Thanks & now I have a pronunciation question
michaelhaggett at lineone.net
Fri Jul 6 03:25:49 EDT 2001
Matt Harris wrote (3 July):
>For those of you who actually go around speaking Greek, may I enquire how
you deal with chi ...
... and what about rho?
... and upsilon?
MH: As there's no universally accepted pronunciation system there will by
definition be some people who'll disagree with the pronunciation I or anyone
else might recommend. But perhaps far fewer will object to me saying:
Find the system you like the sound of ( ... or are physically capable of
speaking ;-) and then practise it over and over on familiar passages until
the Greek text becomes spoken SOUND rather than just printed words.
Learning the English or German ... or whatever ... equivalents for letters
is all very well - but the problem comes when you try and put the sounds
together into words, and the words into sentences.
If you don't have a teacher you can actually listen to and repeat phrases
after I think you'd do well to listen to audio recordings. There aren't
many available, but Marilyn Phemester has got some way through the NT and
you can download her RealAudio files from her website at:
I myself have a slightly different pronunciation system to hers, and you can
find my audio recordings of half a dozen well-known passages on:
To answer your specific questions: chi doesn't need phlegm at all (but if
you have some to spare it won't hurt). In essence it is a SUSTAINABLE
sound - as opposed to kappa, which must be instantaneous (or, to use jargon,
"plosive"). Never pronounce it as in "church" ... please!
I think a rolled rho tends to work better, and it's always good to try and
get the "h" sound in when it starts a word (the rough breathing IS there for
a reason) ... do a karioke to Stevie Nicks singing "Rhiannon".
The biggest thing to avoid with upsilon is the natural English tendency to
lengthen it to the omicron+upsilon sound in "boot" or "hoot". I always keep
it short as in "but" or "hut". But each to their own ...
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