Q: Re: Pronunciation of the Greek diphthong "ei" and (vs.) the Greek letter "eta"

Trevor Peterson 06PETERSON at cua.edu
Thu Jan 9 13:48:40 EST 2003

>===== Original Message From "Robert E. Wermuth" 
<robertewermuth at worldnet.att.net> =====
>Any reason for NOT teaching the pronunciation of the Greek diphthong "ei"
>as sounded in the English "height?"

One reason is that it's not pronounced that way in Modern Greek or, 
apparently, in Roman-period Koine. (They seem to have interchanged EI with I.) 
Of course, that wouldn't get you to pronouncing it like H, but the way your 
question was articulated it's still relevant. (Plus, there is still the issue 
of confusing it with something else. Pedagogically, I agree that there would 
be good reason to keep the sounds as distinct as possible. On the other hand, 
most natural language learning involves sound and spelling mismatches, so one 
could argue that it's just part of what you do when learning a language.)

Trevor Peterson

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