So, In many Latin textbooks such as Lingua Latina and Wheelock, I am told to pronounce the letter 'Y' like I would pronouncing the letter U in French, or an umlaut-ed U in German. I don't speak those languages. As a matter of fact, I find it asinine to teach one language by making reference to a third language which the student is not guaranteed to know. Further research indicates that a French U or a German umlaut-ed U are pronounced by saying 'eeee' with rounded lips, so that it comes out sorta sounding like 'eww' (the sound you make when you smell something bad or upon hearing a terrible pun).
My question is - is this correct? Some references just say to pronounce it like an 'i' and leave it at that.
When y'all say Syllaba, Syria, or Aegyptus how does it come out? I mention this, because in some of the ancillary books for Lingua Latina, Oberg makes a point that those words are pronounced differently but he DOESN'T SAY HOW. There just lines to the effect of 'Suria non est, Syria est.' This begging of the question drives me crazy.
Thanks in advance,