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2 mistakes in the first lesson of Prima Latina?


Guest Allthingsnew
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Guest Allthingsnew

It says that the Latin alphabet has only 25 letters which isn't correct. It also pronounces a "v" the way we do in English and it's pronounced with a "w" sound. Is this a difference between Christian Latin and Classical Latin or is the program wrong? I am little frustrated.

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It says that the Latin alphabet has only 25 letters which isn't correct. It also pronounces a "v" the way we do in English and it's pronounced with a "w" sound. Is this a difference between Christian Latin and Classical Latin or is the program wrong? I am little frustrated.

 

Ecclesiastical Latin pronounces the V as a V. Restored Classical pronunciation (the way the Romans most likely spoke) pronounces the V as a "W." There are a few other differences in how dipthongs and some other consonant combinations are pronounced as well between Ecclesiastical and Restored Classical.

 

Nineteenth century grammars which tend to be the usual references today note that the number of Latin letters has changed over time. The answer to this question isn't as clear cut.

 

Allen and Greenough's Latin Grammar states that the Latin Alphabet is the same as English (which is in fact borrowed from it) except that it does not contain J, U, and W. They also note that the Latin alphabet was borrowed from an early version of the Greek alphabet and didn't at first contain G or Y. The letter C was originally equivalent to a G and I and V were used both as vowels and consonants. (You sometimes see J used for I.)

 

Basil Gildersleeve's Latin Grammar indicates Latin has 23 letters:

ABCDEFGHIKLMNOPQRSTVXYZ

With the remarks that C and K were originally distinct with C sounding more like our G, until C supplanted K. J dates from the middle ages. V represented U in the Latin alphabet. U also dates from the middle ages.

Y and Z were introduced in the time of Cicero to transliterate upsilon and zeta.

 

George Lane's Latin Grammar notes that in Cicero's time, Latin had only 21 letters.

ABCDEFGHIKLMNOPQRSTVX

Y and Z were added to represent Greek sounds. K dropped out of general use and only was used in abbreviations. C was equivalent to G originally and so you occasionally see it interchanged with Caius/Gaius (as in Julius Gaius Caesar or Julius Caius Caesar.) Q is also sometimes used for C. U and V are used interchangeably.

 

So, since they are using the Ecclesiastical pronunciation, they might also be including the letters added to the Latin alphabet in the middle ages.

Edited by latinteach
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Guest Allthingsnew

Is it a bad idea then to have them learn ecclesiastical latin if I really want them to learn Classical latin later on? Or can you fairly easily switch between the two?

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I found switching to be a huge problem for us! Since I wanted my kids to learn Classical, I dropped the whole Latina Christiana series, and went with Latin with Children - both pronunciations are offered there.

 

My kids (and myself) had trouble switching but I changed early enough. And we're all bilingual, and used to different pronunciations (French from France is quite different from French in Quebec, same with English from Uk and the the States). So I was suprised by how hard the switch was for us. After all, the kids can mimic other accents, but for Latin, it goes far beyond just a change in accents.

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I was afraid of that. I so dislike having to resell a curriculum I just bought.

 

Well, our experience was not like Cleo's... Ds did Prima and LC1 and 2 when he was very young, and overlapped with Minimus (using restored pronunciation) and has continued to study with restore pronunciation since then... It has worked fine for us.

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Same here. My older two are using LC 1 and my 6yr old Song School. I don't here to many differences in pronounciation between the two. To me as long as they can pronounce it in some fashion and know the meaning of the word they are translating then that is really all that counts. Remeber there are no Romans left to correct pronunciation so you may hear several different pronunciations from different people on the same word.

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