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Subject: Re: Pronunciation
From: Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 20 Dec 2004 10:29:59 +0900
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Hi, Paul & List!

Paul is correct, it is ?lena (stress on the first syllable, closed "e").
And the correct Italian pronunciation of the city of Algiers -- Algeri -- is
"Al-JEH-ri" with an open "e."

And no, there really isn't any rule, you just have to know.  That's why
all-Italian dictionaries intended for Italians, such as Zingarelli, show the
placement of stress for each word and whether "e"s and "o"s are open or
closed.  It's no different from English, where the placement of stress is
often totally unpredictable.

However, this being said, compared to Japanese, with which I have to
struggle every day, Italian is a laughably easy language.  I learned it in 1
month when I was a graduate student in Bologna 30 years ago.  After one year
of intensive Japanese in Washington (44 weeks, 5 days a week, 6 hours per
day) and over one year of living in country, I still struggle mightily to
express even the most basic concepts and I can't understand a *word* of what
people are saying, whether on TV or in person.  I can't even understand
children, for heaven's sake.

Cheers and all the best,

Alain Letort
Tokyo, Japan

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