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Help with Latin

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by therealting, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. I am learning an excerpt of Verdi's Requiem as part of my singing class, and I'd like to learn it in Latin rather than English just for fun.

    Does anyone know of a quick blagger's guide to pronouncing the words? As in, "any syllable in i is pronounced with an ee sound, e.g. ti would be pronounced tea" etc

    Otherwise I am presuming everything is pronounced as it is spelt?

    In-ge-mi-sco tamquam re-us
    Cul-pa ru-bet vul-tus me-us:
    Sup-ple-can-ti, Sup-pli-can-ti par-ce De-us

    Qui… Ma-ri-am ab-sol-vi-sti
    Et… la-tro-nem e-xau-di-sti
    Mi-hi quo-que spem de-di-sti
    Mi-hi quo-que spem de-di-sti

    Pre-ces meae non sunt di-gnae
    Sed tu bo-nus fac be-ni-gne
    Ne pe-ren-ni cremer-gne

    In-ter o-ves lo-cuni praesta,
    Et ab hae-dis me se-que-stra,
    In-ter-o-ves lo-cum prae-sta,
    Et ab hae-dis me se-que-stra

    In parte dex-tra
    Et ab hae-dis me se-que-stra
    Sta-tu-ens in par-te dex-tra

    I am mainly wondering about vultus, parce, bonus although I realise it is quite possible I actually have NO idea how to even begin to tackle this.

  2. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    with the -us ending the u is always a long u. (pronounced - oos)
    V's are pronounce with the w sound... Example: vini vidi vici would be pronounce wini widi wici. I's do have the long E sound. The word Deus (god) would be pronounced Day-oos.
  3. I respect your expertise when it comes to Latin, but I'd prefer to not pronounce vini vidi vici the correct way. :D
  4. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    See, here's the problem. There are a number of ways to pronounce Latin, the relevant ones to this discussion are Classical and Italianate. Classical Latin is what Julius Caesar would have heard walking down the via. That is what Cerb is telling you.

    That's not the way Verdi would have done it. Beginning some time around 300-400 AD, and probably because of the barbarian influence of the Goths, but especially the Lombards, the pronunciation of Latin began to change. This is the Latin as spoken by the Catholic Church. As you can tell by its name (Italianate), it is very reminiscent of the pronunciations of Italian.

    So, in the examples you give, in Italianate (church) pronunciation, your sample words would probably be "Vool-toos, par-chay, bo-noos," but Cerb is right that Caeasar probably would have said, "Wool-toos, par-kay, bo-noos."

    Bored yet?

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    If you go to a local Catholic Church you may be able to get help from one of the Parish Priest or the cantor, give it a try.
  6. The best way to go is to find an International Phonetic Alphabet transcription of the Requiem (it's a popular piece, so there ought to be several) and a guide to the IPA. That'll show you precisely how to pronounce it.
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    X's are different, too. "in excelsis" would be "een ekchelsees."

    Also, "gn" is pronounced "ny". For example, "benigne" would be "beneenyay" without the dipthong at the end. More like "eh" than "ay."

    In some cases, a "c" is pronounced "ch", as in "parce," pronounced "parchay", again without the dipthong.

    Also, in most choirs, you're going to be pronouncing "v" as "v."

    That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.
  8. spots


    Feb 7, 2004
    boston, MA
    I took latin for 5 years. This is what i make of it. A capital I means a sound like "aye" as in "aye matey!" unless its at the beginning of a sentence.

    In-geh-mee-scoh tamquam ray-oos
    Cool-pah roo-bate wool-toos may-oos
    sup-play-cahn-tee, sup-plee-cahn-tee par-kay day-oos
    Quee… Ma-ree-am Ahb-sole-wi-stee
    et… la-tro-nem eh-xow-di-sti
    Mee-hee quoh-queh deh-di-stee
    Mee-hee quoh-queh spem deh-di-stee

    Preh-case may I non soont di-gnI
    Sed too boh-noos fack beh-nee-nyeh
    Nay peh-ren-nee crehmer-nyeh
    In-tair oh-wase lo-kunee prIstah
    Et ahb hI-dees may say-quay-strah
    In-tair-oh-wase lo-come prI-sta
    Et ahb hI-dees may say-questra

    In partay dex-trah
    Et ahb hI-dees may say-questra
    Stah-too-Ains in par-tay dex-trah
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I am really suprised that nobody has mentioned the most obvious thing to do!! :meh:

    Buy a recording!!

    There are hundreds of recordings of Verdi's Requiem and you can get many of these pretty cheaply - just listen to what professional choirs sing. I've listened to it loads of times and can hear this clearly in my head.

    Don't bother with phonetics and pronunciation guides - just sing what you hear!!
  11. Bruce - that is the obvious thing to do, but I try and resist hearing a recording until after I've given it a shot... the temptation is to cop the exact style of whoever you're listening to.

    BTW, thanks to everyone for your help. I had my lesson this morning and got very good feedback.

    I'll now look for a recording of Requiem. :)
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - if I could sing exactly like what I hear on the professional recordings I own - I'd be a very happy man!! ;)

    Seriously - after hundreds(maybe thousands) of great orchestras and singers have performed this over more than a century - you really think you're going to be bringing something new to this - is your real name Pavarotti...??!! :D

    Besides - there's plenty of room for expression in the actal notes - once youve copped the accepted pronuncation...:meh:
  13. Heh, the point is not to be able to do something unique - it's to be able to have an individual interpretation before basing it on someone else... it also makes it more interesting to listen to recordings to compare your take with theirs.

    I also study acting, and it is fascinating to learn a script, and then go watch a production to see how the actors portray the characters.

    In terms of pronunciation, I will certainly benefit from hearing that done properly.