias and restaurants run by starred chefs. Also here you can taste a lovely coffee which is roasted by a family running factory. Once in the town, you can start wondering in the lovely centro storico, visit the castle and enjoy the ‘piazza’ where all the locals gather together for un caffè or un aperitivo. Great spot for your ‘people watching’.
More phonetic exercise: Lo-co-ro-ton-do, five /O/…Oh! Locorotondo: have a very open and prominent mouth towards the front and start repeating it. The “O vowel town” is a third inland local place close to the others. As soon as you cross the old gate, you will get lost in the Baroque historic centre. Start looking around you at the decorated balconies and grapevines climbing up to the old palaces. Everything looks timeless, except the municipal clock on the top of an old building.
Final exercise, listen and repeat: Tor-re Gua-ce-to. Uhi…tough double /R/ /gua/ /ce/… keep on trying. Torre Guaceto is not far from the previous places, here you are already by the beach, surrounded by a wild and scented Mediterranean nature, dunes, beach and blue sea… start cooling down and absorb all the sounds around you…!
by Michela, teacher @ L’Acanto.it