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Need examples of the "e" sound in various Italian dialects
Thread poster: Kristel Kiesel

Kristel Kiesel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:11
Italian to English
+ ...
Dec 16, 2008

I have a question related to Italian voicing, relevant to a project I am working on. For those of you with experience in various Italian dialects, can you tell me in general in which ones you would find the most open "e" sound, and in which ones you would find the brightest, most closed "e" sound? It would help greatly if you could provide links to examples.

Forgive me if this is in the wrong forum.

Thanks for your help,


[Edited at 2008-12-16 06:58 GMT]

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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:11
Member (2003)
French to Italian
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Not the same sound it depends on the word Dec 16, 2008

Hi Kristel,

It depends on the word, for example here in Piedmont where I live most of the e are open, but this is not general because accents changes from village to village.

I can also say that in Liguria most of the e are closed, but again it depends on the word.

You have a hard challenge!

Good luck!

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Raffaella Panigada  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:11
Member (2007)
English to Italian
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It really depends... Dec 16, 2008

Hi Kristel, it really depends on the position of the E.
I'm from Milan and my city is "renouned" (;-)) for the open sound of the E in words like "amichEtta/fabbrichEtta/magliEtta/barchEtta" etc.
If I were to think of an opposite way of pronouncing the same word I'd probably pick Sardinian, but I'm not familiar enough with the different dialects spoken in the region to break it down by town.
But that's more about accent rather than dialect.
A good example of open and close E is the different pronunciation of the word VERDE (green): in Bologna is "vèrde", whereas in Milan is pronounced "vérde".

For a sound similar to the French "e" (no accent) I suspect that if you move close to the French border, Piedmont or Valle d'Aosta, the local dialects will have it.



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Livia Formisani  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:11
English to Italian
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I totally agree with Raffaella Jan 4, 2009

It really depends, but it is true that I would also pick up Milan accent as the most open and Sardinia one as the most closed.
Usually in the north the "e" is more open, and in the south more closed, but you can't really make a rule out of it, since there are exceptions (for instance, Molise and Puglia, in the south, also have a pretty open "e") and since the accent can change abruptly from one region to another, or even in the same region (I am from the south of Lazio and my father is from Rome, 100 km north of my birthtown, and we have different "e", due to the fact that my area is more influenced from Campania).
If you want to try some, simply try to write down: "sardo" and "milanese" in youtube.
Then try to compare it with "napoletano" and "romano". Sometimes you will get dialects, but it is true that dialects influence the normal accent in Italian. I tried for "veneto" and I got some dubbed commercials in youtube, I think it can be really useful.
Anyway it's hard to remember them all, even for me! Good luck!

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