No Choice for Latin Language Pronunciation: Classical vs Ecclesiastical

There is a difference between Classical and Ecclesiastical pronunciation for Latin. This is not reflected properly within LingQ’s learning options (the learner’s choice to choose). It is inconsistent. There is one female speaker (her accent sounds Finnish) who uses Classical pronunciation, and a male (his accent sounds Italian) speaker who uses Ecclesiastical pronunciation.

In Classical Latin pronunciation ‘v’ is pronounced as ‘w’ and ‘c’ is pronounced as ‘k’ in all cases (except perhaps imported words from foreign languages?); and Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation follows predominantly, if not wholly, the same to modern Italian (modern Latin basically) pronunciation. I have not researched, yet, but it is Vulgar Latin which was what was used by the masses, vs what was formal written and upper class (perhaps) Latin pronunciation. No doubt in Medieval pronunciation was influenced by which area of Europe the Roman Empire expanded to, and especially in universities throughout. That is how modern Romance languages have essentially developed.

There needs to be an option for learners to choose one vs the other for pronunciation. And it extends into vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of the language for periods of history and literature.

Is this possible, or can LingQ hire me to research it and implement it? :joy: Anyone know?

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I suspect LingQ might make a few hundred or thousand dollars a year from Latin.


The functionality to distinguish different dialects of a language is already available in LingQ (e.g. for Spanish you can specify European or American, for Persian you can specify formal or colloquial, and I’m guessing for Arabic you should be able to specify the dialect). So it should be fairly straightforward to enable it for Latin with the choice of Classical vs. Ecclesiastical Latin. That should allow at least classifying the lessons according to the speaker’s accent.

Another really good addition for this would be specific TTS voices for both accents, but that would probably involve some expense so it might be less doable for what’s unfortunately more of a niche language.

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I stopped using LingQ to learn Classical Latin because the guy with the ecclesiastical pronunciation was confusing me. Until they fix it, I’m sticking with the “Lingua Latina” books and Duolingo.

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I’m unfamiliar with Lingua Lantina books. Will need to google that.

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Oh man! You are in for a treat!

The series starts out with the simplest ideas, illustrated so that we know exactly what’s being said. It then builds on this, introducing simple concepts and more vocabulary, so that if you follow it and remember everything, just reading along will bring you to a high level of understanding. It really is a gamechanger for Latin students.

Which reminds me - I must get it imported into LingQ. My Latin is still at a very early stage (because memorizing is not my forte). LingQ’s SRS system should really help me to get ahead.

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Lingua Latina in Luke Ranieri’s (Classical) reading is already on LingQ, I’m pretty sure.

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You’re right! That’s great!

I just listened to Luke Rainieri’s reading of the first part. Unfortunately he seems to be speaking unnaturally slowly and putting too much stress on the long vowels, while speeding through words that have no stressed vowels, so it sounds unnatural (at least to me).

Also, his pronunciation lacks the retracted S of Classical Latin. I noticed this in his speaking a few years ago, and his Youtube videos show he knows it’s an issue, but either he hasn’t corrected it, or the audio for the lesson was recorded before he knew it was a thing.

Unfortunately, the recordings over at Hackett (the publishers of Lingua Latina) are not that great either (a lot of background noise - they sound as if they were recorded in the 1970s).

It seems to me a real pity that Latin has been studied for so long (longer than almost any other language), yet we have very few sources for correct pronunciation.