Textkit Logo

Continental vs. English Dipthongs for Greek

Here's where you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Continental or English pronunciation?

Continental
11
92%
English
1
8%
 
Total votes : 12

Continental vs. English Dipthongs for Greek

Postby xon » Tue Nov 02, 2004 11:33 pm

I want to take a poll of all Greek studiers (this will determine which is the best method of pronunciation for me to study), about whether or not you use the CONTINENTAL (which I have used so far) or the ENGLISH way of pronouncing the dipthongs in greek. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here are examples:

Continental
ai = "eye"
au = the "ow" in "now"
ei = the "ay" in "say"
oi = the "oi" in "oil"
ou = the "oo" in "food"
eu = the "eu" in "neuter"
ui = the "ooey" in "gooey"

English
ai = ay as in aye
au = au as in naught
ei = ei as in height
oi = oi as in oil
ou = ou as in out
eu = eu as in neuter
ui = wi as in wine

As you can see: au, ei, ou, and ui are different in English when compared to Continental.

Does this matter? Even if I pronounce the Continental (which sounds more "European", myself having known Spanish), am I still light-years away from pronouncing it as the "True Greek of the Ages"?

Does anyone here use or prefer the English system?

Sure, the English system is easier for me to pronounce, as I am an anglophone, but is it healthy?
xon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:15 pm

Postby chad » Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:01 am

hi xon, i would choose continental. all of the diphthongs represent what vox graeca and smyth's grammar show to be the ancient greek pronunciation of around 400 BC, except for eu, which kept the diphthong sound (i.e. the "e" didn't work as a consonantal "y", as in "you" or "neuter").

looking through the english list, only oi seems to mirror the ancient pronunciation.

prior to 400BC though, there were some slight differences: ei and ou were pronounced as true diphthongs, i.e. a glide between 2 sounds, except when they were spurious (i.e. resulting from contraction or lengthening). i remember that smyth talks about this at the start of his grammar, let me find it... sections 6 and 25: :)

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... out=&loc=6

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... ut=&loc=25
chad
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:55 am

Re: Continental vs. English Dipthongs for Greek

Postby Emma_85 » Wed Nov 03, 2004 4:15 pm

My teacher did spend a while telling us how to pronounce the diphthongs, so I must assume that this is the system he was taught at uni in Germany (University of Mainz):

ai = ay as in eye
au = the "ow" in "now", but he did say that they were probably not pronounced quite like that, that the a and u sounds were not quite so contracted, more like a-u
ei = the "ay" in "say"
oi = oi as in oil
ou = ou as in too, but not quite as far forward as in English, the sound comes from a bit further back in the throat
eu = eu as in toy, but again really e-u
ui = u-i is pronounced u-i

Basically au, eu, and ui are seen as half diphthongs, two vowels which are sort of spoken separately, but because you have two vowels next to each other you'll always end up with the sound being contracted a bit. Eh... like say a and then u after each other really quickly and then you're sort of there.

Again, this is just what I learned, not sure it's 'right', but I think it might be sort of close.
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Re: Continental vs. English Dipthongs for Greek

Postby Democritus » Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:04 pm

xon wrote:Continental
ai = "eye"
au = the "ow" in "now"
ei = the "ay" in "say"
oi = the "oi" in "oil"
ou = the "oo" in "food"
eu = the "eu" in "neuter"
ui = the "ooey" in "gooey"


This is the system we used.

It's difficult to list English equivalents, because many typical words are pronounced differently on different sides of the pond. Over here, the vowel in the first syllable of "neuter" is usually not a diphthong.

My Greek teachers told us to try to pronounce "eu" as "eh-oo", which diphthong has no real equivalent in English (American English, anyway).

Same story with "ui". I guess "gooey" is a good approximation.
Democritus
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 12:14 am
Location: California

Postby Emma_85 » Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:55 pm

ame story with "ui". I guess "gooey" is a good approximation.


Hmm... it might be i suppose, but I'm not too sure about the w being in that diphthong :? .
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby Geoff » Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:23 am

I'm a pathetic pronunciefier :? (fabricated word)

Eye and aye sit the same with my ears (quite unrefined I'm afraid). However, for the most part I use the continental system and it seems to be what I find in most of my grammars.
User avatar
Geoff
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:30 pm

Postby cweb255 » Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:51 pm

eye and aye - are those not "ah" + "ee" either way? Is that not how it is supposed to sound? Those diphthongs, except o+u, sound exactly like they should in Continental. I mean, naught? Ah + ooh. I thought this stuff was obvious.
User avatar
cweb255
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:15 am

Postby Emma_85 » Thu Nov 04, 2004 7:49 pm

eye and aye don't sound the same at all! :shock:

Ok, maybe the systems with different examples, it may just be a US/UK problem:

Continental
ai = "I" (I am)
au = the "ow" in "now" or "how"
ei = the "ay" in "say" or "play"
oi = the "oi" in "oil" or "toil" or "soil"
ou = the "oo" in "food" or "rude" or "crude"
eu = the "eu" in "neuter"
ui = the "ooey" in "gooey"

English
ai = ay as in "say" or "play"
au = au as in "naught " or "taught"
ei = ei as in "height" or "I" (I am)
oi = oi as in oil
ou = ou as in "out" or "shout"
eu = eu as in neuter
ui = wi as in wine

As you can see they English and continental are different. The English just get it all mixed up.
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby xon » Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:44 am

"eye" and "aye" sound the same to me, like "ai" in Greek :)

I think with the English system they wanted the Greek dipthongs to correspond with traditional English pronunciation for dipthongs that were spelled the same. Actually it appears to have been put together arbitrarily because English has many different pronuciations for just one way of spelling a different "dipthong". For example, the "ei" in the perfectly english word "eight" is pronounced in the "Continental" way.
xon
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:15 pm


Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 23 guests