Latin dictionary

Hi everyone,

I’m trying to memorize some of the common prayers in Latin ( as suggested by Pope Benedict), but I’m a bit confused as to pronunciation. Does anyone know of a good ecclesiastical Latin dictionary with pronunciations?

Thanks, and keep the faith.

Marvin.

Pronounce it exactly like Italian.

The rule for where the accent or stress in a Latin word goes is also straight forward. If the word has only two syllables, the accent always falls on the first syllable. For example, amo is pronounced as AH-moe, not ah-MOE. If the word has three or more syllables, then where the stress is applied depends upon whether the syllable second to the last has a long vowel or not. If the second to last syllable has a long vowel in it, then the accent is placed on that syllable. If the second to the last syllable has a short vowel, then the previous syllable (the third syllable from the end). For example, peccata is pronounced pe-CAH-ta, since the a in the second syllable is long, but nomine is pronounced NOH-mi-neh, since the i of the second syllable is short. As I said, a good dictionary is most helpful here.

Pronunciation of the Letters

Since English borrowed its alphabet from Latin, the pronunciation of individual Latin letters is close to that of English. The differences are mainly the vowels and a few consonants.

Vowels

Long

Short

A as in father

A as in Dinah

E as in they

E as in met or pet

I as in machine

I as in pit or hit

O as in note

O as in off

U as in rude

U as in put

The distinction between a short or a long A is how long the vowel is actually pronounced. The long A is simply held longer than a short A, Ahhhhhhh versus ah.

Consonants

Consonants are “hard”, but some consonants take a hard form in front of some vowels and a soft form in front of other vowels:

These consonants are hard before a, o, u, au

And these are soft consonants before ae, e, oe, i:

C = k as in cot

C = ch as in chain

CC = kk as in accord

CC = tch as in catchy

SC = sk as in tabasco

SC = sh as in sheep

G = g as in go

G = soft g as in gentle

GN = “ni” as in onion (ny like sound)

TI - when followed by a third vowel becomes a tsee sound, as in tsetse fly

Sometimes one will see a “j” in Latin. Technically Latin has no letter J. It was introduced in the 13th century or thereabouts to differentiate between the vowel i and the consonant i. The consonantal i is like our y. “Major” in Latin is pronounced as MAH-yor. Until this last century, most printed Latin texts used the j to indicate the different sounds. Today the j’s are usually replaced with the more classical i’s.

Diphthongs

ae - as “ay” in say

au - as “ou” in house

oe - as “ay” in say

So now that we have all these good rules, let’s take some examples. Before we do, however, note one other difference between Latin and English. In English, word order is crucial. Dog bites man means something very different than man bites dog. In English, the word order distinguished who did what to whom. In Latin, it is the ending of the word that indicates who did what to whom. Vir (man) mordet (bites) canem (dog), vir canem mordet, canem vir mordet, canem mordet vir, mordet vir canem, and mordet canem vir all mean the same thing, man bites dog. So when we get to the examples, you will see a very different word order than what is demanded in English.

Now for the examples:


The Sign of the Cross:

Signum

Crucis

SIN-yum

CREW-chis

Latin

In

nomine

Patris,

et

Filii,

et

Spiritus

Sancti.

Amen.Pro:

In

NOH-mi-neh

PAH-tris

et

FEE-li-ee

et

SPEE-ri-toos

SANC-tee

AH-menTrans:

In

the name

of the Father

and

of the Son

and

of the Spirit

Holy.

Amen.


The Minor Doxlogy (Glory Be):

Doxologia

Minor

Docks-oh-loh-GEE-ah

MEE-nor

Latin

Gloria

Patri,

et

Filio,

et

Spiritui

Sancto.

Sicut

eratPro:

GLOH-ri-ah

PAH-tree

et

FEE-li-oh

et

Spee-RI-too-ee

SANC-toh

SEE-cut

EH-ratTrans:

Glory be

to the Father

and

to the Son

and

to the Spirit

Holy.

As

it was

Latin

in

principio

et

nunc

et

semper

et

in

saecula

saeculorumPro:

in

prin-CHI-pi-oh

et

noonk

et

SEM-pair

et

in

SAY-coo-la

say-coo-LO-rumTrans:

in

the beginning

and

now

and

always

and

unto

the ages

of ages*

how close is Spanish?

[quote=Fashina86]how close is Spanish?
[/quote]

Close but no cigar. The vowels would be the same. Consonant combinations and certain consonant-vowel combinations are different.

[quote=mercygate]Pronounce it exactly like Italian.
[/quote]

So I should be OK if get a good Italian/English dictionary?

Check out the free Simplicissimus pronunciation guide.

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