What Are Some Latin Pronunciation Sounds?


Quick Answer

The Thesaurus Precum Latinarum, an online repository of Latin religious texts, provides a pronunciation guide for Latin. There are two main ways of pronouncing Latin; the Classical Pronunciation, as used by the Romans, and the Ecclesiastical Pronunciation, as used by the church.

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The Ecclesiastical Pronunciation is currently more common. The two have similar pronunciations, although they do differ. Latin pronunciation of both kinds is similar to English pronunciation, chiefly because English borrowed the Latin alphabet.

Latin vowels have a long and a short form, and only make those sounds. This is in contrast to English, in which vowels have a wider array of possible sounds. For instance, the long form of "e" is pronounced as in "they" and the short form of "e" is pronounced as in "bet."

Consonants generally make "hard" sounds, although the consonants "c," "cc" and "sc" can make "soft" sounds in front of certain vowels. Specifically, "c" makes a hard sound in front of "a," "o," "u" and "au," but a hard sound in front of "ae," "e," "oe" and "i." The hard sound of "c," for example, is the same sound as found in "caught," whereas the soft form sounds similar to the "ch" of "change."

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