B is a consonant. How do you pronounce B in Italian? Read on to find out.
Table of Contents
How to pronounce B in Italian
B is always pronounced in the same way, no matter its position in the word. It sounds like the b in back or auburn.
Its IPA symbol is /b/.
Banana, barca, brace, calabrone, bambola
(/baˈnana/, /ˈbarka/, /ˈbraʧe/, /kalaˈbrone/, /ˈbambola/)
Banana, boat, ember, hornet, doll
Length of the B sound
The B sound in Italian can be single or double.
Italian pronunciation tantrums: what’s up with those double consonants?
These double consonants are called geminates. English uses them only in the written language: a word like tabby, as in tabby cat, is pronounced as if it were actually “taby” and not as “tab-bee”.
Italian geminates, on the other hand, are longer in quality than single consonants, as if they were “doubled”.
Not all Italian consonants can be doubled.
It is double when it’s written as bb. You won’t find a double consonant at the beginning of an Italian word, but always in the middle. For example…
Listen closely. The second “b” in Babbano is double and it has a longer sound. Here are some other examples:
Babbo, babbuino, labbro
(/ˈbabbo/, /babbuˈino/, /ˈlabbro/)
Dad, baboon, lip
Other Italian words with the B sound
Pronounce each given word.
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