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Latin Pronunciation Options
Blooper
Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 8:36:14 PM

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I am working in agricultural field. We know we use Latin name as global or scientific name for plants (and animals).
I want to know the correct pronunciation for C and CH, is it just the same with Italian?

Thank you.

"Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" (An-Nisa':78)
excaelis
Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 9:02:51 PM

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Good question. I have no real clue, but I'll be fascinated by the responses.

Sanity is not statistical
Blooper
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2011 12:53:45 AM

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Example:
Cercospora
Schirpophaga

"Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" (An-Nisa':78)
SandraM
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2011 5:40:38 AM
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Hi Blooper,
Welcome aboard!
The "academic" pronounciation might be different from the one used in botanical scientific names but basically, c is always pronounced like "k" and ch should be "k" too but in your examples, I think most people would understand if you pronounced sch "sh":
cercospora = kerkospora (with the e pronounced as in the English word "red")
schirpophaga = skirpofaga (with the i pronounced as in "fit" and the a as in "arm")
I am French so my Latin pronounciation might have a "Gallic taint", it would be interesting to have the advice of English speakers.
IMcRout
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2011 6:05:21 AM

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Blooper, you actually find the English pronunciation of Cercospora at TFD!

No such luck with Scirpophaga, though, but I think that Sandra has got it right.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
Blooper
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2011 7:22:13 AM

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Location: South Borneo
We usually pronounce latin name like we pronounce words in our language (i.e bahasa Indonesia).
C (and CH) is pronounced CH as in check, choke, chick, chap. But Sometimes C is pronounced k or sh (english influence).
So we mostly pronounce cescospora = cher cho spora.

Other pronunciations I want to know are EA and II (double i)

e.g
Graminea (*grami ne a) "ne" as in Nepal, "a" as "are" in British accent.


Gossypii (*gossy pee-ee)

*my pronunciation



"Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" (An-Nisa':78)
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2011 6:38:33 PM

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Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Consonants:

c = /k/ (never as in nice)
g = /ɡ/ (never as in germ)
j (consonantal i) = /j/ (like English y in you) The "i" is pronounced as a consonant if in the beginning of word before a vowel or between two vowels.
n = /n/ or /ŋ/ If "n" occurs before "c", "g" or "x" or directly after a "g," it is pronounced /ŋ/ ("ng" as in "sing"). Otherwise, it is pronounced /n/
t = /t/ (never as in English nation)
v (consonantal u) = /w/ The "u" is pronounced as a consonant also if beginning a word and before a vowel or if placed between two vowels.
x = /ks/

Vowels:

a = /a/ when short and /aː/ when long.
e = /ɛ/ (as in pet) when short and /eː/ (somewhat as in English they) when long.
i = /ɪ/ (as in pin) when short and /iː/ (as in machine) when long
o = /ɔ/ (as in British English law) when short and /oː/ (somewhat as in holy) when long.
u = /ʊ/ (as in put) when short and /uː/ (as in true) when long.

(From TFD article)

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Matija
Posted: Tuesday, July 05, 2011 6:36:07 PM
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Like usually, we should always be free of our mother language influence on Latin or other language pronounciation. Germans, English, Italian and some others have special problem with Latin pronounciation because they read Latin as Italian, or English etc.
Latin c is always k in classical text (until 1.century), then it changes in "ts" before e,ae,oe,e,i,y. This is sybilarization of sound k. We have the same in many other languages. Latin has classical pronounciation and traditional pronaounciation. Classical is from ancient times (c is always k), traditional is from later Empire time and middle age. Botanical names we read traditionaly. So, few examples:

campana (=bell) - kampana
Cicero - Tsitsero (not Sisero, not Tschitschero like Italians say)
Saepia officinalis - Sepia ofitsinalis
magnus - magnus (not manjus, like Italians and some others)

same words classical way of reading are: kampana, Kikero, Saipia offikinalis, magnus. So, bassicaly, classical way is far more simple, but for botanical, medicine and other terms, we use traditional way of reading Latin, as above described
SandraM
Posted: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 4:22:09 AM
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Matija wrote:
So, bassicaly, classical way is far more simple, but for botanical, medicine and other terms, we use traditional way of reading Latin, as above described

I agree with the general principle of what you say, ie, each person is influenced by their native language in the way they pronounce Latin when not in an academic linguistic context (where they would use what you called "the classical way").
But I am confused about the "traditional way" and the "we" in your last sentence. Do you mean "we" = "any and every Latin language user" and that there is only one common "traditional way" or do you mean "we", people sharing their linguistic and cultural origins with you (from Croatia)?
Matija
Posted: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 3:20:27 PM
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"We" means all of us, people of our time. People who speak Roman languages use to read Latin as their own languages and sometimes spell Latin wrong even in scools (even few last Popes including John Paul II. and Benedict XVI. are under Italian influence of reading traditional Latin, which is grammaticaly incorrect). When we talk about english speakers, they usually have smaler problems pronouncing sharp Latin "r", sometimes vocals, but as far as I saw, they read traditional Latin wery correct (that includes not only students, but also church quires, actors etc.), not only in UK, but also in USA. Let me give you some links...you can hear excellent traditional Latin in "Carmina burana" (from California, USA), and wrong, from Italy (same song, text is from midle age, about 12.centuary, and we suppose to spell it traditional way):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEllLECo4OM, starting from this point: 14 minutes, 13 seconds - Ecce gratum (wery correct: ekTSe gratum et optatum ver reduTSit gaudia, purpuratum floret pratum sol serenat omnia...iam, iam TSedant tristia...)

and wrong, under Italian influence:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tVDZZ_hue0 (ekTSCHe gratum...reduTSCHit...TSCHedant)
SandraM
Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2011 4:39:38 AM
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Matija wrote:
"We" means all of us, people of our time. People who speak Roman languages use to read Latin as their own languages and sometimes spell Latin wrong even in scools (even few last Popes including John Paul II. and Benedict XVI. are under Italian influence of reading traditional Latin, which is grammaticaly incorrect).

That's not completely true. Until recently, the traditional way to pronounce Latin in France was the roman catholic way (strong Italian influence) mixed with French pronounciation (for the r, for example). I think one very relevant factor is whether the main religious tradition in one particular country is catholic or not. But of course, the pronounciation of the main language used in the country has a huge influence too (the academic British pronounciation of Latin is a long way from what can be reconstructed of the way Cicero pronounced it).
Matija
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 3:54:58 PM
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What I'm trying to say, both pronounciation, Italian and French, influenced the church Latin (not opposite). Church Latin whose official language of small Croatian kingdom (altaugh it whose not indipendent since 1102.) until 1830. Since Croats are small numbered people, that whose interesting way of protecting that small country from introducing Hungarian or German language as official in Croatia. So, here we have wery preserved traditioanl pronounciation of Latin. Since French and Italian are Roman languages, they could not sustain of reading Latin their own way. Croatian is Slavic language and could not do the same. Also English and German as German languages did not corrupt Latin with their reading of letters. But Italian way maid a lot of confusion in last few dacads, spacially because people offen hear Pope spelling Latin Italian way...anyway, far more interresting for me is growing popularity of Latin in the world...I love it wery, wery much (even with influenced pronounciation, which is only a prove of loving Latin in all these nations). I visited London in last 10 days and whose pleasently surprised with lot of Latin inscriptions in monuments, churches, buildings...
thar
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 4:18:29 PM

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Latin was the common language of Europe for hundreds of years. Everyone with education read and wrote it. It meant that there was no discrimination - the way there is now, against people who cannot speak good English. Then, a book could be written by a native speaker of English, Polish, Swedish, German - but if it is written in Latin then everybody is equal.

And as for Latin in UK, it is not just historical, it is everywhere.....

eg British coin



= Elizabeth II Dei Gracia Regina, Fidei Defensor.

and around the outside (one of several different quotes, in Latin and Welsh :



= Decus et tutamen .
also
NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT


People who think Latin is a dead and irrelevant language are missing out on so much that is all around them!
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 7:05:43 PM

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The written Finnish, spelled as pronounced, is based on medieval Latin.
BTW, have a look at how Tolkien's High Elvish, Quenya, is written and pronounced.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Matija
Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 5:58:05 PM
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Yes, it is all around us, our common magnificent history, and we should take care of it much better then we do now in many europian countries, because Latin really is "decus" of Europe and World, so much in science, as much in culture. Latin and Greek really are DNA of the world, well (or more!) respected even outside Europe. Beautifull!
Hedwig
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 6:22:07 AM

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Nobody really knows how Latin was actually pronounced. Up to date, no scholar has been able to come up with the correct pronunciation.

I like to pronounce it alla italiana, just because Italy was its cradle and I feel this pronunciation must be closer to the original. I know, though, there's no scientific basis for feeling so. Italian, like all other romance languages, was influenced by the Barbarian tongues and is a completlely new language.

We must also take into account that (a) Latin was spoken over a very wide territory and there must have been regional variants, and (b) it was spoken over a long period of time, much longer than our modern languages, so there must have been changes in pronunciation, as there were in grammar, et cetera.
Matija
Posted: Sunday, September 04, 2011 4:03:05 PM
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Don't worry about traditional Latin reading, classical way is far more simple and scientifically proved and liberated from all influences. About traditional reading of Latin I speak as a professor of Latin and Greek from a small country where medieval church Latin whose official...traditional Latin had first sybillarization, but not the second as Italian, Croatian and many others...but you are wright, each Latin reading is beautifull...but...there is a link about papal coronation of pope Pius XII (so called last "mediaeval" pope) where you can heare him speaking perfect traditional Latin, without Italian influence, specially at 1:53 minutes in the word "descendat super vos".
love you all my Latin friends and collegs,
Matija
Matija
Posted: Sunday, September 04, 2011 4:08:46 PM
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