Is there any particular reason we're translating the letter names differently than they're normally rendered in English?
"Almost correct! It's 'ypsilon'!"
I know that the goal is to teach how to pronounce the letters in Greek, but in English, it's upsilon. And it's xi. And it's phi. And it's chi. And it's psi. And it's kappa. And it's beta. And it's zeta. And it's mu. And it's nu. And it's eta. And it's pi. And it's tau.
And a lot of the time it acts like these are invalid translations, when they are in fact overwhelmingly the most common.
Forcing people to render μι and φι as "mee" and "fee" is a bit like only accepting "Athina" for Αθήνα... when the place is called "Athens" in English.
Most English translations butcher the correct pronunciation of Greek letters and words. The way this program makes you spell each translation is in fact the correct way to pronounce each letter. If you continue to translate the pronunciation in bad form it will confuse proper translation later on.
Your comment that "a translation butchers the pronunciation" is nonsensical.
A translation does not do ANYTHING to Greek pronunciation. It converts the meaning of a Greek word to a word in English with the same meaning. Whether that sounds exactly the same, similar, or completely different, is irrelevant.
Whether an English word has its roots in Ancient Greek or Ancient German or Hindi or whatever, and how much it has evolved from that root does not make it more or less "correct"; it is simply a historical fact of our language. Conversely, how closely a word in modern Greek resembles its spelling or pronunciation in Ancient Greek does not make it any more or less "correct"; it is simply a historical fact of your language.
A transliteration converts the letters of one alphabet to the letters of another in order to represent, as closely as possible, given the limitation of the letters available in the various alphabets. Inasmuch as an alphabet is the means by which the users of a that aphabet try to represent sounds, then it is a representation of pronunciation.
You have a justifiable complaint where foreign writers try to transliterate modern Greek as if it were ancient Greek. That is simply a false mapping between letters, and produces a nonsense.
But we have just as much right to call Αθήνα "Athens", as you have to call London "Λονδίνο". No good comes of anyone telling someone else that their own language should use different words for something; that is simply insulting.
What is ridiculous is if I write about Άθενζ (when I am writing in Greek) or you write "I went to Londino".
This arises from mixing translation and transliteration.
So only poor translation will result if the course accepts (only!) transliteration here, when it asks for translation.
If you tell me that the English word for χ is "hee" you are inventing a word that exists in no dictionary of the English language! If you claim that transliteration=translation, then you are arguing that Λονδον ις α μπιγκ σιτι is a sentence in good Greek!
Άθενζ with zeta at the end is closer to how I pronounce the city name in English.
Thanks. I am still trying to attune my ear to the modern pronunciation. I'll amend my example to make my post clearer.
The greek letter names you have learned in English are for CLASSIC Greek, which is a different language from MODERN Greek, the language taught in this course. Sometime you have to understand this and stop complaining for nothing. How are you going to spell a word to a Greek so that he can understand you - beta theta and mu? Nobody will know those letters (maybe they'll recognise the mu, since it's the sound cows make).
Hey! Let's make the letters clear:
α- άλφα - alpha, pronounced like "a" - Anna, apple
β- βήτα - veeta (not "beta"), pronounced like "v" - vanish, event
γ- γάμμα - gamma, pronounced almost like "y" - your, yellow
δ- δέλτα- delta, pronounced almost like "th" in "the", "though"
ε- έψιλον - epsilon, pronounced like "e" in "merchant" or "palEtte"
ζ- ζήτα -zeeta, pronounced like "z"- zoo, zebra
η- ήτα - eeta, pronounced like "ee" - bee and "e" in she
θ- θήτα - theeta, pronounced almost like "th" in "through", "thesis"
ι- ιώτα - yiota, pronounced just as "η" κ- κάππα - kappa, pronounced as "k", kilo or "c" in "acrobat"
λ- λάμδα - lamda, pronounced as "L", elephant, olive
μ- μι - mee, pronounced as "m", me, room
ν- νι - nee, pronounced as "n", nerd, nothing
ξ- ξι -ksee, pronounced as "x", exhausted, sex
ο- όμικρον - omicron, pronounced as "o", pro, acrobat
π- πι -pee, pronounced as "p", people, party
ρ- ρο -ro, pronounced as "r", radar, from
σ/ς- σίγμα - sigma, pronounced as "s", safe, start
τ- ταυ - taf, pronounced as "t", staff, terrible
υ- ύψιλον - eepsilon, pronounced as "ι" and "η"
φ- φι -fee, pronounced as "f", forget, fast
χ- χι - hee, pronounced as "h" in "hope" and "have"
ψ- ψι -psee, pronounced as "ps" (like "psychology", but there isn't a proper sound in English)
ω- ωμέγα - omega, pronounced like "ο"
Now, if you see:
ντ= pronounced like "d", drama, donut
μπ= pronounced like "b", but, bee
τζ= pronounced like "j", joke, jelly
τσ= pronounced like "ch", cheery, cheek
γγ/γκ = pronounced like "g", good, great
And last but not least:
ει/οι = pronounced like "ι","η" and "υ"
αι= pronounced like "ε"
ευ= pronounced like "euph", (euphoria) ex."ευτυχία) or "ev"(Eva) ex. "ευγένεια"
αυ= pronounced like "af" (αυτό) or "av" (αυγό)
EXCEPT: When you see εϊ/οϊ/αϊ or έι/όι/άι/έυ/άυ, you pronounce them as they are (e-i, o-i, a-i, e-u, a-u)
Hope everything is clear now.