The unstressed e is always pronounced closed ([e] in IPA). The classical example of a minimal pair is pesca, which is
['pɛsca] when it means “the peach”
['pesca] when it means ”fishing”
But regional pronunciation varies; in Northern Italy, both words usually have the closed e. In several local pronunciation schemes in Calabria there's no distinction ...
I personally pronounce "pésca" and "pèsca" in the same way. In most cases, the difference is understood from the context, not from the accent. The accent may vary from region to region: in Veneto, the closed "e" is the most used, while in Lombardia people use open "e" more often.
So, quite nobody in Italy pays attention to this pronunciation difference ...
Among most commons onomatopeias pertaining pets there are those diffused in language of and for children
bau (dog's barking, woof), miao (cat's meow), grrr (sound of growl, snarl), chicchirichì (chicken's cock-a-doodle-doo)
Among most common onomatopeias about things and actions there are:
tic tac(clock), crac(something breaks), plin (tinkle),...
In Standard Italian they are indeed pronounced distinctly, but the distribution of open and closed vowels in Italian can vary greatly depending on the dialect (due to the influence of regional languages). Here are some examples of regions in which the different pronunciations of pèsca and pésca can be found:
🍑 pèsca = /ˈpɛska/ ≠ /ˈpeska/ = pésca 🎣
If the i is unstressed (as in cielo), cie/ce and gie/ge are pronounced the same. If it is stressed, though (as in astrologia, astrologie and likewise e.g. farmacia, farmacie), it is pronounced even before an e.
Like PWhite answered you, most Italians will understand from context and the use of "è" and "é" will vary from regions to regions and city to city.
Personally: yes my pronunciation, in this case, is different as it should be.
Le varie lingue romanze hanno scelto modi diversi per indicare la palatalizzazione, ma c'è anche da tener conto di come la pronuncia derivata dal latino si sia modificata.
Consideriamo per esempio la parola latina scientia. In pronuncia classica sarebbe (approssimativamente, adoperando la grafia italiana moderna) schientia; la parola si è evoluta ...
I found the CMU Sphinx's whole acoustic model for Italian.
The *.tar.gz contains the pronunciation dictionary. And it is, unfortunately, terrible.
For example, according to it "zucchero" should be pronounced as if written "zucero",
digraphs like "ll" aren't referenced as one phoneme and some accents are missing, and so on.
You can download the model at:
Those are two different sounds.
Maybe many Italians don't know what's the difference, but when they speak actually they use different sounds.
The “e” in pèsca (“peach”) is an open vowel.
The “e” in pésca (“he fishes”) is a closed vowel.