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Latin Pronunciation

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by Dypsisdean, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    We are playing with the idea of putting audio pronunciations on the palm species pages. But there are a few considerations to iron out.

    Maybe you guys could offer up some ideas if you have any. First of course, is getting someone that knows the proper way to pronounce all these names, and would be willing to help, or at least screen the audio.

    Second would be trying to standardize it so all would be in the same voice. I will check for some kind of automated voice/software - but that will be much more complicated than what I originally thought of. But maybe not. I have doubts that an automated program would extend into scientific names. Maybe some of you may know.

    I could easily take a recorded audio mp3 and insert it on any page now.

    Any thought, or ideas?
     
  2. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    I took 2 years of Latin in college.....I'll be glad to help.
     
  3. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Thanks, I'll file that for further use. How's your "radio" voice?
     
  4. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Something else to consider. I don't even know if the proper Latin is the accepted proper "scientific" pronunciation.

    I have heard English botanists pronounce some of these things that I am almost certain is not of 100% Latin derivation.

    Do even the real "botany nerds" (I say that affectionately) say these differently?
     
  5. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    Depp and melifluous......or high and squeaky. I can modify it a little.

    I speak regularly for the RE association and am an Able Toastmaster FWIW.

    I try ro send an audio later this week.
     
  6. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    Grenada

    In England, its grenaYda
    In the US its grenahda
    In Latin its grenahdah
     
  7. harrygermany

    harrygermany Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    near Franfurt/Main, Germany
    Hi Dean,

    it is not only Latin but also a mass of Greek.
    As both languages have their origin in Europe, the Roman language pronunciation (Italian, Spanish, but NOT French) would be OK.

    If the overall pronunciation is as correct as the Grenada example in Bepah's posting, then everything should be fine.

    Harry
     
  8. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Dean, That would be a huge undertaking indeed. I would love to see something to that affect available. I have spent some time trying to iron out the latinization of non latin words in certain taxa.. Jody Haynes has a phonetic listing at plantapalm.com. It is a nice start to what you could well achieve. Also you can expect to get bombarded by the subjective opinions from folks of not only proper latin but old and new latin as well. Perhaps if you start this thing now the world may finally be able to settle on a standard. I wonder if other disciplines of the botany world have tried this for their respective plants.
    If there is anything I can do to help you with this project (other than lending a voice) let me know.
     
  9. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Will so far I haven't shied away from either controversy or a daunting task, but I would definitely need some help with this one. But I think it would be a major plus for Palmpedia.

    But, I can see the disagreements start right from the beginning as just three common ones come immediately to mind.
    -Ravenea
    -Sabal
    -Chamaedorea
    Now --- who is going to be the final arbiter?
     
  10. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    I'm certain the president will appoint a pronunciation czar.
     
  11. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    rah ven ay' ah

    say' bal

    cham ay dor' eyah

    OK
     
  12. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
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    Are you aware that IMO more people say
    ra(a as in rat) ven e(long e)' a

    And some very experienced growers place the accent on the last syllable in
    sa ball'

    And I've heard quite often with the accent on the second to last syllable
    chamaedor e(long e)' a

    I've also heard the "ch" pronounced as the "ch" in Chamaerops with a "sh." What's up with those two?

    And I think a lot of confusion enters when the name is a "Latinization" of a non latin name or country of origin. Do you keep the original pronunciation, or use the latin rules? As in Archontophoenix alexandrae.

    In other words, is anyone really a "go to" person for this stuff?
     
  13. bepah

    bepah Active Member

    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Brentwood CA 9b
    I don't think there is a go to person that you're looking for. I do not believe that you will ever get everyone to agree on pronunciations in some cases. If our goal is to base our model on a dead language, we will have to use the rules of the dead language.

    Perhaps we should go the esperanto route, but we would never complete the job as just determining the root language basis for each palm would take more time than there is.:D

    My preference would be a strict use of the Latin pronunciation as it has the Linnaean model in mind. If we add non-Latin pronuncation for those 'special' cases, we aren't doing ourselves any favors. There will be someone who will issue protest, no matter which model(s) we adopt.

    A consensus approach might be better but again will take too much time. theeis a lot of work to be done here.

    A great example of the problem will be in all of those species that end with 'ii'.

    My preference for pronunciation of it is 'ee aye'. How many people use that suffix when speaking Phoenix roebelenii? Not many, I'd guess.

    This is a noble project. Choose your model and go with it.
     
  14. Palmmermaid

    Palmmermaid Active Member

    Messages:
    638
    Dean,

    I had 4 years of Latin in high school and still remember a lot of it. It helps me every day. My pronunciation is good and I have a pleasant voice - I was an overseas operator for about 5 years. I think this is a noble effort and will be happy to help in any way I can.
     
  15. Kim

    Kim Active Member

    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    San Diego, California USA
    Digitally spoken names will be far superior to written attempts at pronunciation. Why not list all commonly used forms? As in "Say'bull; also Suh-ball' ", or "Lih kwah' la; also Li cue al' ah". Just to add to the confusion, I have also heard Ra-VEEN-ee-uh, which better conforms to Latin, no? Although I say ra(a as in rat) ven e(long e)' a.

    In spite of semi-fluent French and stumbling Spanish with a dash of German thrown in, I am frequently taken by surprise by correct pronunciation. But I do know enough to follow the "Old MacDonald's Farm" method for double vowel endings: e-i-e-i-o! :D
     
  16. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Well,
    Thanks to those volunteering, and those offering advice.

    There appears to be enough interest and agreement that it would be beneficial to at least make an attempt.

    And since I don't have enough projects in motion yet....................:D

    Let me do some thinking, and some research on a technical method.

    One thing that will be limiting is that if we go the actual audio mp3 route, whoever does it will have to have a decent recording device. This could include a simple mic and a computer if the user knows how. Or some of the simple handhelds are good enough. But it is probably important to make it a clear recording.

    So any volunteers will need to be able to manage the creation of a short mp3 clip of the pronunciation. So keep that in mind. If you wish to try to do a few experimental clips, feel free. They can be uploaded via the "Upload File(s)" option in the left side bar of a wiki page. I'll put them on a test page for all to hear. And we could go from there.

    And since we will undoubtably be ending up with more than one pronunciation, we may just choose to go with 1,2,3 different voices and pronunciations, and generate discussions, and eventually maybe even polls on what should be the accepted pronunciation. As in the English spoken language there are several proper pronunciation of some words, and a preferred one based on regions, or whatever - like Caribbean for example.
     
  17. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Hey Dean, Were you thinking of imbedding the audio clips directly in the pages of the encyclopedia or are you going the full goose route with all species that can be documented in a seperate area?
    Given the relatively modest volume of species in the encyclopedia, this might make your undertaking less daunting at first.
    Regional dialect poses an interesting perspective to the pronunciation hurdle.
     
  18. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Justin,

    I'm not sure technically how to do it just yet. I'm thinking of having a link on the Species Page that when clicked on will yield the pronunciation. I can make it automatically pronounce when the page is opened. This would all be done using the same player that you can see already imbedded on the Main Page, Croton Main Page, and used for Gary Levine's interview listed on the Main Page. That is already in place, and accepts uploads, etc. But I'll research some other techniques before we commit. But I think using that, or some derivation, would be the easiest and most straightforward.

    So yes, the ability to hear the audio would be species by species on their own page, if that is what you were asking.
     
  19. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms by Craft and Riffle, pp477-478, gives the best pronunciation guide I've seen.

    From what I recal from 4 years of high school Latin, there existed three pronunciations schemes; soft C as in letter S, what I learned; Italian latin or Church Latin where letter C has a CH sound as in church; hard C, as in K, and probably the most accurate . Lots of other differences, e.g. letter V pronounced more like a W. Most of us tend to use the first scheme.

    Let's face it, a Scotsman is going to pronounce it differently than an Australian and differently from an American from the deep south. But we can usually understand each other.

    o tempora, o mores.
     
  20. John in Andalucia

    John in Andalucia Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Motril, Spain
    Hoots mon, I hae ma doots! :D
     
  21. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    John,

    You certainly are quite the multicultural type. :)
     
  22. John in Andalucia

    John in Andalucia Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Motril, Spain
    Dean - London, England was my home for 12 years, living and working in some 12 districts during that time. It certainly ranks as one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Before that, I grew up in various parts of the UK - imagine being born in one US state and then settling in 5 different states during your childhood, and then as a young adult, going to live in New York for 12 years! Recently (5 years ago), I moved to Spain where I now cultivate and sell palms to collectors in 13 European countries, and I'm a member of several forums in 4 of those countries. Not forgetting of course, PalmTalk and Palmpedia, where I get to converse in English on a worldwide scale. Ironically, I now live amongst folk who were born and bred here, and who only understand the Spanish language and the local way of life. I don't get to travel any more, yet I feel I know more people across the globe than ever before. I am proud to have had the experience of a multicultural existence. It helps me to stay calm whenever the locals appear condescending towards the "extranjeros". (How ironic that I should now be part of a cultural minority.) So yes, I do reminisce about my "mixed" upbringing, a large part of it being of Scottish and Irish influence, as I recall my former circle of friends.

    Good luck with the audio pronunciation. Will it be electronic? I don't use Microsoft Windows any longer, but I remember they had a tool for the visually impaired.
     
  23. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
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    John,

    The audio pronunciations are on the back burner for now, unless someone wants to pick up the reins.

    I'll play around with it one of these days, but there are some other priorities first. I'm not sure exactly what software would be used, but I would imagine it would have to be an actual recording. (mp3) MP3s can already be uploaded by anyone, and posted on pages very easily with a simple code for manual or auto play.
     

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