The average Italian person travels around the world and takes all those double consonants so damn seriously. I’ve heard people pronounce “Red Hot Chili Peppers” as if their lives depended on all those Ps. It happens because, unlike most languages, consonant length bears a meaning in Italian, and respecting it seems like the dutiful thing to do.
Consonants need to be just the right length – neither too long nor too short – while foreigners never seem to get it right and either exaggerate or go short.
It’s the gemination, baby!
If you’d like to sound remotely plausible while sporting your Fritalian at the restaurant, you’ll have to pronounce all those extra letters as you see them. We’ll laugh at you and think you’re an idiot if you don’t (not because we’re cruel jerks but because you’ll be saying pretty funny shit). Believe me, I’m not kidding you!
- Please put more effort into your long “n” when pronouncing penne, because pene actually means “penis”.
(In this instance we might, however, get utterly sidetracked while asking ourselves “Alfredo’s penis? WHO’S ALFREDO?”)
- And also take extra care with foto because if you overdo it you end up saying fotto which is the verb fottere, i.e. “to fuck”, first person singular.
- Again, hypercorrection may lead you to say “pimp” (pappa) when you want to say “pope” (papa).
I’m sure you’re getting the gist of it now.
And before our next lesson, I expect you to know how to pronounce “Madonna” by the book.
EDIT: since I published this, I saw this video and wanted it in here badly.