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Well, I'm told I made a mistake, but it involves a language issue - namely, the mouseover dropdown includes " dish" and "basin" as translations of ciotola, but my choice of the word "basin" was counted as wrong by the program. BTW, I think that the voice's diction not being too clear is actually a good thing - that's exactly what we have to contend with in real life when trying to understand what native Italians are saying, not so?
Emphasis seems to be on the 1st of 3 syllables. CIOtola. I see in a dictionary that this is correct, and not a Duo error. Is there a pattern in Italian that could have helped me predict that about this word, or is that just something that needs memorized when learning the word? Based on the little, tiny bit of Italian I'm familiar with, I would have guessed this word was emphasized, cioTOla.
Grazie in anticipo!
Unfortunately there is no way to predict this. In Italian you could write "ciótola" to make it clear that the emphasis is on the third-last sillable and not on the second-last (ciotóla) but normally you will just find "ciotola". Accents are only used when emphasis is on the last syllable, in which case they are mandatory and sometimes required to distinguish homographs (e.g. farò vs faro* = "I will do" vs "lighthouse").
Thanks, Duolessio. I was wondering the same thing. I'm used to Spanish, where knowing just a couple of rules allows you to know which syllable gets the emphasis in every new word.
You mention writing "ciótolo" but I'm unclear: do people do that, is it considered correct, does Dúo accept it, or is it just not really done?
Not really done. There are some particular cases in which accents are used before the last syllable, but this is done only to distinguish homographs, and not mandatory. The first coming to my mind are:
principi (=princes) vs princìpi (principles)
viola (=violet) vs vìola (=violates)
The non-accented form may be used for both. I don't think you can find prìncipi and viòla outside of grammar books and dictionaries, whereas the accented forms I indicated can be used in other contexts to make a clear distinction. Note that there is no consistency on the accented syllable, so maybe the accent is used for less common words...?
"Tch" as in "Czech" or "Tchaikovsky". It's valid for ALL cases when you see "ci" or "ce". And unlike other languages, you can really count on it as a rule - no exceptions. :)
Same goes for "gi" and "ge" which are ALWAYS pronounced as "G", as in "Gina", respectively "George".
If you want to have the "c" as in "cut" or "g" as in "gut" sounds, you need to add an "h": che, chi, ghe, or ghi. Which by the way is the only function the "h" has in Italian when following a C or a G.
Side note: if you ever fancy learning Romanian too, the above pronunciation rules are identical and specific to these two language only (some similar rules in other Romance languages, but not really the same). :)
il is one of the masculine definite articles.
la is the feminine. "cibo" is masculine, so it takes "il". "ciotola" is feminine, so it takes "la".
Try listening music and understanding the Italian grammar.
Training your ear will benefit you veey much. This is a common problem of students with no experience in romance languages. Also I advice to listen the other languages of this group. Romanian and Spanidh have the most similar pronunciaton to Italian.