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Skipping correct pronunciation

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Skipping correct pronunciation

Postby lapis » Thu May 02, 2013 3:24 pm

Hi.

I'd like to know (for certain) if it's possible to learn reading Latin fluently without altogether correct pronunciation? I know only a little bit about how to pronounce Latin, and that there's a difference between classical Latin pronunciation and Italian (ecclesiastical) Latin pronunciation, etc.

But my question is this: Is it possible to learn reading Latin without impeccable pronunciation? (Not whether or not one 'should'.) I'll basically be learning Latin all by myself, by reading and learning the grammar and looking up the words in the dictionaries, etc.

My goal is to be able to read Latin fluently, not conversing with others in Latin. But, I'd like to make sure that it's actually possible to be able to learn this language without also mastering correct pronunciation.

Any help or suggestions appreciated. :)
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Re: Skipping correct pronunciation

Postby Grochojad » Mon May 06, 2013 9:30 pm

It obviously is possible. But why wouldn't you spend some time doing some basic research and choosing the pronunciation that most suits you and after that just stick with it?
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Re: Skipping correct pronunciation

Postby Qimmik » Mon May 06, 2013 11:03 pm

If you aim to read Latin poetry, you really owe it to yourself to learn the classical pronunciation so that you can read poetry aloud or at least hear it in your head as you read. The Roman poets used aural effects very expressively--and it's not even clear whether they actually contemplated that readers might read silently (there's some dispute about this). The pronunciation isn't difficult to learn. You don't need an absoulutely "impeccable" pronunciation, but you should have a good idea how the language sounded. I think it would be much harder to learn the language without being able to associate the written words on the page with physical sounds. After all, Latin is a natural language, not a programming language.
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Re: Skipping correct pronunciation

Postby lapis » Tue May 07, 2013 6:27 pm

Thanks for your thoughts and input.

Grochojad: That is more or less what I had in mind. But picking 'my own' pronunciation is still not correct pronunciation. I just don't want lack of exact pronunciation to stand in the way of learning to read Latin, and I felt I had to double-check this with the connoisseurs. :D

Qimmik: I'm reading Latin out loud. I'll readily admit that have no idea what I'm reading (recently begun), but I still do it; I believe it's a helpful approach for when learning a new language.
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Re: Skipping correct pronunciation

Postby Qimmik » Tue May 07, 2013 7:10 pm

Latin spelling is nearly completely phonetic, and it's not too hard to learn the approximate values of the letters. Absolutely impeccable, perfect, native speaker pronunciation isn't possible because no one alive today has heard an ancient Roman speak.
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