[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Saying it (more or less) correctly

I'm happy I'm not the only one that gagged at the web site cited earlier.
The pronunciations were not close enough to Latin to be understood almost
anywhere but maybe the US midwest!

We have several systems of Latin pronunciation, here. There is the Church
system, and the very similar one taught in most schools. There is a bit more
ancient academic Latin that *no one* I know speaks. [Sorta like Chaucer's
English. :-)] Then there is fish-Latin. It is a subset of biology-Latin
which also includes plant-Latin. The American versions are unintelligible in
the extreme!

If we get in the habit of giving scientific names an American accent, we do
become unintelligible to the rest of the world. The whole purpose of
standardizing the nomenclature systems was to *improve* understanding.

Our local killy clubs have tended to have three or four European speakers a
year give talks at meetings and conventions. They all tend to use
standardized Latin to pronounce the names of fish and plants. I find that
strains my ears, for I am too accustomed to hearing our mangled versions.

If you want to be understood, get a 1st-year Latin textbook, and learn those
rules. If you really apply them, you will get it across in Italy or in
Holland or in the Phillipines with absolutely no trouble. Proper names are
the only exception. [Use the Latin if you don't know what the original
pronunciation was, and you'll get by.]

Pop quiz:

Pronounce *Cryptocoryne*.

Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

         "DEMOCRACY" is two wolves and a lamb voting on lunch.
     "LIBERTY" is a well-armed lamb denying enforcement of the vote.
             *** http://www.self-gov.org/index.html ***