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Once and for all..........Ischia pronunciation!

Can someone please tell me the proper way to pronounce Ischia? I have been told "Iss - key - a", "Ish - key - a" and "Isk -eea"?
Help! Thanks.

Posted by
1449 posts

None of these are right. Outside of english, in european languages the symbol "i" is pronounced as a hard "e" in english. So the word is something like "ee shkee ah" , pronounced as 1 continuous word (the gaps are to mark the 3 phonemes).

Posted by
74 posts

Perhaps I was a bit hasty with my recommendation about the vowels, but be careful with how you're sounding out 'giorno' -- because JOR-NOH, to a purely english speaker, will come out a lot differently than how 'giorno' is really supposed to sound. And if you really think about it, that 'I' is crucial to accurate pronunciation.

Sure, it's not as blatant as 'jee-or-noh', but without that "I" you will sound VERY american. I guess you could even argue that anyone breaking a word up so blatantly like 'jee-or-noh' will sound incorrect regardless of whether all the sounds are there or not. But if you actually speak the word at a normal pace, jeeornoh really does start to sound how giorno is supposed to sound.

Anyway, i'm sure we could argue about these minute details for ever, but what i was really trying to stress is that Italian is a lot different from the germanic languages (like german, english, and dutch) that often have silent letters, or letters that do double/triple/etc duty with different sounds.

Italian is very straightforward. If you know what sounds the letters make, more often than not you will be correct if you just sound out a word.

But again, pretty much everything goes out the window when you start talking about dialects!!!

Posted by
74 posts

The best advice in speaking italian, and it's something that holds true 99.999% of the time, is to pronounce all the vowels.

The 'I' is pronounced like an english long 'e' (ee). And the 'A' is pronounced like the 'A' in father.

Which leaves us with that pesky middle part...

The Italian 'sc' construction will only produce an English 'sh' sound if it is followed by an 'i' or an 'e' (like in prosciutto). Because the 'sc' is immediately followed by an 'h', the 'c' becomes hard, like an English 'k'. So, the 'sch' in Ischia has an 'sk' sound.

Putting it all together, you get: eeskeea. Speaking a little more quickly, one could also get: eeskya.

This does NOT account for dozens of variations you could hear, depending on what dialect someone may be speaking -- in which case, pretty much all rules go out the window.

Although, I doubt you would ever hear any native italian speaker give you a pronunciation without the first sound being the true italian "I" (long english 'e' like in 'we').

i hope this made sense!!

Posted by
7737 posts

Speaking as a student of Italian for six years, I can vouch for Marco. There is no "ish" in Ischia. It's pronounced EE-skyah, emphasis on first syllable.

I do have to quibble with the recommendation to pronounce all the vowels 99.99% of the time, though. The major exception (which you find a lot) is with a g or a c, for example in "giorno" (meaning "day). It's pronounced JOR-noh, not jee-or-noh. Lots of English speakers make that mistake. You'll be understood, but you'll be wrong. ^_^

Posted by
12172 posts


The i in giorno, to me, is like the e at the end of grazie. It sounds funny if you either over pronounce it or leave it out.