[B-Greek] Pronunciation

Mark Lightman lightmanmark at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 26 14:54:28 EST 2009

Hi Vasile,
I found your site and the audio samples to be interesting, helpful,
and KALA.  I would characterize your system as essentially
Erasmian with a few concessions to MG (B-V, AU-af.)  As a result
I find your samples easier to understand and internalize than Buth or
MG, but maybe a little smoother, more flowing than say Phemister, though again
she remains my favorite as she is still the easiest for me to understand and like
you I have abandoned the standard of what is 'authentic," "natural"
or even "pleasing."
I note that you, like Rico, appear to shorten HTA to an e as in
"pet" in closed syllables, and you, as he does, sometimes do
this with omicron, "aw" as in "law" in at least some closed syllables.
I'm not going to criticize this as I never criticize anything having
to do with pronunciation, but I do wonder why you choose to do this.
It does lead to more homophones, which I continue to maintain are
the enemy of comprehension, though enemies which can be overcome.
I did not notice you differing from the standard accentuation
as it is taught in ancient Greek.  Have I missed something?
Bottom line is that I have added your samples to my MP3 player
and I thank you for them.  The dirty little secret of pronunciation is
that everyone would choose to do it a little differently, which is
another reason to avoid dogmaticsm on this issue.  I like what you
have come up with.  

Mark L


--- On Thu, 12/24/09, Vasile STANCU <stancu at mail.dnttm.ro> wrote:

From: Vasile STANCU <stancu at mail.dnttm.ro>
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Pronunciation
To: "'A. J. Birch'" <AJB1212 at ono.com>, "'B-Greek'" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Thursday, December 24, 2009, 4:41 AM

Recently I have learned to abstain from declaring a certain system to be
better than another, let alone the idea of correctness. However, I would
like to share with you the way I understand to pronounce ancient Greek. This
is not the result of a rigorous research; rather, it is intended to be a
practical attempt to accomodate the sounds that I hear with today's Greek,
and the limitations set by the accentuation system and grammatical forms,
which should not be confused with each other, I believe, for the sake of
complying with one pronounciation system or another.

I have been long looking for a native Greek speaker who proposes a
pronounciation system other than modern Greek, but I believe there is no
such thing available for the time being.

There is a description of the pronounciation system that I am currently
using at this address: http://referinte-greaca.xhost.ro/index-en.htm. In the
same material I have placed some audio samples recorded by myself: Genesis
1:1-2:3 (ancient Greek), John 3:1-16 (ancient Greek) and 1John 1:1-7 (modern

Vasile Stancu

-----Original Message-----
From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of A. J. Birch
Sent: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 10:18 AM
To: B-Greek
Subject: [B-Greek] Pronunciation

Dear 'B-Greekers',

Nikolaos Adamou wrote,
"There is another audio with more attention to the accents in:
Although the voice is still not natural..."

In an effort to move from the Erasmian pronunciation that I was 'brought up
on' to something more like 'real Greek', I've been listening to the John
Simon recordings and adapting my pronunciation to his. What do those of you
who know more about this than I do think of the Simon recordings - his
pronunciation, etc.? Is there something better 'out there'?


Andrew J. Birch
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
B-Greek mailing list
B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org

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