In Italian basically it is “What you see is what you hear”. When you see an Italian speaking native open his mouth wide, it isn’t always to shout as much as it is to proper pronounce the big, round vowels. As an example, if you want to pronounce the letter “a”, you open your mouth wide and say “ahhhhh”.
By remembering the phrase what you see is what you hear you will have no trouble spelling and pronouncing the Italian words. Because Italian is a phonetic language most words are pronounced just as they are written.
Many of the Italian words look like English words and have similar meanings. This makes learning Italian a little easier. There are only minor differences in the spelling between the English and the Italian words called cognates. They are called cognates because of their similarities. In Italian they are called parole simili. Some of the cognates are stazione or station, museo or museum, professore or professor, and intelligente or intelligent.
There are other words in Italian, which are similar to English words, but have a different meaning. These words are known as false cognates or falsi amici. For example parente means relative, not parent, and libreria means bookstore, not library.
Because the endings of conjugated verb forms indicate person and number, Italian subject pronouns can be left out unless they are needed to clarify, when they have been modified by the word “also” or “anche”, or when there is an emphasis or a contrast needed. If you are starting a first-person comment with “io”, such as “I study”, or “I walk”, it sounds as though you are constantly calling attention to yourself, so in most cases the “io” is left off the comment.
Remember to slow down. Being fast only counts in a car race; fast does not make you fluent in the language and easily understood. When many of us speak in English, we are notorious for slurring our words together. When speaking in Italian it is better to allow the Italian vowels and consonants to maintain their particular, unchanging sound. Just relax and take a deep breathe so that you can enjoy the language at a leisurely pace.
When it comes to adjectives, you can only say molto bene so many times before you start becoming bored with yourself. There are times when Italian adjectives, which are the most expressive words, get short-changed because of the usual emphasis on the nouns and the verbs. You can learn alternative ways to express yourself by including the use of prefixes, such as stra and suffixes, such as ino, etto, ello, and accio. You will quickly increase your vocabulary by doing so.