Latin pronounciation

Tom Mitchell
Fri, 12 Dec 2008 11:34:33 PST
As someone who scored 17% in his final high school Latin exam, I'm  
not really qualified to have an opinion. However, I have two problem  
names, on which I'd be interested to hear opinions, to throw into the  
mix. My Dutch wife pronounces the 'foe' in Helleborus foetidus to  
rhyme with 'so', whereas I pronounce it the British way to rhyme with  
'see'. What's the consensus? My other question relates to Fuchsia.  
Should one say 'Fook-sia' or 'Phew-sha'?

International misunderstandings as a result of Latin pronunciation  
are common. A Danish botanist friend of mine says that his greatest  
difficulty at international conferences comes when he has to talk  
about the genus Pinus, which in Denmark is said 'pee-noose'...

I can't resist repeating my favourite Latin story, completely off- 
topic, which was told to me by a friend who cycled the pilgrimage  
route to Santiago de Compostela. On arrival, pilgrims are apparently  
granted a dispensation from the Pope, written in Latin of course,  
absolving them of their sins. My friend's husband therefore became  
'Darrylibus' and she became 'Rachelus'. What a versatile language!

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