pronouncing names (ae endings)

Lynn Raw lynn.raw at VIRGIN.NET
Sun Jun 23 19:26:48 CDT 2002

As far as I am aware, the Latin diphthong 'ae' is a single sound pronounced
like the English seaman's 'Aye' or as we all usually pronounce 'eye' or  I
as in 'I am' . All other Latin vowels are pronounced separately and,
depending on their position in the word will have a long or short
pronunciation. The letter 'c'  is pronounced like the letter 'k' in English
rather than the 'ch' used in certain circumstances in Italian.

Thus Linnaeus would be lin - eye -oos with the accent on the 'eye'. The -ii
ending is pronounced 'ee - ee' rather than 'ee - eye' and -ceae would be
'kay- eye" or perhaps 'keh - eye'.

I must admit that I don't always keep to these rules myself as old habits
tend to linger. The following link gives recommended Latin pronunciations
for scientific names: but as you
will see from the above, I don't accept it as necessarily correct.

Any good Latin-English dictionary will usually give you a guide to
pronouncing Latin as well as an explanation of Latin grammar.

Lynn Raw

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