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Old 6th December 2012   #44 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scientific Nomenclature

I know this is super late. But I thought I would put in my two cents. I have had this thread in mind for a while and now that I have taken a (classical) latin class everything is so much easier. Scientific nomenclature follows the pronunciation in LATIN. No rules of english, german, spanish, etc. apply. And it also follows that since greek pronunciation is so close to latin, the same rules will apply in spoken greek and latin nomenclature. Latin is a dead language therefore words will not change nor will the phonetics. Which is why, to my knowledge, it is used as the universal scientific language. I will clear a few things up right now. I should point out real quick that my latin professor speaks 5 languages and never once did he mix any in. German, portuguese, spanish, english, and latin. He is a native brazilian.

I should also state that classical latin is the most preferred usage of the language and is the one used in scientific nomenclature.

Alright lets get started

"H" is pronounced and is not silent
"Ae" is pronounced "I"
"LL" is pronounced as it is in english
"Ch" is pronounced a hard "K" sound
"V" is pronounced as an english "W"
"Th" is pronounced "tuh"
"-us" is pronounced "oos"
"Au" is pronounced "ow"
"I" is pronounced "ee"

An exception to the rule is if the latin word is used in the language that is spoken in which case the dominant language is used...
For example: "placenta" in latin is (pla-ken-ta) and means cake while in english the word is pronounced (pla-sen-ta).

Here are some latin words to help digest pronunciation.
Dinosaurus (dee-no-sow-roos) dinosaur
Silva (sil-wa) forest or woods
Elephantus (ell-ē-fon-toos) elephant
Crocodilus (cro-co-dee-loos) crocodile
Aedificium (I-dee-fee-cee-oom) building

Also when I talk to people I generally use common name. Its easier because people tend to learn common names quicker then they do scientific ones.
"Nothing endures but change" Heraclitus
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