BOCA CDs and bird name pronunciations

To: birding birding-aus <>
Subject: BOCA CDs and bird name pronunciations
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 18:34:30 +1000

You're not likely to have the local native-speakers falling around laughing at your pronunciation any more, but I've read that spoken Latin was a lot different from what they told us in Latin classes.

One thing I do remember was the "u" is usually pronounced "oo", as in "book", so we probably should be saying something like pit-to-spo- room. And "poonk-ta-toom" for Spotty things like Quail-thrush. Mistletoebird presents a bit of a problem because "ae" was nearly always pronounced "igh" as in "high", and there is much disagreement about a "c" between vowels: if you can get your tongue around Dicaeum hirundinaceum in the field then you are doing pretty well. I bet they decided to leave the Latin names off the BOCA CD when they got to this one ...

Russell Woodford
Birding-Aus List Owner

Geelong   Victoria   Australia

On 04/09/2007, at 11:54 AM,  wrote:

G'day Peter et al.

Sis-tickler is probably incorrect pronunciation - although everyone I've
heard (including me) says it that way.

I did Latin for 2 years (many, many years ago) and seem to remember that
when pronouncing latin words you don't emphasise any syllables.

Another example that was pointed out to me recently was Pittosporum. Most
people (including me) pronounce it pit-TOS-porum.  It really should be

Not sure about greek-derived names.

Any latin or greek scholars out there?



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