Pontificating about Proper Pronunciation

Jorge Soberon Mainero jsoberon at MIRANDA.ECOLOGIA.UNAM.MX
Mon Dec 11 20:36:29 CST 1995

When I was a kid, I used to help with mass at the local Dominican church.
Dominicans are taught years and years of Latin. Once, an American priest
came to saty for a week. He did not spoke a word of Spanish, but the Spanish
priests attempted to comunicate with him in Latin. One day I was witness
to the following dialogue:

Spanish Dominican: "Diccit missae in altaris sacratisimii rosarii" (said in
his very heavy Spanish accent)
American Dominican: "Non inteligo" (said in his very heavy American accent)

Somehow I managed to pick the meaning of both, but since those days I
have been very dubious about Latin as a system for verbal communication
and this has been confirmed hundreds of times when speaking about latin
binomials with American or British friends.

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