Spelling in Italian language

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Italianly | Learn Italian as you like

If you are in Italy for work, to attend university or simply for a holiday, it can happen more times than you can imagine having to spell your name and surname.

It may happen, in fact, that by booking a hotel, communicating your data on the phone or filling in some forms, you are asked: how do you write it?

If you don’t want to be caught unprepared, read this article!
Today I will explain how to spell a word in Italian.

It happens to everyone not to hear or understand a word well and to have to repeat it more slowly or dictating it letter by letter.

But the way spelling can often vary from one country to another. This is why it is important to learn the so-called Italian telephone alphabet.

What is the telephone alphabet?

By telephone alphabet we mean a series of words, by custom associated with the letters of the Latin alphabet, which we usually use to make our interlocutor understand the correct spelling of a word.

It is called the “telephone alphabet” because it is normally used more when talking on the phone.

In Italy, when we have to spell difficult surnames or words, we use city names, possibly Italian, very large or well-known.

A come Ancona
B come Bologna
C come Como
D come Domodossola
E come Empoli
F come Firenze
G come Genova
I come Imola
L come Livorno
M come Milano
N come Napoli
O come Otranto
P come Palermo
R come Roma
S come Savona
T come Torino
U come Udine
V come Verona

What about H and Z?

H come Hotel
Z come Zara

I recommend that you memorize it: it is a good opportunity to review the letters of the alphabet and at the same time also study a little bit of Italian geography!

As you know, the Italian alphabet has only 21 letters.
The letters J, K, W, X, Y are considered “foreign” and for this reason they have a separate spelling:

J – i lunga
K – kappa
W – doppiavu
X – ics
Y – ipsilon