pronouncing names (ae endings)

Nico Cellinese ncellinese at FMNH.ORG
Tue Jun 25 15:20:03 CDT 2002

Robin, It seems to me that your teacher tought you to pronounce Latin the English way, which is just fine.  However, the -ae is never ever
pronounced to rhyme with eye, and the c is never ever pronounced like an s (the soft c is pronounced like a -ch).  This is true for classical or
modern Latin, whether spoken by the nobility or the commoners.   Probably the reason why teachers didn't insist in teaching a correct
pronounciation is because, after all, Latin is a not a spoken language.  I think what is most important is to understand what are the majority rules
and follow them, whether those are strictly correct or not.  After all we are using Latin as a mere mean of communication and the ultimate goal is
understanding each other, who cares whether a name is correctly pronounced according to the original language.  It is correctly pronounced
according to English phonetics.  I guess I am lacking patriotism here!


Nico Cellinese
Botany Department
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605, U.S.A.
Ph. 1-312-665-7881
Fax 1-312-665-7158

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