Pronouncing latin names of Parrots correctly and what about Greek names?

To: Birding Australia <>
Subject: Pronouncing latin names of Parrots correctly and what about Greek names?
From: Nikolas Haass <>
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 23:48:49 -0800 (PST)
Initially I didn't want to participate here. However, there is a discussion 
about "Latin" names; one mentioned "ancient Romans", another one said that 
Latin was spoken over a large area with possibly different dialects (which is 
certainly true). So Latin was not meant by everyone in the discussion as a 
synonym for "scientific name".
The funny part, and that's why I break my silence, is: 
Nobody noticed that the examples in the original e-mail (Neophema and 
Polytelis) are not Latin. They are Greek!



BTW, there are ways to find out how words in ancient languages were pronounced. 
The Latin name "Caesar" was adopted by the Greek and became "Kaisar" which 
later became "Kaiser" in German. So most likely the "C" in Gaius Julius Caesar 
was originally pronounced like a "K". However, later the same "Caesar" became 
"Zar" in Russian, which apparently shows that there was a switch in the 
pronunciation of "C" in early and later Latin...

Nikolas Haass

Sydney, NSW


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