[B-Greek] language pronunciation

Nikolaos Adamou nikolaos.adamou at hotmail.com
Sun May 3 22:01:19 EDT 2009

"without the using the affectations of Mediterranean Sounding langages"

Precisely, Greek is a Mediterranean

When I had to learn English, I had to learn its sound.

When you have to learn Greek, you have to learn its sound.

If not, you do not learn Greek with its natural sound in its historic pronunciation.

When Randal reads, even if he does not sound natural to me the native speaker,
he is very close, and I understand him.

This is important, Randal made a great step.

When someone reads Erasmian and a native cannot understand him/her, 

and then the sound is not of that language.

Erasmian sounds natural to a non native? 

Those who tried the native Greek pronunciation 

state the opposite. It is natural.

If someone does not want to try or use the native Greek pronunciation it is

there is no need for arguments.

It is a choice (right or wrong, I respect it)

In my bible reading group with other University professor

it does not bother me that they read Erasmian,

this is what they learn, and I do not try to impose my

native sound.  They also listen to me in
my native sound.

What bothers me is that, Greek or Greek Americans University students

who take Classical Greek in College could failed because 

professors want only to hear Erasmian.

I know several such cases.  I do not
accept that.

This is not education, it is fasism.

> Date: Mon, 4 May 2009 08:45:12 +1000
> From: klriley at alphalink.com.au
> To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] language pronunciation
> But do all, or even most, Americans who learn an Erasmian pronunciation
> intend to only ever interact with other like-minded Americans?  Hasn't Greek
> suffered enough already from those who think it is enough like something
> else (whether Latin accentuation, or Latin grammar, or English/American
> pronunciation) not to bother understanding it as it really was?  Greek
> should not sound like American or English or French, or Spanish or Italian
> or anything else.  It should sound like Greek.  If we follow your argument
> for pronunciation, why not for grammar as well?  Or even for the meaning of
> words?  It would certainly make learning Greek easier if we could assume a
> one-to-one correspondence between Greek words and English words.
> Kevin Riley
> -------Original Message------- 
> From: Mark Lightman 
> Date: 4/05/2009 3:08:13 AM 
> --- On Sun, 5/3/09, Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com> wrote: 
> <It has one advantage and one only (and for its deliberately continuing 
> Users it is reason enough): the written characters of the Greek 
> Alphabet are pronounced -- more or less, rather than precisely -- with 
> Distinct enunciations.> 
> Erasmianism has one more advantage that I have only 
> Recently come to believe IS an advantage. Americans can 
> Speak it without the using the affectations of Mediterranean 
> Sounding langages, the rolled the R's, the sharp, unglided 
> Vowels, the various pitches. Until recently, I believed that 
> Even Erasmian Greek should sound like French or Spanish 
> Or Italian (not to mention Modern Greek) because this IS 
> No doubt more pleasing to the ear. In my Greek Reading 
> Group, one lady speaks Erasmian with a French accent 
> And she sounds better than the rest of us. For a time I 
> Tried to do this myself. Then I realized that while 
> She SOUNDS better than all of us, she is HARDER to 
> Understand than the rest of us. I now believe that for Americans, 
> Greek is and always will be easier to understand if it does 
> NOT sound Mediterranean. Two things convinced me of this 
> Marilyn Phemester and my eight year old. I cannot overstate 
> How much easier Phemester is to follow than any reader I have 
> Ever heard, precisely because she makes NO attempt to 
> Roll her R's or not glide her vowels. She is easer to understand 
> Even than Pennington precisely because she sounds LESS 
> Near Eastern than even he does. As to my son, he learned 
> The Lord's Prayer in Greek when he was five and he now 
> Recites it in my mind perfectly with an Erasmian flair that is 
> Absolutely indistinguishable from natural English, this being 
> A GOOD thing. Buth's new recordings of John are much 
> Harder to follow not only because of his pronunicaiton, but 
> Because of his Near Eastern flair, a great thing aesthetically but 
> In my opinon wrong for purposes of learning Greek. 
> What I am saying is both obvious and counter-intuitive. Okay, 
> let's say Erasmianism IS the only artificial language. Maybe this 
> Is exactly the way to go, create a pronunciation that sounds 
> Terrible to the extent that it sounds just like English-Greek, but 
> WORKS. I can hear Randall screaming right now, that of course 
> It HASN"T worked, but maybe that's only because it hasn't 
> Been engaged through the lips and the ear, but that the 
> Pronunciation scheme itself CAN work if so engaged. I think 
> Many of us on the list feel that Randall is absolutely correct 
> About his emphasis on audio learning, but is absolutely wrong about 
> Rejecting Erasmus. Erasmus has two advantages, not one: 
> The one Carl mentioned and the fact that it best preserves the 
> American accent, which for learning Greek is a good thing, 
> For Americans, anyway. 
> Am I saying that Americans should learn to speak 
> French using an American accent rather than sounding 
> Like Frenchmen? Yes, I guess I am, if they intended 
> To communicate with other Americans and intended 
> Never to go to France, as I intend never to go to 
> Ancient Greece. I think this would 
> Be easier and MORE efficient. I think someone on the list 
> Said this recently, that people actually learn languages 
> Better and faster it they speak it and hear it not like 
> Native speakers of the target language, but like 
> Native speakers of their own. This I guess is my point, 
> Obvious, but maybe with the added benefit of being true? 
> Mark L 
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