Is there a standard form of pronunciation for programming languages in Italy? Is it preferable to pronounce in English or in Italian? In other words, suppose I'm explaining, in Italian, something about software development, will it sound more natural to say "C diesis" or "C Sharp"?

Note: I asked about C#, but the same applies to many other languages, such C++ and VB.NET, for example

3 Answers 3


The rules, as far as I can tell, are the following:

Letters are pronounced the Italian way

  • HTML: acca-ti-emme-elle
  • XML: ics-emme-elle
  • C: ci

Nouns are pronounced as English, which often is similar to Italian

  • Prolog
  • Smalltalk


  • C++ is pronounced ci-più-più (più being "plus" in Italian), probably because the ++ unary operator is also called "più più'"
  • C# is often pronounced with a unholy ci-sciarp, because the lanugage C is ci and the sharp translates as "cancelletto", so "ci-cancelletto" doesn't sound right, it's hard to say.
  • F# is also effe-sciarp, similarly to C#.
  • SQL is either siquel or esse-cu-elle so it's either of the first two rules
  • I have always pronounced BASIC as Italian (bà-ʃi-k vs the English pronunciation ˈbeɪsɪk)
    – nico
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 9:53
  • Sei sicuro di non voler dire "diesis" al posto di "cancelletto"? Nel senso, un cancelletto é un "#" mentre il simbolo del linguaggio C Sharp è un "♯". Comunque, eccellente risposta, grazie mille :) Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 14:00
  • @WilliamBarbosa, you are right that the sharp of C# should be a diesis, but, as you can read here, the number sign (pound, hash...) has replaced it in the official name of the language for practical reasons Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 22:27
  • @nico, rather 'ba:-zik, and also 'bæ:-zik. But I agree with you, the English pronunciation is not often used Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 22:31
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    @Wnico 'ba:-zik is used by Italians that don't know which is the proper pronunciation, but theoretically the correct pronunciation in Italian is the English one, 'bæ:-zik
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 9:28

I think every language gets pronounced in Italian in the original way, with the exception of C++ which usually is "C più più" (instead of "plus plus").

As for C#, it is definitely "C sharp".

In the examples above, phones are pronounced in the "Italian way", that is, "C" is chee and not see. This applies to every language (php is "pee acca pee"). So a comprehensive answer is: we use original names but they're usually pronounced with Italian phonetics.

  • 2
    And, unfortunately, àccess (with the ‘doppia c’ and stress on the ‘a’). I don't know if this qualifies as a programming language.
    – egreg
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 10:25
  • “Ci” (chee) or “si” (see) for “C”?
    – DaG
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 11:25
  • 3
    I confess I pronounce php and html with the italian spelling. And even when I speak English, I have to actively remember to pronounce correctly API and IDE.
    – laika
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 13:37
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    @DaG: la prima (Ci), anche per C#, che quindi diventa un mix fra italiano e inglese
    – nico
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 22:39

There is no strict rule. Most of the times the pronunciation is a mixture of English and Italian.

For example, C# is usually pronounced as ci-sciarp mixing Italian pronunciation for C and the English pronunciation for the symbol #.

Some languages are completely translated to an Italian pronunciation (such as Ci for C, and Ci più più for C++).

In other cases the change is more subtle. For example, Python is usually pronounced something like Pàiton (no th sound and the accent in a different place).

The only real rule is that acronyms are pronounced as every acronym: using Italian pronunciation for the letters:

  • PHP is pi-acca-pi
  • SQL is esse-qu-elle
  • 3
    Actually I've heard SQL pronounced in every possible way, including stuff that's neither Italian neither English ("sìchiuel", anyone?) Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 5:22
  • 4
    @MatteoItalia SQL was first called SEQUEL. Some people stick with the old pronounciation.
    – Bakuriu
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 6:46

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