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Can 'U' always be substituted for 'V'?

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Can 'U' always be substituted for 'V'?

Postby Lee » Sun Dec 14, 2003 9:29 am

I recently learned that 'U' can be substituted for a 'V' in some latin words to make them more understandable to a modern reader.
So if i changed: "malum diluere" into "malum dilVere" Would it still have the same translation? (to dissolve evil)
I know this sounds like a very stupid question but to be fair, im a very stupid guy.
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Postby benissimus » Sun Dec 14, 2003 10:37 am

Romans only used the letter V to represent both sounds, so there is no difference in sound no matter which you use. U was originally just a variant, but eventually it adopted the vowel role and V kept the consonants, similarly to what happened with I and J. Technically, "malum diluere" could be written "malvm dilvere", but again, a modern reader would not know how to pronounce "malvm" without some explanation. "Diluere" may not seem that unusual to us who are used to Latin (somewhat at least), but I wouldn't want those barbarians mangling it into something sounding like "dill-yoo-uh-ray" :roll: though there is only so much you can expect from those ignorant fools :wink:
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Lee » Sun Dec 14, 2003 6:20 pm

OK thanx, that pretty much answered my question.
But how do u pronounce diluere? see im one of those barbarians you're reffering to so i dont actually know.....
oh and is there anything wrong if you pronouce 'dilvere' with the 'v' sounding like a v? Im trying to make things easier to understand for the readers, because i doubt most of em' will have taken the time to study latin...
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Postby 1%homeless » Mon Dec 15, 2003 12:52 am

It's funny that the really super traditional Oxford Latin dictionary only uses U and not V.

Well, there is no V sound in Classical Latin Lee. Modern text use V to represent the W sound.
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Postby benissimus » Mon Dec 15, 2003 5:38 am

I assume he was talking about pronouncing it with a "Classical V" as opposed to a "Classical U". You can do that, I suppose, but typically it only functions as a consonant at the beginning of a word (or word-part in compounds) or when between two vowels. Pronunciation varies in poetry for the sake of meter and I doubt it would sound too unusual to mix the V and U.
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Postby Lee » Mon Dec 15, 2003 11:56 am

thanks alot thats really helped me out. "Malum Dilvere" should be easy to pronounce for readers of my story, and it still keeps its meaning of 'to remove evil'. Thanks for the help guys!
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