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Latin pronunciation samples?

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Latin pronunciation samples?

Postby Fredericus » Fri May 28, 2004 12:52 am

As this is my first post here, an introduction: I learned some Latin in high school Way Back When, and am now beginning to study it again to start teaching it to my homeschooled sons next year. (We'll be going slowly at first, so I'm sure to stay waaay ahead of them! This first year will be as much for English grammar and word roots as for the Latin language per se, anyway.)

I would very much like to get a fluid, useful pronunciation into their ear from the first, though; which means that first it must get into my ear! We were a tad sloppy in high school, I'm afraid: we basically used a passable "classical" pronunciation, but the vowels all tended to be long in practice. I believe this to be a problem for two reasons: (1) it is harder to learn the proper lengths of the vowels if one doesn't hear it in ones head, e.g., 1st Declension sing. nominative -a vs. sing ablative -a; (2) scanning classical poetry will be difficult, I presume--I never really got that far, myself! And, having learned languages since then, I like to hear the language flow and not just dissect it on the page. Yes, I know Latin's supposed to be dead and all that, but I'm optimistic!

There's more than one pronunciation still being taught, I've found: Henle's school grammar describes three different systems. Some homeschool texts actually prefer the Church pronunciation (or, rather, "one of the Church pronunciations": generally not distinguishing vowel lengths). It's close to Italian (which may be useful someday: I'm trying to learn some Italian to help me sing arias), and may flow better, but I'm wary of anything that doesn't preserve the lengths of the vowels. Am I being paranoid about that?

Anyway, I wondered if there exists good sound samples / CD's / whatever demonstrating classical Latin pronunciation. I have a couple of CD's that came with Teach Yourself Beginner's Latin, but I suspect the pronunciations may occasionally be more dramatic than precise (but I could be wrong).

Any advice is appreciated!
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Postby Fredericus » Fri May 28, 2004 3:41 am

Silly to reply to myself, but I've since found the textkit Outside Links forum, with some helpful links (and otherwise). The "reconstructed pronunciation" files at http://www.rhapsodes.fll.vt.edu/Latin.htm are pretty hardcore, I'll have to be a bit "unreconstructed," I'm afraid. The more prosaic files there are about what I expected the classical pronunciation to sound like: I think I just need to practice a lot to get rid of my bad habits!
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Re: Latin pronunciation samples?

Postby mind » Fri May 28, 2004 7:04 am

Fredericus wrote:Anyway, I wondered if there exists good sound samples / CD's / whatever demonstrating classical Latin pronunciation.

As a beginner, I'm also very cautious about the "right" pronunciation. From the discussions I sometimes read in the Classics-L mailing list, I see that professional classicists are touchy when it comes to the quantity of vowels. So, I liked the sound files with poetry read by Vojin Nedeljkovic from the University of Belgrade: http://dekart.f.bg.ac.yu/~vnedeljk/VV/.
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Re: Latin pronunciation samples?

Postby mariek » Fri May 28, 2004 4:12 pm

mind wrote:So, I liked the sound files with poetry read by Vojin Nedeljkovic from the University of Belgrade: http://dekart.f.bg.ac.yu/~vnedeljk/VV/.



I like Viva Voce too. And there's something soothing about listening to this....

I've heard criticism about the readings on ARTL, but it is another source for audio .... http://www.arlt.co.uk/dhtml/gcse_audio.php
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Postby Episcopus » Fri May 28, 2004 5:02 pm

Haha that's a priceless link mariek! (I'm listening right now!) :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: "Quid faceret, quo se rapta bis coniuge ferret?" That's odd.
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Postby Fredericus » Fri May 28, 2004 9:22 pm

Another find. Here's an interactive flash version of a pronunciation guide that doesn't look bad:

Read It Right! http://www.classicsnet.plus.com/readitr ... _intro.htm
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