Sunday, June 17, 2012

Latin Pronunciation: Consonants

(except, of course, we sing Church Latin!)

The following consonants are pronounced as they are in English: B, D, F, L, M, N, P, Q, V.

C is hard, like “k” in “kick,” except before E, AE, OE, I, Y. Then it is like “ch” in “church.”

CC before the above vowels is pronounced “tch” (stopped “t”).  But:
In Ecclesiis: “Een Ehk-kleh-see-ees”
Peccata mundi: “pehk-kah-tah moon-dee”

SC before the same vowels is like “sh” in “shell”

CH is always like K:
Christe eleison: “Kree-steh eh-leh-ee-sawn”
Jesum Christum: “Yeh-soom Kree-stoom”

G is hard, like the “g” in “God” except before E, AE, OE, and I, when it is soft like the “g” in “gem.” 

GN has the sound “ny” as in “cognac.”

H is silent as in “honest,” except in the two words “mihi” and “nihil” which are pronounced “mee-kee” and “nee-keel." 

J is pronounced like the “y” in “you.” It is sometimes written as an “I.”

PH is pronounced like “f.”

R should be flipped with the tongue when it appears between two vowels or at the end of a word and should be rolled when it appears at the beginning of a word.

S is hard as in “see” (never “raise”) except when it comes between two vowels and is slightly softened: 
Miserere mei, Deus: “Mee-seh-reh-reh meh-ee Deh-oos"
Invisibilium: “een-vee-see-bee-lee-oom”

SCH is like the “sk” of “school.”

T is hard as in “tea,” but not as plosive as it is in English.

TI before a vowel and following any letter except S, X or T is pronounced “tsee.”

TH is always hard, like “tea.”

X is prounounced like “ks” as in “tacks” or “tax.” When it comes between two vowels it is slightly softened: 
Dixit Maria: "Dee-kseet Mah-ree-ah"
Laudat exercitus: “lah-oodaht eh-ksehr-chee-toos”

XC is pronounced as “ksk” before the vowels O, A or U:
Excogitare: “eks-kaw-jee-tah-reh”
But when XC appears before E, AE, OE, I and Y it becomes “ksh.” 
In excelsis: “een eh-kshehl-sees”

Y is treated like the vowel I (ee).

Z is “dz” of “suds”:
Azymus: “ah-dzy-moos”

No comments:

Post a Comment