Greek Pronunciation

Greek Language and Linguistics blog let’s us know about a paper in a post called Randall Buth on Hellenistic Pronunciation. This is out of my territory so feel free to comment on it. Esteban taught me pronunciation and I use some sort of a reconstruction, even though it’s a guess, along with one or two Spanish type rules. I can’t understand why the Erasmian way is taught in this day and age but I won’t go off on that again especially because it’s above my pay grade. The big disadvantage to this is how hard it is to use audio based tools where they use the now dorky sounding Erasmian pronunciation rules.

The interesting thing for me is nearly everything mentioned in this paper as far as pronunciation is what I do. Esteban taught me well and my little nuances happen to match this.

I thought I brought this up before on this blog but I didn’t find anything. I hope it’s of interest to somebody (and I don’t expect more than one or two) especially if just starting out.

Also see:
Greek/Latin Audio.comGreek Recordings

I’ve used Audacity to slow down these recordings so that it’s easier for me to follow along.

5 Responses to “Greek Pronunciation”


  1. 1 Mike Aubrey

    Buth’s pronunciation is derived from Francis Gignac’s Grammar of the Greek Papyri of the Roman and Byzantine Periods which has a wealth of information on this stuff — I’d be willing to bet that Esteban, knowing how he is, not only has a copy of Buth’s article on pronuncation, but also Buth’s Living Koine Greek materials *and* Gignac’s grammar.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    I remember Esteban saying it’s all just guessing anyway but wouldn’t doubt he was at least familiar with all this. Being able to speak modern Greek he opted for something more similar to that as far as I remember which I think is easier than Erasmian anyway. He stressed it’s just important to be consistent and it helps with recognition which I’ve found to be true. I wonder if he hears us talking about him.
    Jeff

  3. 3 Scripture Zealot

    This is the bi-polar (spelled different than the disorder) Greek team here.
    Jeff

  4. 4 Esteban Vázquez

    I am sorry to disappoint you, my dear Mike, but I do not in fact own a copy of Gignac’s two-volume grammar — a gaping hole in my library, indeed! I do, however, have rather extensive photocopies that I was able to make at a seminary library several years ago. (One of these days I will find my own copy!) But I am, of course, aware of everything you mention.

    Now Jeff, I am UNable to speak Modern Greek, but have had to master Modern Greek *pronunciation* for ecclesiastical purposes: it is, of course, what they use in Greece, Cyprus, and elsewhere for reading Biblical and ancient liturgical texts in Church Services. I do prefer the Modern Greek pronunciation inasmuch as it is a living, organic development in the linguistic history of Greek, which makes ancient texts sound like they are in a real language that people actually speak. I have, however, been known to mark breathings — particularly in the classroom. Your “tweaks,” as I recall, seemed to me rather close to Buth’s system. But again, yes, what’s most important is consistency.

    And of course I can hear you. I routinely google myself to watch over my honor and reputation! 😉

  5. 5 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks for chiming in Esteban. At first I was going to say that you can sing modern Greek, but then I thought you must be also able to speak it because of church services (or the term you use for congregational meetings).

    Thanks again for your help.

    And you shouldn’t be Googling yourself you should be reading every one of my posts like Mike does!
    Jeff

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