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OT -- wayyy OT: phonetic pronunciation


I spent half the day trying to locate a very old cartoon on the subject of
Latin speech, but can't find it.   Did find some other long-missing documents
I've been looking for, though, so it was worth it, if still frustrating.  So,
instead of the cartoon, I send you the following story:

Years ago, I helped the newly-appointed head of Catholic Relief Services for
Turkey, a retired British MI5 agent, clear the establishment of her office
with the Istanbul authorities, and she returned the favor when I had to
interview the Papal Legate to Turkey regarding a renegade fascist priest.
Having ascertained beforehand that the Legate had only French and Spanish, and
I had neither, but knowing that she had French, I asked her to accompany me.
Having had 6 years of Latin in a seminary, I was able to converse in a
rudimentary fashion with the Legate, who was used to the language in Rome; but
without my friend's assistance in French, it would have been a very lame
interview.

As to the difference between classical and vulgar (or Church) Latin
pronunciation, Neil's example of the German "Kaiser" as echoing the classical
pronunciation of "Caesar" is a good one.  The vulgar pronunciation is
"chay-zar", with its own echoes in "Czar", "Tsar", etc. So, the differences
can be wide.  --  Griff

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