Botanical Latin

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Jun 6, 2006
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Sacramento, CA. Outside w/ Southeast Exposure
Not sure where the best place to post this is but....I found this today after embarrassing myself with my pronunciation this afternoon. We get so accustomed to typing and not necessarily speaking plant names on a daily basis, I found myself wondering (again) what's correct and what isn't.

ok, this is interesting, is it right though?

Try typing in: Phragmipedium warscewiczeanum

or Paphiopedilum rothschildianum or philippinense.
You have to type in the name and then "generate sound" then listen to the generated sound.

See what you think. I'm not sure how accurate it is...
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Botanical Latin isn't exactly a spoken language.....therefore, in some cases there are no "correct" pronunciations...or, should I say, there are multiple "correct" pronunciations, depending on where you came from, and where you learned the Latin....Take care, Eric
When I met Guido, he pronounced it:

Frag muh pee dee yum Var skew vicks ee ah num

Using latin names for killifish, corals, and plants it becomes apparent quickly that no two people pronounce things the same.

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But Guido is germen. And they pronounce 'w' like 'v' quite often.
I just say all latin names very fast with extreme confidence, and if I'm wrong, most people assume that they've been saying it wrong in the past due to how confidently I said it.

It's funny how different groups say the names, too. The local reef aquarium people are NOTHING like the local orchid people, it's like how there are Ford People and Import Car People. When coral shopping, I often say, "yessir I reckon' dat's one uh dem "superman" montieeeeeeporas" just so I don't stand out. That and they don't charge me as much as they would if I said, "is that the crimson polyped coerulean morph of Montipora danae?" Luckily for me, they are just as generous as orchid people. I ordered 3 corals the other day and recieved 10 as a thank you bonus...I've already got another order on the way.

Vapir air one vaporizer
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as i understand it, most of what we call "latin" names in science do not stem from latin. many are greek in origin but also from other european languages.

regardless, i believe that eric is correct in that since there are no human cultural groups that use latin (or crazy non-latin scientific words) it can be prononced almost any way you like. the only place i would think there should be some attempt at using a "proper" pronunciation is when the scientific name is based on a person's name.

i tend to follow Jon's method of exhibiting confidence in pronunciation, though my confidence may or may not exist. :)
No set of phonemes of any languages is same as others.
No one really knows all exactly phonetic and allophones of latin phonemes and intonation.
Everyone CAN USE his language phonology apply to Botanical latin.
I'm Thai.
I have 4 epitets from Thai words.
I give Thai pronunciations with IPA of Thai words.
I refer this set of Thai phonemes to Handbook of the IPA, (1999).
Then I suggest the pronunciation in British English (RP) of epitets.
I refer this set of RP English to Wells, Longman (2000).

I think you hardly to immitate Thai tones.
There are 5 tones phonemes in Thai, and more allophones of tone!
I wouldn't even try. I'd just say "the green phrag with really really long petals that starts with a 'w'" To me saying that beats trying to say "warscewiczeanum" :poke:
Well, languages change frequently, and we can never be sure how things are pronounced. Most people who learn English wouldn't even be able to pronounce Chaucer, and almost none could read Beofwulf unless we took a class in Old English. The problem is, when it comes to langauge, we must of the time only say what we think we are saying, and are crossing our fingers that the person who is hearing us, understands.

While I don't think there is a one correct pronunciation of Latin words, I do think that there are some guidelines, as provided by whatever data we have from the current languages that stemmed from Latin, but even Latin derives from an Indo-European source, so it's hard to say as well. The way most linguists reconstruct sound is through the rhyming in poetry and the meter the work uses. But even that is problematic, because poetry is quite different from colloquial language.

Okay, I've ranted enough.

Didn't Warsce... get changed to popowii? It certainly is much easier to say.
If someone corrected me and said Neofinetia was pronounced,


I would punch them in the taint. I have heard that the proper pronunciation is "ay-shia" instead of "eh-tia" but I don't care.

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