In Italian, the letters “gl,” when followed by vowels A, E, O, U, are pronounced separately, as two different phonemes.
For example gloria, glutine, globo are pronounced just as in English glory, gluten, globe.
The letters “gl,” when followed by the letter “i”, are pronounced as a single sound, gl makes a sound sort of like the sounds in the middle of the word “million”, but not quite the same. To come closer to the correct Italian sound, the tip of the tongue should touch the back of the bottom teeth. Note that the “g” is not pronounced at all.
The best way to learn how to pronounce this sound is listen and repeat it many times. As soon as you master this tongue-twister the ” GL ” sound [ ʎ ] will no longer be a problem for you! A tongue-twister is a phrase designed to be difficult to pronounce. They are used also as an exercise in the Italian theater schools to learn how to articulate the words properly. The meaning of the phrase is not important, what is important is to practice the pronunciation through the repetition of similar sounds, in this case the ” GL ” sound [ ʎ ].
Se il coniglio gli agli ti piglia,
toglili gli agli
e tagliagli gli artigli
Translation: If the rabbit takes your garlic, take garlic away from him and cut him claws.
Listen to the audio and repeat, have fun learning this new tongue-twister !
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