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What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

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What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby uberdwayne » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:40 pm

Just out of curiosity, what pronunciation scheme do you(υμεις) use when reading aloud?

I use the modern pronunciation, except I keep the rough breathing sound. I've been considering using the "oo" sound for the υ in υμεις just for differentiating purposes. But I haven't committed yet because I don't want to loose the consistency I have now.

I've thought of switching to Randall Buth's scheme, but It would be a lot of work to "switch" pronunciations. Do you think its worthwhile?
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby ragnar_deerslayer » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:16 pm

My understanding is that the Restored Koine pronunciation of Randall Buth is pretty much exactly like modern Greek with two extra vowels that have since been lost, so I shouldn't think it would be that hard for you to switch.

I decided, after three years of seminary Greek, to switch to the Buthian pronunciation for two reasons: 1) I wanted to do conversational Koine, and Buth was pretty much the only game in town, and 2) it's much more accurate, by all estimates, than Erasmian pronunciation, and I couldn't motivate myself to continue in Greek if I knew I was using a pronunciation linguists agree is inaccurate.

YMMV.

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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby daivid » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:56 am

The only person who hears me is me so my only priority is that the letters are distinct so I use Erasmian as I can't hear the differnce between hk and k.
Christophe Rico uses reconstruted Attic as that better represents Koine as written. His aim is to bring Koine alive rather than enable students to sound like actual native speakers of Koine. His recordings IMO sound excellent.
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby uberdwayne » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:23 am

daivid wrote:His recordings IMO sound excellent.

Where can I go to hear his recordings, do you have a link?
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby daivid » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:38 am

uberdwayne wrote:
daivid wrote:His recordings IMO sound excellent.

Where can I go to hear his recordings, do you have a link?

It comes with Rico's book Polis as a CD. You might wish to wait for the English edition which is rumored though as he tries to use as much Greek as possible I don't miss not being able to read the few bits of Italian in my Italian edition.
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby ragnar_deerslayer » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:46 pm

You can see some videos of Rico's class (and hear his pronunciation) here.

Also, the English version of Polis has been "in production" for years. Last I heard, it was tabled until he finished his second edition of Polis. In other words, don't hold your breath.

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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby uberdwayne » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:03 pm

Is there a big difference between Buth and Rico?
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby Markos » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:11 am

uberdwayne wrote:Is there a big difference between Buth and Rico?


Of the 24 Greek letters, they pronounce 21 of them basically the same. Of the diphthongs, 3 of 8. Of the accents and breathing marks, 2 of 4. If you add that up, you get 76% similar.

To me there is not much difference between the two. I can understand them both; I have regularly communicated with students of both. I happen to be closer to Rico in my own profora. I certainly don't think it makes any real difference which one you use as your main pronunciation scheme, but I think anyone who wants to learn to speak and listen to Ancient Greek should learn and listen to both, simply because both offer great resources.

I'd say the difference is a little greater than the difference between a strong Australian and a strong Texan accent. I'll tell you this. There are non-native speakers in my neighborhood who speak English a lot more differently than Rico and Buth speak Ancient Greek.

There is not much difference.
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby uberdwayne » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:19 pm

I know that this thread has been out for a while, but I found this video on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPlpphT7n9s

It's about english, put the principles in this video are very interesting, especially when we apply it to greek pronunciation.

what do you think?
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby Markos » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:07 pm

uberdwayne wrote:I know that this thread has been out for a while, but I found this video on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPlpphT7n9s

It's about english, put the principles in this video are very interesting, especially when we apply it to greek pronunciation.

what do you think?


Yes, I saw that video and others like it a while ago, and I too was struck with the parallels with how we speak Ancient Greek. The argument in favor of a restored Shakespearean pronunciation parallels the arguments in favor of using the so-called restored Attic or (and!) the so called restored Imperial Koine. On the other hand, the FACT that Shakespeare is transparently comprehensible and effective when spoken with American accents in some of the outstanding modern films that have been made parallels the FACT that people have gotten plenty even out of Homer when hearing him with Modern Greek pronunciation. To bring Erasmian into this discussion, you have to replace Shakespeare with Chaucer, since learning modern English WOULD allow you to internalize Shakespeare (but not Chaucer) in a way that learning Modern Greek would NOT allow you to internalize Ancient Greek. To internalize Chaucer, you would have to learn to speak Middle English, and here you would have your choice of pronunciations. Let's say you were a Spaniard who wanted only to read Chaucer but had no interest in learning Modern English. You could decide that you DID want to learn to speak Middle English, because reading only would not cause the fluency you seek. You would have to decide how to pronounce Chaucer. You could do so by trying to reconstruct how Chaucer was spoken. This would work fine. Or you could speak Chaucer with a Modern English accent. This would work fine. Or you could come up with a mixed pronunciation scheme, where some graphs were pronounced from different periods in the history of English pronunciations, to cut down on homophones as much as possible. You could even tailor this to make is easy for Spaniards to pronounce. The result, like Erasmian, would not be "historically accurate," but it, too, would work just fine.

I recently saw a new movie of Coriolanus where the actors spoke Shakespeare with a variety of thick Eastern European accents. On guy even spoke just like Kofi Annan. Non of this of course, was "accurate," but I understood every word and it was extremely effective as a piece of art.

I do think that the video overstates, (as is overstated the case for Restored Attic or Restored Koine) the case for restored Shakespeare, citing the fact, for example, that "proved" and "loved" rhymed in Shakespearean but not in Modern English. I think when you hear these pronounced with a variety of English accents, you still get the effect of the pun. That is to say, while much is lost in translation, very little is ever lost in different pronunciations.
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby daivid » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:01 pm

Markos wrote:To bring Erasmian into this discussion, you have to replace Shakespeare with Chaucer, since learning modern English WOULD allow you to internalize Shakespeare (but not Chaucer) in a way that learning Modern Greek would NOT allow you to internalize Ancient Greek. To internalize Chaucer, you would have to learn to speak Middle English, and here you would have your choice of pronunciations. Let's say you were a Spaniard who wanted only to read Chaucer but had no interest in learning Modern English. You could decide that you DID want to learn to speak Middle English, because reading only would not cause the fluency you seek. You would have to decide how to pronounce Chaucer. You could do so by trying to reconstruct how Chaucer was spoken. This would work fine. Or you could speak Chaucer with a Modern English accent. This would work fine. Or you could come up with a mixed pronunciation scheme, where some graphs were pronounced from different periods in the history of English pronunciations, to cut down on homophones as much as possible. You could even tailor this to make is easy for Spaniards to pronounce. The result, like Erasmian, would not be "historically accurate," but it, too, would work just fine.


Most of the arguments in favor of original pronunciation related to puns and rhymes. For that you only need a pronunciation that reflects the phonemes of the time not the actual phonetic sound actually spoken. Erasmian pronunciation does reflect (at least as far as I understand it) the phonemic structure of Attic and on that count is as good as its rivals.

In one respect speakers of Shaksperian English are in a different places is the spelling as standard spelling is quite late - Shakespear famously unsed several spelling for his own name but not the one we use today. That is even more true of Chaucer. If we speak in order to better read Greek then a pronunciation that fits the spelling is an issue.
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby Vladimir » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:00 pm

uberdwayne wrote:I use the modern pronunciation

So do I because it is traditional for the Orthodox church.
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby radagasty » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:44 am

I use some form of the Erasmian pronunciation (probably Anglo-Erasmian), because my motive is not to converse in Greek with anyone else, but rather to have a maximally distinct pronunciation to enable me to better remember Greek spelling. The other consideration is that I want my pronunciation to be sufficiently common to be understood by others when discussing Greek.

The main weaknesses in my pronunciation, I find, are that I do not regularly distinguish between ει and η on account of laziness or carelessness, nor between long and short α, ε, ι, generally because I don't really know when they are long or short. I use a system of stress accent, rather than pitch, which means that the acute and circumflex accents merge, and the grave accent more-or-less disappears, and likewise the iota subscripts.

Any suggestions for improving on the above would be welcome, taking into account my desire for a maximally distinct pronunciation. I struggled for a long time to pronounce long vowels (η & ω) in an unstressed position, but I think I'm getting the hang of it now.
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby uberdwayne » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:38 am

Funny story...

I have hired a private tutor to teach me Hebrew, been doing it for about 6 weeks now and its going great! However, today my Hebrew instructor has commented/scolded me for pronouncing my vowels with too many "ee" sounds.

I attribute that to my modern greek pronunciation. LOL :lol:
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Re: What Pronunciation scheme do you use?

Postby jaihare » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:25 pm

uberdwayne wrote:Funny story...

I have hired a private tutor to teach me Hebrew, been doing it for about 6 weeks now and its going great! However, today my Hebrew instructor has commented/scolded me for pronouncing my vowels with too many "ee" sounds.

I attribute that to my modern greek pronunciation. LOL :lol:


If you want to practice speaking Hebrew on Skype, I can meet up with you. My Hebrew is much stronger than my Greek. ;)
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