There is no Classical vs Ecclesiastical
I've seen a few posts in the sentence discussions deriding the use of the Classical pronunciation, calling the Ecclesiastical more natural or living. People firing back are making equally silly claims.
I use both, a value both. If you want to debate phonology, or discuss how the Classical pronunciation was reconstructed, feel free to do so on the main Latin forum. Can we please keep it civil and mature? Saying one "sound stupid!" reminds me of my thirteen year old nephew arguing with his friend over Xbox vs Playstation.
The most important thing is that the sentence discussions are not the place for this debate. Each sentence discussion is there to discuss the sentence (hence the name). If someone asks why Livia sounds like Liwia, please refrain from beating this dead horse.
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If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all folks. Let's not spoil Latin.
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May I say, although slightly off topic: To the young lady who, with courage and gusto, lent her voice to this course, even though her native language is not a Romance one: I salute you. Thank you for your work. For every loudmouth critic out there, there would be dozens of people like me who appreciate what you have done.
Yeah, if it were me, I'd never do a voice recording again after getting that level of criticism heaped on my head. Tossing my pearls before swine and all that....
I found the female voice really good. The male is often not respecting the vowel length and that is unfortunate mainly because there is no other indication of it (like the macrons).
I studied medieval Latin at university and I heard nothing but the---what we called---"Carolingian pronunciation". If I can stand "Liwia" everybody can. :)
Thanks for your great work bringing Latin to Duolingo!
I have refrained from starting the Latin course, because I know the BETA testers are making their contribution to work out the "bugs" and to give valuable feedback. But I am appalled by the sheer negativity, arrogance and audaciousness of some users who want to spew their venom upon this budding course, as if their opinion -- supreme over all others -- mattered most. What are we talking about here: 2000 years? Sure, troll, your petty, provincial mindset is what the entire Duolingo Latin community should use as our guiding compass. Riiiiiight...
I have refrained from starting the Latin course . . .
The contributors must have been busy this weekend, as the course seems much more "forgiving" than it was at first. There may have been lots of alternate sentences typed in this weekend!
Hope you like the course when you do begin it.
Indeed, they are very active and not just over the weekend. I got 31 Feedback e-mails since I started the course.
I will be honest when I say that I preffer the Ecclesiastical pronounciation rather than the Classical one because my first language is a Romance one, and the Ecclesiastical sounds better to me because of this, BUT I don't complain about the use of Classical on this one. Sure, it's weird to hear Liwia when I actually know people called Livia (many people in my country still use names from the time of the Romans, barely changed, like Flavius, Patricia, Corina, Traian etc) but it's bearable, I just tune it out and repeat the sentence in Ecclesiastical.
What bothers me however is what seems to be the errors in the audio. I have to be honest, some of the audio sounds very anglicised and it is read weirdly, as if the person has just gotten into Latin recently, and still struggles to not read the text like in English, especially in words like California. This is, however, pretty common in people who are new to a language, so if the speaker on these sentences is new to Latin, I applaud them for trying to provide audio for the course, and I hope that in the future the new audio will be corrected accordingly.
Okay, watched a bit of it because I need to be somewhere, and wow I like how he pronouces it, even though it is Classical. I guess it's because most of the people I have heard pronouncing/using Classical are anglophones that sadly anglicise the pronounciation without realising (where I live, Ecclesiastical is basically the Latin you are taught in school, even in uni as far as I can tell. I guess it's because with it it is easier to point out how certain words changed to fit our modern language)
I completely agree with your observation about Anglophones. I am English and I am convinced that English vowels are really unsuited to Latin. We can't know precisely how Latin vowels sounded, but they surely did not sound like our murky English or chewy American vowels. So Spanish or Italian vowels are a best guess, and in any case they make the language sound like something that could be alive, at least to me.
Yeah, when we learned Latin, our teacher basically said "okay the pronounciation was kept roughly the same in our modern language, except the following: insert the Ecclesiastical Latin rules of reading". My native language is Romanian, so I think that at least these three (I do not know about Portuguese, but French sounds really far off from Latin to me, because of the way stuff is read in French, but again, haven't heard a francophone read Latin yet) seem to be the best bet in terms of vowels, at least according to both "sides" of the reading.
Portuguese vowels are really close to Latin ones, to the exception of ã, which is quite close to the Romanian ă (but nasalized), and the Iberian unstressed e which is pronounced very close to the Romanian î.
With that said, Latin also had nasal vowels (the words with -m at the end), but the thing is, Portuguese nasal vowels can be quite uneven, with ranço real (real/royal rancidity) forming a minimal pair with rã surreal (surreal frog) because the first is actually pronounced with an ng-like sound [ɰ̃], which is like the Spanish approximant g, but nasalized (or a nasal [w] but without lip rounding).
With that said, short Classical Latin /i/ and short Classical Latin /u/ actually favor speakers of English and German, since they are the bit and cook vowels.
Thanks for the link, I always love to listen to different people speaking. But I'm not sure if we could call that Classical, hence he pronounces the modern V.
Using 'v' is perfectly acceptable isn't it? It just puts you at 200AD rather than 50BC; or else it's how the plebians and rustici spoke at 50BC.
In all other respects he and his students are using standard classical consonants and dipthongs, vowel length etc.
As an aside, very many people in Europe who otherwise use Classical use a 'v' sound; I think this is a lot to do with the absence of a 'w' in many modern European languages.
"Using 'v' is perfectly acceptable isn't it? " You're taking things out of context now. You've claimed that he uses classical pronunciation, and we do have some clear standards for that - and that professor was ignoring one of the key points (using just like the vulgar form)... so again, I don't think to claim that is classical per se is correct. I'm not saying anything like "pronouncing like that it's not acceptable dude" so please don't start that.
Furthermore: do you have links for your claims that the plebe in the city of Rome actually pronounced the "v" in the modern way since circa 50CE? The "v" sound specifically, from what I've heard before, came from outsiders, and only arrived in Rome later on. So, if that was the case, I think that "v" (even among the plebe) have really popped by the end/fall of the empire or so.
In every respect except use of "v" for "w" these folks use the 'classical' pronunciation. They use hard 'c' and have all the long vowels and dipthongs as Classical rather than Ecclesiastical.
IIRC Cicero complains about rustics using "v" rather than "w". So the sound was in use very early and changed over time within what you might call the 'classical' period. I'll see if I can find more on this later but it's too much for me to look for right now.
So it seems a bit strong to dismiss their pronunciation as "not classical" when it is only one feature that is at variance, and that feature was one that AIUI changed within the period of the Roman Empire, rather than after it.
Well, I think if they miss on purpose one of the key concepts of what is now named "Classical pronunciation" they will set the standards loose - for an already chaotic topic. So, just my opinion, I think we should care for these details to avoid more confusion being spread around about Latin... if you don't want to call that Vulgar, I think we could come in terms calling that a "quasi-classical" or something.
About the sources, I asked not to be a pain in the bum, but because a lot of info that I read about that is rather vague and, in my opinion, they don't reveal the extent of what that could be, so I keep looking to find more about it to see if some day I'll have a clearer idea about the issue.
" I'll see if I can find more on this later but it's too much for me to look for right now." Sure, I completely understand, thanks for the answer.
P.S. Above, as you can read, I assumed that you was talking about the city of Rome when you mentioned your dates... because if we would use the foreigners skills in Latin throughout the empire I think that would be a rather silly position. So my question was related to if the Romans¹ really pronounced like that back then (circa 50CE). ¹Romans/Latins - not focusing on monetary power but rather in the descendants of the settlers/founders of that area) - Just to make my question clear.
Whom do you call foreigners? There were Roman citizens all over the empire. If you want to concentrate on the city and the surroundings, it is much better to return a few centuries back. Say, the wars with Senons or perhaps the Punic wars.
Cannot reply: Yes, I am being completely serious. American English is also a perfectly fine English. And Aussie or Kiwi English is as well. By the 50CE Latin was already well on its way to be mainly the literally language of people with various vernaculars.
I think sometimes he uses the Spanish "soft" b: [β]. You can tell that his native tongue is Spanish since he rolls all the r's at the beginning of words, which is a requirement in Spanish. (The female student also does it as a Spaniard would when she reads the sentence at 4:30.) Actually, the v [w] in Classical Latin started to morph into the Spanish soft b [β] in Vulgar Latin so much so that v/b were often flipped in texts. (This still happens with Spanish speakers today! They will often write *baca when it's vaca "cow.")
Eventually most other Romance languages changed it to the current [v] we use in English as in "very." Many Iberian languages pronounce b and v the same as they did in Vulgar Latin: northern dialects of European Portuguese, Galician (Portuguese's sister language, spoken in the northwest corner of Spain), Spanish (including all dialects of Latin America), Catalan (potentially excluding some Valencian speakers and Catalan speakers from the Balearic Islands and Alghero, Sardinia), and southern dialects of Occitan (a romance language spoken in France).
I personally think we should use [v] if we can pronounce it as it's pronounced in many other European languages, but honestly, we can all go ahead and invent our own dialects. We shall see whose dialect will be powerful enough to revive Latin. If Hebrew did it, can't we? (The circumstances are very different, but maybe just maybe it will happen.)
Wait! Are you sure? I just looked him up on the internet. His real name is Jorge Tárrega, and he's taught for many years at universities and high schools in Valencia, Spain. https://www.uv.es/uvweb/universidad/es/ficha-persona-1285950309813.html?p2=jortaga
Here's an article in Spanish about him: https://www.larazon.es/local/comunidad-valenciana/salve-magister-IN14191797
Lol, I tried to defend him. I can see that. His intonation sounds very Italian ("bumpier" than Spanish). In any case, he probably can't pronounce /w/ since it doesn't really exist in Italian as an intervocalic consonant of sorts. It's also probably why he never pronounces the /h/... Italians have trouble with that sound. Spanish speakers can at least use some modified form of /x/ (as in gente or jirafa).
Equally distressing to me was the heated comments about gay marriage that were posted in the sentence discussions at the start of the Latin course. I do hope there is some way of removing that from the sentence discussion as the I’ve never seen a discussion degenerate so badly elsewhere in a Duolingo course. Maybe that’s already been dealt with and I missed it in which case my sincerest thanks. And apologies for raising the sorry subject again as the sooner we can all move on from these appallingly disrespectful interactions the better.
I deleted quite a few and warned the users. If you see any discussions that are out of control you can post a link to it here.
Thank you for all your hard work and for this especially :-) I love how interactive the Latin course is and really appreciate how promptly things are being dealt with. And it’s good to know that if U come across any more of those kinds of comments there’s somewhere to report them and something can be done about it. Your doing a great job!
Yes, sometimes Livia doesn't sounds equal to others in the same course, but common, this is free course and the beta testers are doing their best. I support every developer here for doing the most you can do.
My native language is a romance language and I love how classical latin sounds like despite being different from what I use on my daily life.
One thing that bothers me a little bit is that I usually try to avoid politics and controversial topics and when I'm on Duolingo I tend to relax and use my free time to do something for myself, other courses tend to be "woke" in many sentences which is rather annoying when you just want to learn a language and not be forced to repeat ideologies or agendas, can someone please just teach us a language and avoid raising flags or trying to get woke? How would you feel if the only way to learn what you want was to repeat something political that you may or may not agree with over and over again? I already came across a few things on the family skill that seem to be kinda forced regarding that "wokeness"
Thank you for expressing your opinion without choosing to be derogatory in your language. I support your right to your point of view. I would ask you though to see if you could imagine being in a situation where you had the opposite experience to your own in your personal life. And you too wanted to just quietly learn a language without politics or someone else’s idea of the right way to live being forced on you. Unfortunately you would still actually have the same experience on Duolingo of constantly having to type out something you may or may not agree with. Because what you might call the “un-awoke” version of life that you see as not political is expressed constantly on Duolingo. If you happened to have that other (“awoke”) experience then it might feel like there was a political agenda going on trying to promote the “un-awoke” point of view.
I actually agree with you that there is a small section of the family section of the course course that might have veered into more than 50% “awoke” point of view. Although there are many other places on this - and other - Duolingo courses where there is more than 50% “un-awoke” materials. I would suggest though that it is unrealistic to aim for a non-political course since whenever you ignore one side you are in fact promoting the ideologies and agendas of the other. What I would hope for is that Duolingo course writers aim at equal representation of both “woke” and “un-awoke” views and any other kind of views that may exist so that life as a whole is reflected in Duolingo and not just one view of it. As far as I can tell that is what Duolingo writers attempt and on the whole I personally think they do a pretty good job in a situation where inevitably you probably can’t entirely please anyone.
I understand where you are coming from but I just dont like agendas and politics from both sides, I want to learn a language and enjoy my time doing so without problematization of anything, I dont want to type in Feminist or Marxist or Fascist or any other kind of ideology, I want the language, the vocabulary, it is completely possible to be neutral and avoid shoving ideologies down on people's throats.
the world is already divided enough and politics has become a divisive and rather annoying topic for most people who are not into it or just want to be neutral and sometimes thats what it feels like, everywhere we go someone is trying to shove politics down our throats, I dont like that, I dont want to know what people think, I want to learn a very beautiful and old language which basically gave origin to my native language. And no the diversity of thought in Duolingo is small, I have seen Marxist citations, citations from Feminist books and famous authors and everything relating to this "woke" culture (thats a slang btw, thats why its not 'awoke') but never the opposite, I want neutrality, not one neither the other, just the language, I dont care about what kind of social justice or identity politics you are into, I just want Latin. What about using phrases from old classical Latin texts for example? its both realistic and will avoid any kind of political theme we live today, Latin is not a limited language
Sometimes it gives me the impression that they want to force it upon you and are not focusing entirely on teaching us the language, because they know you will have to write that down several times regardless of you agreeing with it or not, I may even give them the benefit of the doubt and say that its not intentionally made to annoy us but because they think its fair or right or that we need diversity (which is the definition of being biased), but I dont think anyone comes to Duolingo looking for politics or any kind of social justice, we want to learn the language, the way people will use those words is up to them.
A minority which is rather vocal everywhere on the internet will always find something to get outraged at and ask for more activism, that is one of the things that makes me want to distance myself from politics at least here. Discussing politics is part of a language but making people repeat your views over and over again is not a discussion, I bet that if Duolingo had ideologies contrary to those we often see here, people would be enraged at it and would demand for changes and ask the mods to remove those sentences because its something bad, but since this is all for diversity and social justice you cant complain about it because that makes you a horrible person by default. I just came here to learn languages, its something I consider very important and fun, regardless of what your views are you definitely would not like to repeat something you disagree with or dont like and its definitelly not necessary to the learning process.
Lets focus and prioritize the language learning, thats what we are here for, contributors should teach us the language and not their personal beliefs, if we keep neutral we will avoid conflicts with both sides, Latin has been used for thousands of years and I bet we can find many sentences in texts from the Roman empire or whatever which dont have a political agenda that could be related to what we have today, I really wish we had zero activism on all courses because that way it would not become something personal or awkward and people from both sides would be able to peacefully enjoy learning a language without getting into any kind of personal conflict with the course and its sentences. I bet that some people would try to make an argument at how some things must be changed and that those Original Roman texts are not diverse enough but thats their own bias, sticking to original material would keep the sources neutral and interpretation up to whoever is looking for problems instead of shoving someone's opinions on our faces to make the small extremist groups happy
Diversity is not to make small extremist groups happy - it represents the vast cultural differences between the nationalities of the people who use Duolingo. A whole nation isn’t a small political group. Things that are common place in my country- the UK - are unheard of even in some other European countries.
which is why political activism can also upset people from other places, cultures, religions and all kinds of backgrouds so neutrality could benefit everyone way more than trying to be woke and pander to a certain agenda. This is a global community and the scale only tips to one side, the groups that want the scale to tip even more to one side and object to the reduction or even exclusion of problematization from the platform are part of this extreme vocal minority that want to force people to hear what they believe in, those can be both from the right and left and I want to have a place where I can simply learn languages and enjoy my free time. I dont care if a contributor wants open borders, is a marxist or a feminist or a fascist or nationalist, I WANT TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO TEACH US, WITHOUT BEING FORCED TO REPEAT THEIR BELIEFS, WHATEVER THEY MIGHT BE. Or if that is not possible I want to see my beliefs appearing on Duolingo as well if I disagree with those that are already on the course, because if its okay to represent one side of the discourse and that sort of idea its also okay to represent my side of the idea if I disagree with that thus creating intellectual diversity
I'm really interested now what views expressed in the sentences are 'political'. Could anybody give some examples?
for some people who may have certain religious beliefs, backgrounds or nationalities, being forced to write down "the woman has a wife" and "the man has a husband" for example might cause some personal discomfort and conflict, and given Duo's history on having Feminist and Marxist citation people probably see it as activism and expect to see even more down the road. its a matter of someone will not like that and they have the right to do so, the problem is that it causes this huge tension on people from both sides that might try to get involved, I came here to learn languages, having activism kinda ruins part of the experience for me because I'm sick of politics from both sides, I want to have at least an hour of my day without any kind of agenda being pushed anywhere and personally some courses have sentences that make me uncomfortable, if at least there was an open forum so people could discuss those kinds of things it would be fair, but this is not a forum its a langauge learning platform and while politics is part of languages this is more like a monologue than a discussion because we just want to learn languages and not repeat what the devs believe in, if political phrases can be used here we should at least have one from each side of the discourse which would ruin the platform so keeping it neutral would be better for all of us
I just use Ecclesiastical in my head and ignore (not always and I mean no offense. I just need to focus on Ecclesiastical Pronunciation) Duo’s Classical Pronunciation.
As a side note the comments trashing people’s pronunciation, nationalities’ and the homophobia within a couple days of release were a major let down for me.
If you find any of those comments that we missed, please post a link here so we can delete them.
As much as I’d love to do that I can’t because I use the app, but the comments on the app for the Parents skill before the first checkpoint have some particularly anti Semitic and homophobic comments. Including one person calling another a three letter word that’s an insult to gay men. Tragic. Why can people just learn and move on?
I am not defending people doing that but some feel like this is activism and that they are being forced to say that over and over again, and honestly nobody likes to to or say something they dont agree with regardless of being right or wrong. this only created division and conflict on both sides, I wish the course was neutral and they used sentences from old classical Latin texts in order to get something that cant really be compared to our current political climate, I really dont think anyone here came to Duolingo to see politics and ideologies since duolingo is a tool for learning and wont change the world or define what a language is
Being gay is just that, a state of being. No one should be offended by a sentence which says “the man has a husband”. I see straight people “sentences” all the time and I really, truly don’t mind. It’s not a political thing to me. Just a human thing. I’m not saying you even have to agree, but for people to refrain from calling people an “abomination” or a “f*g”.
It’s not appropriate to speak to people in such a manner.
as I said, I am not defending anyone, I also think its wrong, but you have to understand that both sides think they are correct thats why you will always have discussions and thats why some feel like they are being forced to do something they disagree with because you cant just skip that sentence and go to the next one
the world has become extremely polarized and I have seen many times on Duolingo Marxist, Feminist and all kinds of other sentences that a lot of people might disagree deeply with and yet they had to repeat those sentences several times, some religions are completely against homosexuality and others not so much, people have the right to dislike whatever they want although being polite or explaining that is a better approach than to just call people names. and that's why I think everyone could benefit if duo tried to be more neutral so that people acting crazy wont be mad and you wont be offended
I’m sorry but this is a free platform. No one, absolutely no one, is forced to do any of these lessons. There’s simply no need to say derogatory things or complain about a sentence which references something that is a normal part of society.
I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to spam and this isn’t the appropriate place.
in order to continue the course and reach your goal of learning the language on Duolingo you are absolutely forced to write down and do that lesson unless you have enough money to pay for latin or other language courses that usually are not that easy to find, and since its a free platform I'm sorry but they have the right to say if they dont like those sentences at all regardless of you being offended or not, thats why this becomes an issue and a neutral course would be good for both parties
Don't forget there are really not just these two, but a whole range of regional pronunciations. I normally read to myself with the pronunciation I was taught and what most biologists around use when pronouncing species names. It is closest to the "German" one although Czech is a Slavic language.
For example, it sounds to me very strange when I hear Carmina Burana sang in the modern ecclesiastical pronunciation when they are medieval songs of German origin composed by a German in the 20th century.
I think in general that’s a great suggestion. We all need to accept the right of others to have a different opinion from our own in order to concentrate on the sentence discussions themselves. Unfortunately in a few cases both sides of an opinion have become quite unpleasant in the language they use to assert their views. I wasn’t objecting to the opinions expressed but to the manner in which they were being expressed. Some of the language was quite vile and the tone became derogatory from both sides in the particular instance I referred to.
I kind of want to learn "vulgar" Latin, because that's what all the normal people spoke back in the Roman Empire or after it? (Correct me if possible). Because if you spoke Classical Latin, wouldn't normal lower class folk back then be like, "what the hell is she saying?" But . . . there aren't really any well documented forms of the common spoken language, soooo . . . .
If only . . . I don wanna sound like some rich dude.
The differences between Classical Latin and vulgar Latin are often exaggerated. You can get glimpses of it in certain works (the Satyricon comes to mind) and then read books about the differences.
Vulgar Latin has more street cred, you reckon? Good luck with that one ;-)
There is a bit of evidence if you dig around. Three obvious examples are:
- Pronounce consonant v as 'v' - this was thought of as common
- Drop final 'm's at the end of accusatives (-am, -um, -em)
- Drop 'h' at the start of words
You can also find books about swearing in Latin, there are entire careers that have been devoted to understanding Latin prophanity.
Recte dicis confrater.. Quamquam 'sententia' in his lectionibus solum 'opinion' significat, profecto eo loco sententias nostras de ore ponere non debemus!
(rightly said, comrade.. although 'sententia' in these lessons only means 'opinion', we certainly should not be placing our opinions about pronunciation here.)