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DOUBLE CONSONANTS IN ITALIAN


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I'm going to open this subject as it quite unique in the world of languages and is very interesting not only for those who want to learn italian but for the italian speakers as well: the use of double consonants- doubled letter like the "z" for pizza.

The difficulty comes when having a word that changes meaning when one of the letters doubles like in the example: copia meaning copy in English and coppia meaning couple.

When spoken you can realise the difference between the two from the context and also because the word with the double letter has a stronger emphasis on that letter.

There are some rules that can help with this, although there are a few exceptions as well which make it all more interesting:

The consonant doubles at the beginning of the word which starts with these prefixes:

contra-, example: contrapporre

sovra-, ex: sovraccaricare

sopra-,ex: soprattutto

a-,ex: arrossire

e-, ex: eppure

i-, ex: irreparabile

ra-, ex: raggruppare

so-, ex: soccorrere

su-, ex: supplemento

da-, ex: dapprima

se-, ex: semmai

Please bring your own thoughts and examples through your experiences

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I never knew this of the Italian language so thanks for bringing it up, it does sound very interesting to me. I know that the language utilizes double consonants a lot but I never thought that it is used with similar sounding words that mean totally different things. I'm now very curious about this especially about how Coppia is pronounced when compared to Copia. I will be looking up some videos or audio clips on this to figure it out and hopefully I'll find some other examples. Thanks again for sharing this.

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  • 2 months later...

When spoken you can realise the difference between the two from the context and also because the word with the double letter has a stronger emphasis on that letter.

it is not just that... in italian a double consonant also changes the pronunciation of the nearest vowel... making it a totally different sound... with small training it is easy to tell the words apart not just by context but by actual sounds...

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I never knew this of the Italian language so thanks for bringing it up, it does sound very interesting to me. I know that the language utilizes double consonants a lot but I never thought that it is used with similar sounding words that mean totally different things. I'm now very curious about this especially about how Coppia is pronounced when compared to Copia. I will be looking up some videos or audio clips on this to figure it out and hopefully I'll find some other examples. Thanks again for sharing this.

coppia is pronounced with a short pause between "o" and "p" and the "p" is marked, lips closed to let the "p" explode

copia has a fluid sound, no puase between "o" and "p" to pronounce the "p" the lips are barely closed

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  • 7 months later...

Sorry for the late response but indetify the double consonants in a talked conversation is quite easy I guess. Just pay attention at extended sounds and you should be able to get them quite easly but as a native speaker I can't really talk for the others.

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