Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Κύριε, ελέησον


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 293 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 October 2016 - 12:29 AM

Hello:

I wanted to find the correct way to pronounce Kýrie, eléison in a modern Greek Orthodox Church.  It is O.K. if posters refer to pronunciation back in the classical Greek days and earlier, but I do not wish to fan the flames of the Modern Greek v. Erasmian pronunciation.

 

  1. I hear everyone pronounce the ypsilon the same way I would pronounce a long “e” in American English, so there is no question with that one.
  2. I believe the iota and epsilon in the middle of the first word are pronounced separately?
  3. I am uncertain about the last epsilon in the first word and the first epsilon in the second word.  Are they both pronounced separately, or do they glide into each other?
  4. The epsilon and iota in the middle of the second word look like a diphthong, yet sometimes I hear people pronouncing the letters separately.
  5. I am not sure if most pronounce the final “o” as a short or long “o.”


#2 Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 293 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 October 2016 - 04:46 AM

Oops.  I should have written epsilon followed by an eta for #4.  I believe they are separate.  -- Sorry.



#3 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,825 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 October 2016 - 07:27 AM

1. Both y and i are pronounced the same in present-day pronunciation, as in a short i (as in fit), not a long i (such as feet).

 

2. Yes, these are pronounced separately.

 

3. It depends. Strictly speaking, they are two separate words, but during chanting and even in speech, the two epsilons are often merged. Slower chants tend to separate the words, faster ones tend to merge them.

 

4. Yes, the epsilon and eta are pronounced separately. They are not a diphthong.

 

5. Neither. It's in between. It's probably close to -or, but without the -r intoned.

 

Hope this helps. :)

 

 

BTW, avoid Erasmian pronunciation like the plague. It does not at all resemble Greek pronunciation. Of any era. :P



#4 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 October 2016 - 09:45 AM

More broadly, there are still difficulties for native speakers of English who are Orthodox. The difficulties flow from the fact that England, in its public schools and state grammar schools of years ago which taught Greek, adopted what is called Erasmian pronunciation (which Erasmus himself devised only for Classical Greek and not Byzantine Greek). The difference between Greek pronunciation of Church Greek and English Erasmian pronunciation is marked especially in diphthongs but also in the sounds of vowels. Thus,και has a short sound like 'yet' but English scholars would say it like 'kite'. Names are a problem in that some names are so familiar in their Erasmus form -eg Euclid said like 'yukelid' - that to say it as a Greek would - Ευκλείδης 'Evkleethes' - will sound pretentious. Take the name Arius; the OED says this is pronounced like 'Airius' whereas many people and all non-English speakers say 'Arius' where the 'A' is short as in 'cat'. Though in most respects of very high authority, the OED entries are sometimes very old: thus 'Arianism' is said to be pronounced with the long 'A' like 'air' but the entry has not been updated since 1885 when scholars would have used that style.

 

I would say that for English speakers who are Orthodox, most Erasmian forms should indeed be avoided and the forms used by all others adopted.


Edited by Rdr Andreas, 28 October 2016 - 09:47 AM.


#5 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 October 2016 - 10:19 AM

PS Having mentioned Arius, one thinks of St Athanasius - should English Orthodox Christians says 'Athanayshus' or keep the third letter 'a' short as in Greek? But then we still have the Latin-style 'ius' rather than 'ios'.


Edited by Rdr Andreas, 28 October 2016 - 10:19 AM.


#6 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,825 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 October 2016 - 12:14 PM

I'm not English, but I would pronounce the saint's name with a short third a, not an ay, and ending with -sius, not -shius. There's little difference in sound between using a u or o in the final syllable, as it is not stressed.



#7 Loucas

Loucas

    Contributor

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 95 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 October 2016 - 02:27 PM

Olga is right on the money, this is why everyone wishing to learn Greek, needs to start by learning the Greek alphabet, pronouncing the letters tells you how to pronounce the words and names.



#8 Loucas

Loucas

    Contributor

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 95 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 October 2016 - 02:30 PM

Keer  ee  ay          EE   lay     ee    sone                        Lord Have Mercy



#9 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 616 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 October 2016 - 03:10 PM

You can here a sample here http://bit.ly/2dOV7d1



#10 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 October 2016 - 04:44 PM

Then there is the this question: who in a parish decides what pronunciation to use - the priest or the people?



#11 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,825 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 29 October 2016 - 11:31 AM

Then there is the this question: who in a parish decides what pronunciation to use - the priest or the people?

 

I'd venture to say it should be whoever speaks Greek with a "standard" pronunciation, or close to it. Some regional accents and dialects vary considerably in how the language sounds (as is the case with English in the UK and the USA, far less so in Australia, where I come from). Better that a Greek-speaking parishioner is used as a model, rather than a priest with bad pronunciation, or, worse, one who insists on Erasmian pronunciation, because this is how they learned Greek academically before converting to Orthodoxy. Unfortunately, such Erasmophile clergy do exist. :(

 

This would be either someone who's a native Greek speaker, someone of Greek ancestry who has been brought up with the language, or someone who isn't Greek, but who has a good enough ear to have successfully mastered the pronunciation of the language. There are various sounds in Greek which many a purely English-speaker finds difficult to pronounce well.


An English speaker who also speaks German, Russian or some other Slavic languages well has an advantage, as these languages share many sounds found in Greek.



#12 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 616 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 29 October 2016 - 03:35 PM

I feel that had to point there is nothing wrong on using native language and not Greek. All tongues are valid.

#13 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 29 October 2016 - 04:48 PM

Interesting points made by Olga and Lakis. In non-Greek Orthodox countries (I use that expression loosely because it is convenient) such as Russia where original Greek words and proper nouns and names are pronounced in a particular way (because they do not have either of the 'th' sounds which Greek has) - eg Afanasii rather than Athanasios - there is a long-standing convention for pronunciation which is a fixed part of their Orthodoxy.
 
In the Anglophone world, there are no such fixed conventions for obvious reasons and this is what gives rise to difficulty. Looking at it the other way round, could we expect Greeks, Russians and others to pronounce the names of British saints as we in the UK pronounce them or should we accept that they will devise their own ways of pronouncing such saints' names? Any offers on how St Æthelwold's name would be pronounced in Moscow or Bucharest?



#14 Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 293 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 30 October 2016 - 03:43 PM

I have listened to examples on Youtube lately.  The majority of examples pronounce the final "e" of the first word as a short "e," but some give it an "ay" sound, such as in the word "they."  Why is that?



#15 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 30 October 2016 - 04:24 PM

I suppose because they have not listened carefully to how Greeks say it.



#16 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,825 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 30 October 2016 - 09:09 PM

I suppose because they have not listened carefully to how Greeks say it.

 

Seconded. This is the point I was making in reply #11. :)

 

Also, Kyrie, eleison is a term which should not be difficult for an Anglophone to pronounce correctly, unlike certain other common Greek words and phrases.



#17 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 31 October 2016 - 08:22 AM

What many Anglophones fail to do when speaking Greek is to enunciate words and their syllables clearly because Anglophones, especially the English, tend somewhat to slur syllables or 'swallow' their words as a Greek once put it to me. Of course, an accent can hardly be avoided - I have only ever met one non-native speaker of English in whose speech I could not detect an accent.


Edited by Rdr Andreas, 31 October 2016 - 08:25 AM.


#18 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,825 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 31 October 2016 - 09:52 AM

Less than clear enunciation is certainly true for many Australians. We're (in)famous for it. ;)

 

However, the Greek pronunciation errors described by Ben seem to have little to do with that. I suspect that they are to do with attempting to say Kyrie, eleison without having heard it being said by a Greek, or by a non-Greek who has learnt the language and speaks it well.



#19 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 31 October 2016 - 12:43 PM

That is so - I was posting off piste! :)


Edited by Rdr Andreas, 31 October 2016 - 12:44 PM.


#20 Dcn Alexander Haig

Dcn Alexander Haig

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 324 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 01 November 2016 - 08:56 PM

It is interesting that majority opinion here seems to be to preserve Greek pronunciations of words when transliterated (more-or-less) into English rather than allow them to be treated as English words; woe betide any who mispronounce "Theotokos".






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users