I was thinking along the same lines - made me laugh :D. Should be preceded by "Look out!" but we haven't learned that yet.
They're pronounced the same; you have to think of its function, either verb (ha) or preposition (a). This sentence for instance wouldn't make any sense without a verb ;)
The idea in my head right now is that at certain times Italians merge words together, when SPEAKING them. So in this instance: "La donn- ha una forchetta" (they don't pronounce the 'a' at the end of the word 'donna')
If it was 'the man has a fork', the merging would be slightly different. It would be: "l'uomo ha -na forchetta" (they merge ha and una - they won't pronounce the u at the beginning of 'una').
Is this correct?
Most languages tend to join words together to form a kind of melody, and the sentence is spoken as if it were a single word; in proper Italian that "merge" mostly happens when two of the same vowels are next to each other, as Italian doesn't have any word like the French fenêtre, i.e. there are no native double vowels. In most other cases the merge or the loss of parts of the word is indicated in written form too (truncation or elision). The case of una becoming 'na is common is some dialects (many in the Center and South), but it's not proper in Italian.
Interesting. When you say this merging or loss of parts of words can be indicated in written form (as well as saying it) in Italian - is this like writing/saying "I wanna learn” rather than "I want to learn" (as in proper English)?
That particular type of merging led to forms like compound prepositions (del, al, nel, ...), clitics and demonstrative pronouns, but their original form isn't in use anymore. Truncation (e.g. amore becoming amor or uno becoming un) and elision (e.g. lo and la becoming l' and una becoming un') are phoenomena more easily recognizable.
The reason is the same, although the outcome is very different. The liaison is a case of enchaînement, the rule that when the following word starts with a vowel the words are concatenated: this in French usually leads to consonant endings being spoken as if they were part of the following word, while in Italian to vowel endings being overshadowed by the following word.
F.formica, please pardon the interruption, but I have a pronunciation question too. "Forchetta" is the first time I've noticed an "e" being pronounced "ee." Is there a rule for when the "e" is "ay," "eh," or "ee"?
"E" is never pronounced "ee" in Italian, and I don't hear it in this recording either; perhaps it feels that way because the double consonant shortens the vowel a bit, but the English short "i" just doesn't exist in Italian (hence why many Italians pronunce "slip" as "sleep"). The only rule is the dictionary, and many regional accents like to open their vowels, so while it's forchétta (ay sound), you'll hear it as forchètta (eh sound) as well.
Italian tries to distinguish each word from all the others. "A" is a preposition, as "ai". For the verbal form, till the beginning of the XX c., an accent was added: ài (you singular have), à (he has) and, for analogy, ò (I have) and ànno (they have) to distinguish the verb from the name (anno = year). But a problem arose: no other I. name has the accent at the beginning or in the interior of a name. So linguist decided to replicate the Latin forms: Ego habeo = io ho, tu habes = tu hai, ille habet = egli (and NOT lui, DL!!!!) ha, noi abbiamo (no" h" because there is not another "abbiamo"), voi avete (id) essi hanno.
@Maria, the "h" in "ha" is silent that's why it just sounds like "a". It is just "a".
"Donna" isn't any less rude than "woman"; it used to mean "mistress" a few centuries ago (archaic and literary, says Treccani), and it's still used like that in some places (mostly as the feminine form of "don"), but in mainstream Italian it just means a mature female specimen of human, and I wouldn't address one as such, especially when she's holding a fork.
Other DL languages allow both woman and lady for English translation. Since they are English synonyms, lady should also be accepted.
It's perfectly correct to say the woman has a fork in fact it is more common to say so
What am I missing? Isn't the "e" in forchetta pronounced as "ay" rather than "eye"? The narrator is saying for-KEE-tah.
Ah, so this is like the French word "fourchette". That should be easy to remember.
....it's the French like the Italian, not vice versa. The first "fourchette" was brought in France by Caterina de'Medici, Italian, bride of Henry II King of France in the second half of the XIV Century. Before, no forks in France: they were used to employ the hands. The Italian Forchetta is the diminutive of the Latin (!) furca
The automatic pronunciation has "ha" completely inaudible, yet when I repeat it the same way, grading points out I'm missing "ha" in my speech. Weird.
I might be wrong on this, but does every Italian word with "ch" is pronounced like a "k" sound whereas the letter "c" before the vowels "e" (and "i" in case I don't know).
C + a, o, u has a hard sound (like k: caso, cosa, cuoco), c+ i or e has a "sweet" sound (like cheese: cibo, cena), c+i + a,o,u has a sweet sound (ciao, cioccolato, ciurma), c+h+e, i has a hard sound (perché, chi)