View Full Version : Pronouncing historical names


Kryten
Oct 11, 2003, 05:41 AM
After extensive watching of both the History & Discovery channel on TV, I have begun to notice that certain narrators are pronouncing historical names differently.
So I wonder how others pronounce some of the following:-

* The city of Byzantium, and the Byzantine Empire.
I always pronounce these as: Bye-zan-Tee-um and Bye-zan-Tine.
But I've heard them called: Biz-en-Tee-em and Bizen-Teen.
(Personally, I HATE the sound of "Bizen-Teen")

* Another is Phoenicia and Phoenician.
I always say: Fo-niece-ee-a and Fo-niece-ee-an.
But some say: Fen-ish-ee-a and Fen-ish-ee-an.

* However, I do have trouble with Boii (a Gallic tribe in North Italy).
Is it pronounced: Bo-ee-eye?
Or should it be: Bo-eye-ee?
Likewise with the Etruscan city of Veii (captured by the early Romans in 396BC).
Is it: Ve-ee-eye?
Or: Ve-eye-ee?

Aphex_Twin
Oct 11, 2003, 06:08 AM
I thought Byzantium was pronounced Bi-zan'-tzi-um, with the 'i' sounding like the english 'ee', but short...

There is quite a difference between an English pronounciation of Latin and the actual pronunciation of the Romans.

Gingerbread Man
Oct 11, 2003, 08:49 AM
I am also begging for info on how to pronounce Aztec names. Anything out there that tells you how?

pawpaw
Oct 11, 2003, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by Gingerbread Man
I am also begging for info on how to pronounce Aztec names. Anything out there that tells you how?

it's easy, you stuff your mouth full of bannana peels and then sit on a tack and in one bust words like huitzilopochtli and quetzaliontl come shooting out

mrtn
Oct 11, 2003, 09:27 AM
Well, do you want the pronounciations in English or Swedish? I pronounce Byzantium different, depending on language. In English it's ByzAntzium and ByzanTeen. Swedish ByzAntium (no hissing). Very short y:s in all.
Veii and Boii I just pronounce Veiiiiiiiii and Boiiiiiiiiiiii. ;)

Loaf Warden
Oct 11, 2003, 02:05 PM
And even for English pronunciations, you have to consider the nation of origin of the speaker. I understand that the pronunciation 'bigh-ZAN-tign' is more common in the UK. In America, the most accepted pronunciation is 'BIZ-zen-TEEN.' It's the pronunciation I personally use, and it's the only one I've ever heard from fellow Americans.

I tend to say Phoenicia as 'fen-EESH-uh'. A pronunciation like 'fo-NEES-ee-uh' would probably be best suited for British speech, but it would sound horribly out of place if said amid American speech.

As for Aztec names, the only thing I know for sure is that the 'tl' combination functioned as a single consonant, with no vowel sound of any kind in between. That's tricky for mouths more accustomed to European languages, which is why that combination was dropped when we started importing Nahuatl words like tomato (tomatl) and chocolate (chocolatl).

I believe Nahuatl (the name of the Aztec language) is pronounced something like 'na-WA-tl', but I could be mistaken. I personally tend to procounce Huitzilopochtli as something like 'WIT-zill-oh-POACH-tli', but I have no idea if this is justified. Notice the English distribution of stress; I don't know how stress is usually distributed in Nahuatl. I also don't know if the Nahuatl 'Z', for example, or 'CH', make the sounds we would expect. I've heard Tenochtitlan pronounced as 'TEN-osh-teet-LAN' recently, but far more common is 'TEN-ock-TEET-lan'. Obviously neither is the way a real Aztec would say it; notice that both pronunciations split up the T and the L. However the rest of the word is supposed to be pronounced, I'm sure the final syllable consists of 'tlan'.

Xen
Oct 11, 2003, 02:13 PM
for me

Veii- Vae (this is an important one for me, its the defacto home town of my fathers side of the familly, after Rome, of course... ;))

Byzantium- Bi-zan-ti-um

Achinz
Oct 11, 2003, 11:19 PM
Somehow through the Internet with the emphasis on the visual medium, pronunciation doesn't seem so important to me.

There is also the transliteration factor when a famous name is used in a non-native language. A well know example is Quixote pronounced "Kwisoat" in English cf it's Spanish approximate of "Kihoteh".

There is also the tendency for Europeans particulary the English to put their system of emphais to Asian names eg Hiroshima with a strong accent on the second syllable is alien to the more evenly stressed Japanese pronunciation.

Mongoloid Cow
Oct 12, 2003, 12:53 AM
Me, I say:

Byzantium: By - Zan - Ti - Um
Byzantine: Biz - An - Teen (don't know why I change it)
Phoenicia: Foe - Nee - Sha
Phoenician: Foe - Nee - Shan
Veii: Vay
Boii: Boy

Perfection
Oct 12, 2003, 01:11 AM
They're all dead so if I misspronounce them whats gonna happen?

A whole lot of nothing, that's what! :crazyeye:

Warned, for posting inanely in a serious thread. - XIII

Kafka2
Oct 12, 2003, 02:25 AM
Originally posted by Kryten

* Another is Phoenicia and Phoenician.
I always say: Fo-niece-ee-a and Fo-niece-ee-an.
But some say: Fen-ish-ee-a and Fen-ish-ee-an.



So do you pronounce "phoenix" as "Foe-nix"?

Kryten
Oct 12, 2003, 02:57 AM
Originally posted by Kafka2
So do you pronounce "phoenix" as "Foe-nix"?

Good point Kafka. :)
Using 'phonetic' spelling:-
Phoenix is universally pronounced as: Fee-nix
Therefore Phoenicia should be: Fee-nee-shee-a

Here is another one:-
How do people pronounce Darius, the last Achaemenid (!) king of Persia, defeated by Alexander the Great?
Is it: Da-rye-us
Or: Da-ree-us

Originally posted by Perfection
They're all dead so if I misspronounce them whats gonna happen?
A whole lot of nothing, that's what! :crazyeye:

:lol:
But you are missing the whole point of 'immortality' Per-fec-TEE-on. :D

Xen
Oct 12, 2003, 08:48 AM
I say "Dar-ee-us"...I got the pronounciation after watchin gthat one show, "Daria" on MTV a while back...

Loaf Warden
Oct 12, 2003, 09:55 PM
Originally posted by Kryten


Good point Kafka. :)
Using 'phonetic' spelling:-
Phoenix is universally pronounced as: Fee-nix
Therefore Phoenicia should be: Fee-nee-shee-a


Not really. For one thing, English isn't a phonetic language. So insisting that a given word "should" be pronounced a certain way simply because some other word is pronounced a certain way is generally a fallacious argument in this language. For another thing, the distribution of stress is different. In 'phoenix', the stress falls upon the syllable with the 'oe' in it: 'FEE-nix'. In 'Phoenicia', it falls upon a syllable without: 'fuh-NEESH-uh' (or 'fo-NEES-ee-uh' on the east side of the Pond; there are probably other accepted variants as well). It's a perfectly natural thing in English for a vowel in an unstressed position to become a schwa. While a pronunciation like 'fee-NEESH-uh' or 'fee-NEES-ee-uh' is possible, it certainly sounds odd and would seem a trifle didactic.

As for Darius, I personally pronounce it 'duh-RYE-us' simply because with a pronunciation like 'duh-REE-us' or 'DARE-ee-us', the pun in Isaac Asimov's Murder at the ABA wouldn't work. :D

Mongoloid Cow
Oct 12, 2003, 10:26 PM
I say Da - Ree - Us.

What about 'Artaxerxes'?

Art - A - Zer - Sees - Is that anything close to right?

Xen
Oct 13, 2003, 03:46 AM
dunno, doubt anybody sept he knows for sure :p

I've always said somthing along the lines of

ar-ta-zercks-zeez

Chieftess
Oct 13, 2003, 05:25 AM
Originally posted by Gingerbread Man
I am also begging for info on how to pronounce Aztec names. Anything out there that tells you how?

You missed Ehecatl Atzin when he was in the Civ3 demogame. :p Don't know if he's still around though.

I do know that the 'hau' is pronounced 'wa' (as in Chihuahua) and "tl" is like "tle" (as in cattle).

Pronounciation of Nahautl (Aztec language) names:

http://mrburnett.mine.nu/GCII/U1/outside/aztec/a-res22.html
http://www.quetzalcoatl.org/terminology.html
http://www.sil.org/mexico/nahuatl/24i-OrthographyNah.htm
http://www.zihua-ixtapa.com/~anotherday/2002_2003/dec/nahuatl2.html <-- Notice that we are all pronouncing Mexico wrong. :)

Pronounciation of Mayan (only because they're going to be in Civ3 Conquests):
http://www.mythome.org/mayanames.html

(Couldn't find much on Incan pronouciation).

MCdread
Oct 13, 2003, 04:08 PM
I think english native speakers have an added problem in pronouncing historical or foreign names because of the vowels, particulary the letter "i". You normally pronounce it as in eye, but it normally is pronounced as "ee". At least I don't know any other language that has the sounds of the vowels so messed up as english has. ;)

Loaf Warden
Oct 13, 2003, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by MCdread
I think english native speakers have an added problem in pronouncing historical or foreign names because of the vowels, particulary the letter "i". You normally pronounce it as in eye, but it normally is pronounced as "ee". At least I don't know any other language that has the sounds of the vowels so messed up as english has. ;)

Which is a point. The Great Vowel Shift moved the vowels to different positions in our mouths and made it so English is, to non-speakers, a very strange-sounding language. Of course Darius himself never called himself 'duh-RYE-us' . . . but then again, he never called himself 'duh-REE-us' or 'DAIR-ee-us', either. In his time and language, I believe he was something like "Darayavahush". But I'm going to continue spelling his name Darius and pronouncing it 'duh-RYE-us' because that's become standard in English, and English is the language I generally use to talk about him. (What he's called in Japanese, the other language I have a functional competence in, I'm not sure. Oddly enough, he's never come up in my Japanese conversations. Obviously if he did come up, I'd use whatever name it is the Japanese give him, with whatever pronunciation comes with it.)

Kryten
Oct 13, 2003, 06:54 PM
Yes, you are quite right Loaf Warden.
The name of the Persian king defeated by Alexander did actually sound more like 'Daryavaush'....but you've got to admit, it is a bit of a mouthfull, so the Greeks called him 'Darius' or 'Dareios' instead, which is much easier.
Likewise, we today use words such as Cassander, Epirus, Philip, Alexander and Ptolemy instead of the more accurate Kassandros, Epeiros, Philippos, Alexandros and Ptolemaios.
(Well, if the Greeks can change peoples names, then why can't we. :D )

As for 'Artaxerxes', I use roughly the same pronounciation as both Mongoloid Cow & Xen:-
Art-a-zerc-sees
(but I have no idea if it is right or wrong of course)

Here's another one that gives me trouble: Antiochus (the name of several kings of Macedonian Syria):-
An-tee-oh-cus perhaps?

Originally posted by MCdread
I think english native speakers have an added problem in pronouncing historical or foreign names because of the vowels, particulary the letter "i". You normally pronounce it as in eye, but it normally is pronounced as "ee". At least I don't know any other language that has the sounds of the vowels so messed up as english has. ;)

Yes, you are probably right Mcdread....but what do you do with names like Boii? :crazyeye:
Bo-ee-ee maybe?

Mongoloid Cow
Oct 13, 2003, 07:24 PM
Antiochus: Ant - Ee - Ok - Us which is basically the same as you say it Kryten :) I used to say it as Ant - Ee - Och - Us until I heard someone else actually say it.

Japanrocks12
Oct 13, 2003, 07:26 PM
Herodotus: He- Ro- Doh- Tus

Sodfather
Oct 13, 2003, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by Kryten
* However, I do have trouble with Boii (a Gallic tribe in North Italy).
Is it pronounced: Bo-ee-eye?
Or should it be: Bo-eye-ee?
Likewise with the Etruscan city of Veii (captured by the early Romans in 396BC).
Is it: Ve-ee-eye?
Or: Ve-eye-ee?
After my three years of Latin I'm pretty sure I can handle this one.

The genitive of Latin words whose roots end in -i, such as imperium, -i are formed by adding an -i onto the root. So imperium would be imperii. This word is pronounced "im-per-ee-ee" with a short pause after the first "ee." Since Veii is from the Latin and Boii appears to be a term created by the Romans for that tribe, like Gallia for the Celts, I would assume that Veii is "vay-ee" and Boii is "boy-ee," the first two vowels being clusters and the ending i's being pronounced separately.

Loaf Warden
Oct 13, 2003, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by Sodfather

Since Veii is from the Latin and Boii appears to be a term created by the Romans for that tribe, like Gallia for the Celts, I would assume that Veii is "vay-ee"

That depends on whether you're using a pure Latin pronunciation or an anglicized pronunciation. The Latin letter V, when used as a consonant, actually made a sound that we represent with W. So a Roman in classical times referring to Veii would have said something more like 'way-ee'. For myself, I can't be bothered with intruding a pure Latin word into an otherwise English sentence, so I simply pronounce it 'vay' and have done with it.

Gingerbread Man
Oct 14, 2003, 01:24 AM
Originally posted by Chieftess


You missed Ehecatl Atzin when he was in the Civ3 demogame. :p Don't know if he's still around though.

I do know that the 'hau' is pronounced 'wa' (as in Chihuahua) and "tl" is like "tle" (as in cattle).

Pronounciation of Nahautl (Aztec language) names:

http://mrburnett.mine.nu/GCII/U1/outside/aztec/a-res22.html
http://www.quetzalcoatl.org/terminology.html
http://www.sil.org/mexico/nahuatl/24i-OrthographyNah.htm
http://www.zihua-ixtapa.com/~anotherday/2002_2003/dec/nahuatl2.html <-- Notice that we are all pronouncing Mexico wrong. :)

Pronounciation of Mayan (only because they're going to be in Civ3 Conquests):
http://www.mythome.org/mayanames.html

(Couldn't find much on Incan pronouciation).
Way to go Chieftess! And yes, I do remember EA.

mrtn
Oct 14, 2003, 09:24 AM
I say DAR ius (or eeuss, if that makes more sense for you Englishspeakers) and Arta ksEr kses.

Vrylakas
Oct 14, 2003, 12:42 PM
I think as far as foreign names go, you should do your best to approximate the native language's pronunciation if you have a chance to hear it, but otherwise just do your best. The world is filled with languages, many with unique phonetic sounds or morphemic combinations so we're never going to get them all right. In those cases where the name is of a larger historical context - i.e., London, Warsaw, etc. - your own language will probably have its own name, and that's fine. Why should for example a Greek person, whose language does not have the "sh" sound, suffer trying to pronounce "Warszawa"? It gets nastier with vowels. For instance, "Phoenix" (written "F÷nix" in Polish); the "e" after the "o" means there is an umlauted ("÷") vowel and the resulting vowel is difficult for English-speakers to pronounce. (Umlauts are hard for Poles too but you don't spend centuries surrounded by Germans and not learn anything...) I'm sure XIII would gag if he ever heard my attempts to pronounce Chinese historical names - anyone for Qinshihuangdi? - but all I can do is take my best stab and hope someday a native speaker will help me get it right.

willemvanoranje
Oct 14, 2003, 06:18 PM
Darius is pronounced in Persian more like "D'ry-us". I'll look it up though, just to be sure.

As MCdread said, the problem is indeed with the English vowels. In Holland we'd say D'reios or D'raios...same for most countries here.

Loaf Warden
Oct 14, 2003, 09:40 PM
I say that knowing the full and correct pronunciation of a foreign name or word in its original language is only of real value if you speak or are learning to speak that language. Otherwise, using whatever form your language has adopted is better, even if only for the sake of clarity. For example, I've studied enough Dutch to know how the name Van Gogh is pronounced in that language. It's not even close to 'van go', like we say in America, or to 'van goff', like they say in Britain. But knowing it won't be of any value to me until the day when I can speak the language on a conversational level and actually travel to the Netherlands. Then, if he comes up, it'll be important to know the true pronunciation. To pronounce it 'van go' in the midst of an otherwise Dutch sentence would be asinine, even if speaking to a Netherlander who knew enough English to understand whom that noise refers to. But to give the name its full Dutch value in an otherwise English sentence would be met only with incomprehension. It involves a gutteral consonant sound we don't even have in English--twice!--and would most likely result in the person you're talking to making some stupid joke about phlegm. So even if you know how to make the sound, when speaking in English it's better to say 'van goff' in Britain or 'van go' in America for the sake of clarity; otherwise no one would know what you were talking about.

(And no offense meant to the Netherlanders here. I wasn't comparing the sound to phlegm, I was merely saying a lot of English-speakers would. But then, what would you expect from a people that are required to put eggs in our mouths before we can say anything? ;) )

That said, though, I still want to ask a question about Polish. As with all languages, I give Polish names their English equivalents if I know what they are, such as saying 'Warsaw' instead of 'Warszawa'. But I often see--in otherwise English writings, mind you--Polish words that are written with a letter that is unknown to me. It's a bit of a stumbling block, because I can't even guess at a pronunciation to use if there are letters present I don't even know. If there's an ascii code to reproduce the letter here, I don't know it, but it looks like an L with a short line through the middle. What sound does it make? I've just been pronouncing it like an L, like the city 'Wroclaw' (that L is supposed to be the letter in question, but like I said, I don't know how to write it here), I've been pronouncing something like 'Vrock-lahv'. Is that even remotely correct? (The Ws I'm basing on the fact that I've been told 'Warszawa' is pronounced 'Varshava', which leads me to the conclusion that the Polish W has the same sound as the German W.)

Vrylakas
Oct 15, 2003, 12:57 PM
That said, though, I still want to ask a question about Polish. As with all languages, I give Polish names their English equivalents if I know what they are, such as saying 'Warsaw' instead of 'Warszawa'. But I often see--in otherwise English writings, mind you--Polish words that are written with a letter that is unknown to me. It's a bit of a stumbling block, because I can't even guess at a pronunciation to use if there are letters present I don't even know. If there's an ascii code to reproduce the letter here, I don't know it, but it looks like an L with a short line through the middle. What sound does it make? I've just been pronouncing it like an L, like the city 'Wroclaw' (that L is supposed to be the letter in question, but like I said, I don't know how to write it here), I've been pronouncing something like 'Vrock-lahv'. Is that even remotely correct? (The Ws I'm basing on the fact that I've been told 'Warszawa' is pronounced 'Varshava', which leads me to the conclusion that the Polish W has the same sound as the German W.)

I think this is the 2nd time in my life someone has asked me about Polish pronunciation... :love:

It's a bit of a story but essentially the Slavic languages, as they broke into the three distinct groupings we have today (Eastern, Western and Southern) all developed similar characteristics within these groups. In the Western Slavic languages (Polish, Czech, Slovak, Wend/Sorb) a palatalization process took place for the r's and l's. In Russian, for example, the word for "river" is (written phonetically obviously) rjeka; in Czech (which only partially palatalized its r's and l's) it's r'eka (pronounced, most painfully, "R-zhayka"); while in Polish it's rzeka (pr. "zhayka").

The palatalized "l" in Polish (l') sounds like half of an English "w". Therefore, Wrocl'aw sounds in English like "Vraw-tswahv". (A "c" alone in Polish is pronounced like "ts", but it gets uglier if it's followed by an "i" or a "z", or has a mark over it.) The worst one for Westerners is the city L'ˇdz, which is pronounced (in English approximation) as "Woodzh".

And yes, the "w" in Polish is pronounced like the English "v".

Hope that helps -

The Yankee
Oct 15, 2003, 06:26 PM
Qinshihuangdi:

Like a soft "chin" then "shi, who-wang, di". At least that's how I was taught.

That chin is not like a regular "chin," however, which accounts for the spelling Qin in Pinyin and Ch'in in Wade-Giles. I believe it's more like a cross between chin and tin.

The Yankee
Oct 15, 2003, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by Vrylakas
That said, though, I still want to ask a question about Polish. As with all languages, I give Polish names their English equivalents if I know what they are, such as saying 'Warsaw' instead of 'Warszawa'. But I often see--in otherwise English writings, mind you--Polish words that are written with a letter that is unknown to me. It's a bit of a stumbling block, because I can't even guess at a pronunciation to use if there are letters present I don't even know. If there's an ascii code to reproduce the letter here, I don't know it, but it looks like an L with a short line through the middle. What sound does it make? I've just been pronouncing it like an L, like the city 'Wroclaw' (that L is supposed to be the letter in question, but like I said, I don't know how to write it here), I've been pronouncing something like 'Vrock-lahv'. Is that even remotely correct? (The Ws I'm basing on the fact that I've been told 'Warszawa' is pronounced 'Varshava', which leads me to the conclusion that the Polish W has the same sound as the German W.)

I think this is the 2nd time in my life someone has asked me about Polish pronunciation... :love:

It's a bit of a story but essentially the Slavic languages, as they broke into the three distinct groupings we have today (Eastern, Western and Southern) all developed similar characteristics within these groups. In the Western Slavic languages (Polish, Czech, Slovak, Wend/Sorb) a palatalization process took place for the r's and l's. In Russian, for example, the word for "river" is (written phonetically obviously) rjeka; in Czech (which only partially palatalized its r's and l's) it's r'eka (pronounced, most painfully, "R-zhayka"); while in Polish it's rzeka (pr. "zhayka").

The palatalized "l" in Polish (l') sounds like half of an English "w". Therefore, Wrocl'aw sounds in English like "Vraw-tswahv". (A "c" alone in Polish is pronounced like "ts", but it gets uglier if it's followed by an "i" or a "z", or has a mark over it.) The worst one for Westerners is the city L'ˇdz, which is pronounced (in English approximation) as "Woodzh".

And yes, the "w" in Polish is pronounced like the English "v".

Hope that helps -

That explains why my grandfather's name, Wladyslaw, it's something like "Vwad-i-swav"....although I probably still mess it up. Never got taught Polish since when I was around, there weren't very many people with any Polish language skills.

The Yankee
Oct 15, 2003, 06:45 PM
On second thought, maybe Qinshihuangdi would be more like:

The variation on "chin", then "she, whoahng, dee." Or maybe I'm just overthinking.

Xen
Oct 15, 2003, 08:40 PM
Originally posted by Loaf Warden


That depends on whether you're using a pure Latin pronunciation or an anglicized pronunciation. The Latin letter V, when used as a consonant, actually made a sound that we represent with W. So a Roman in classical times referring to Veii would have said something more like 'way-ee'. For myself, I can't be bothered with intruding a pure Latin word into an otherwise English sentence, so I simply pronounce it 'vay' and have done with it.

AHEM! your BOTH forgetting that Veii is an ETRUSCAN city- therfore it dosnt use a latin pronounciation :p

Xen
Oct 15, 2003, 08:41 PM
though considering I dont know Etruscan, it could be the the excat same pronounciation- although considering we Roman books on grammer, that show there wasn anactual transition of the pronounciation of letter- "Vae" is a correct pronounciat in laitn of around the fourth century I belive (if I remember my basic latin book correctlly)

Mongoloid Cow
Oct 15, 2003, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by Xen


AHEM! your BOTH forgetting that Veii is an ETRUSCAN city- therfore it dosnt use a latin pronounciation :p

Actaully Veii is the Roman name for the city therefore it follows the Latin rules of pronounciation (if you can be bothered learning them). IIRC the original Etruscan name for the city is lost or forgotten so no one uses that name.

Loaf Warden
Oct 15, 2003, 09:24 PM
Originally posted by Vrylakas
Wrocl'aw[/i] sounds in English like "Vraw-tswahv". (A "c" alone in Polish is pronounced like "ts", but it gets uglier if it's followed by an "i" or a "z", or has a mark over it.) The worst one for Westerners is the city L'ˇdz, which is pronounced (in English approximation) as "Woodzh".

Hope that helps -

Actually, it helps quite a lot. Thanks for the info. :goodjob: As a non-Polish speaker, I still won't be expected to get it quite right, but at least I can pronounce it 'Vratswahv' and be close enough.

And no, Xen, I didn't forget that Veii is an Etruscan city. But on every list of Etruscan city names I've ever seen, the cities all had distinctly Latin forms. This leads me to the conclusion that the Romans Latinized the Etruscan names, and as far as I know, the form 'Veii' came down to us from Latin*. What form it may have had in Etruscan, I couldn't even guess.

As for the changing Latin pronunciations, I believe that came along with the rise of vernacular languages across Europe, as each region started pronouncing Latin, no longer the standard mode of communication for the common folk, as though it were the same language they were already speaking. So by then, everybody was pronouncing the letter V the same way we do today, because that's how their own languages worked. On the other hand, if all the Latin-based languages changed the V to essentially the same sound, then the change had to come from somewhere, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Attila's archnemesis, Flavius Aetius, very much a native speaker of Latin, was pronouncing his own name 'flah-vee-us' instead of 'flah-wee-oos'. But I had assumed, perhaps wrongly, that we were talking about classical Latin, such as, say, Cicero would have been using, in which V was still the equivalent of the English W and U. Like I said, I pronounce the word 'vay' because that's how it works now. All I meant was that Cicero et al. would not recognize that noise as the name of a city near Rome, but that we do today.

*Edit: Aww, Mongoloid Cow beat me to it. Ah well; I'll let my comments stand anyway.

Sodfather
Oct 15, 2003, 09:29 PM
Originally posted by Loaf Warden
That depends on whether you're using a pure Latin pronunciation or an anglicized pronunciation. The Latin letter V, when used as a consonant, actually made a sound that we represent with W.
Yeah, you obviously know your stuff because I was never even taught that v is pronounced as w until my third year of studying Latin. I should have said "way-ee."