Jump to content
HoJoon

As for the importance of the pronunciation of the scientific names.

Recommended Posts

HoJoon

Hello TFF members,

 

   I have not pronounced the scientific names properly and I have not been writing them in Korean pronunciation on my blog in order to avoid mispronunciation. However, today, someone told me that pronouncing the scientific name is totally not important no matter how pronounce it, but spelling and classifying it is more important because Latin is a dead language, so anyone knows how to pronounce it precisely.

   Actually, I couldn't come up with contradicts about this opinion, but I thought that pronunciation is also so important that we should regard and observe it. That is one of the reasons for studying Latin though there are a lot of variations, I think.

  Maybe the pronunciation is important for communicating with others so people should follow the rule, isn't it?

   Now I'm confused that can people pronounce the scientific name their own way or not.:(

  Sorry for bothering this basic question and I look forward to receiving you guys' answer. Thank you! :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coco

Hi,

 

I think that the pronunciation of a latin name is different according to our origin language. I suppose that an English speaker will not pronounce a latin name in the same way as a French speaker.

 

For Portuguese for example, the pronunciation can be different simply because a letter can be pronounced differently that what would make French (example the letter " J "). For me, the most important is to write the latin name correctly, at least we know in a certain way about what we speak, binominaux names latin were created for that.

 

Like for the other languages, if I don't understand the pronunciation of a latin name, I ask to spell or write it, and there everything gets clearer !

 

Coco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jpc

I agree with coco.  Latin is generally pronounced with an accent of whatever language the speaker speaks.  I have had many discussions in french with people like coco and I get confused when they mention a critter by name, until I think about it in French and the pronounciation becomes somewhat obvious, yet different than what I say in English.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tidgy's Dad

Diplodocus is an interesting one.

I have heard the emphasis put on just about every syllable. 

I agree that the different accents of the speaker, even within the English speaking world would tend to lead to different interpretations ans as we don't often here many of the scientific names of non-dinosaurs appearing on TV there's not much of a guide. I studied Latin but still don't know the pronunciation in many cases.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WhodamanHD

I hope it dosent matter too much, I've mispronounced everything from ankylosaurus to otodus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
doushantuo

Just remember that every syllable might be a pointer to greater understanding of the fossil.

The Greek and Latin terms are very, very frequently references to/caused by  current or earlier thoughts on the animals involved.

Anthozoa: "flower creatures"(all Greek roots)(invoked by a certain resemblance,of course)

Echinodermata:"spiny-skinned"(animals/creatures)(all Greek roots)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HoJoon

Hello,

 

  Sorry for the replying. I went out with my friends, yesterday. 

 

  I really appreciate everyone for telling me nicely and sincerely! Everyone gave me good advice and information! Now my head is getting clear!:D

  But, I apologize some people for not replying..

 

20 hours ago, Coco said:

Hi,

 

I think that the pronunciation of a latin name is different according to our origin language. I suppose that an English speaker will not pronounce a latin name in the same way as a French speaker.

 

For Portuguese for example, the pronunciation can be different simply because a letter can be pronounced differently that what would make French (example the letter " J "). For me, the most important is to write the latin name correctly, at least we know in a certain way about what we speak, binominaux names latin were created for that.

 

Like for the other languages, if I don't understand the pronunciation of a latin name, I ask to spell or write it, and there everything gets clearer !

 

Coco

 

19 hours ago, jpc said:

I agree with coco.  Latin is generally pronounced with an accent of whatever language the speaker speaks.  I have had many discussions in french with people like coco and I get confused when they mention a critter by name, until I think about it in French and the pronounciation becomes somewhat obvious, yet different than what I say in English.   

16 hours ago, Fruitbat said:

Actually...there IS a "correct" way to pronounce each and every Latin term...but most people don't get TOO hung up on the issue of pronunciation unless you're really far off!  I recall one occasion, back in my very early days of attempting to communicate with 'professional' paleontologists when I pronounced the word "astragalus" with the emphasis on the second "a" (which I pronounced as a 'long' ā like in the word 'snake'), whereupon I was immediately and rather disdainfully corrected...being informed that it is pronounced with the emphasis on the FIRST a, which is supposed to be a 'short' ă like in the word 'snack'.  I was mortified at being corrected in such a curt manner.  Just think of Hermione Granger correcting Ron Weasley's pronunciation of 'Wingardium Leviosa' in the first Harry Potter movie :D!  (Youtube Link)  Thank goodness our feathers don't explode in our faces when we mis-pronounce a name like Ramphorhynchus muensteri!

 

Of course...the only way to be sure that you're pronouncing the word absolutely correctly would be to take courses in Latin and Greek from somebody who actually knows how to pronounce those languages!  One of my first exposures to the way a language can be butchered was in my first college-level Latin class!  The professor was absolutely CLUELESS as how to pronounce the words he was trying to teach us!  Those of you who have the time, money and energy to take the necessary classes have my blessing!  The rest of us will just muddle on as best we can and let the purists argue about the pronunciations!

 

-Joe

   Thank you so much for telling me this detailed information!

  Wow.. I forgot the accent! That's somewhat difficult..

   Anyway, now I understand why there are Latin courses.

   Maybe following the rule is important for experts, not amateurs. I don't have any plan to be Paleontologist, yet. So, maybe rather than pronunciation, precise classification and spelling is more important for now..

  I'm not sure that I'll take a Latin course at university, which starts after next Jan!

   Thank you and your example was good! :D

 

   -Jun

 

16 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

With the emphasis on the first syllable in Astragalus, that seems to require another emphasis on the 'gal'...?

I guess we can be pretty safe in saying that 'a' is never pronounced as in English 'cake'. :headscratch:

In my understanding, the pronunciation of Latin changed throughout history. The medieval Church Latin is different in some ways than the earlier Roman Latin. Originally, 'c' was always pronounced hard (like 'k') but after the fall of the Roman Empire, it began to be pronounced differently where it occurred before 'e' or 'i' - like 'ch' as in 'church', and now as 's' by most speakers.

To add to the confusion, a lot of our scientific names have non-Latin roots....

However we pronounce things, the important thing is the listener understands us!

 

4 hours ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Diplodocus is an interesting one.

I have heard the emphasis put on just about every syllable. 

I agree that the different accents of the speaker, even within the English speaking world would tend to lead to different interpretations ans as we don't often here many of the scientific names of non-dinosaurs appearing on TV there's not much of a guide. I studied Latin but still don't know the pronunciation in many cases.  

 

3 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

I hope it dosent matter too much, I've mispronounced everything from ankylosaurus to otodus.

 

3 hours ago, doushantuo said:

Just remember that every syllable might be a pointer to greater understanding of the fossil.

The Greek and Latin terms are very, very frequently references to/caused by  current or earlier thoughts on the animals involved.

Anthozoa: "flower creatures"(all Greek roots)(invoked by a certain resemblance,of course)

Echinodermata:"spiny-skinned"(animals/creatures)(all Greek roots)

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tidgy's Dad
2 hours ago, HoJoon said:

Hello,

 

  Sorry for the replying. I went out with my friends, yesterday. 

 

  I really appreciate everyone for telling me nicely and sincerely! Everyone gave me good advice and information! Now my head is getting clear!:D

  But, I apologize some people for not replying..

 

 

   Thank you so much for telling me this detailed information!

  Wow.. I forgot the accent! That's somewhat difficult..

   Anyway, now I understand why there are Latin courses.

   Maybe following the rule is important for experts, not amateurs. I don't have any plan to be Paleontologist, yet. So, maybe rather than pronunciation, precise classification and spelling is more important for now..

  I'm not sure that I'll take a Latin course at university, which starts after next Jan!

   Thank you and your example was good! :D

 

   -Jun

 

 

No need to apologize, no one can be logged on here all the time.

Your good manners do you credit. :)

And you're right, we can't all learn Latin and classical Greek. And some names are from the names of people and places from many countries anyway, which makes things even more confusing

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abyssunder

In my opinion, it is not important how you pronounce a name (although it should be pronounced in its native language), but in the field of science, Latin was accepted as being recognized by all scientists for a better communication and understanding. As such, the names in the biological classification / taxonomy / taxonomic rank should be written correctly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Missourian

As long as they know what you're talking about. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Taogan

I am with the people who say it doesn't matter too much as long as people understand. For example, Latin does not have one pronunciation it has many; Classical, church and a few others and has changed over the years. Look at the way the name CAIVS IVLIUS CAESAR is pronounced today. Scientific names stem from a mixture of Latin, Greek, other languages and names of both people and places. The person who gives the name probably knows how they want it to sound, but in the absence of a phonetic guide published with the name by its original author (which I have occasionally seen) we all make a best guess. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jpc

Another issue is that a lot of recently named critters are named for Chinese places or people.  This leaves us English speakers saying the names with our English-speaking accents because we have no idea of the subtleties of Chinese pronunciations.  This probably only becomes a problem when we actually get the chance to talk about these beasts with someone who does speak Chinese.  I wonder how confused Chinese folks get when they hear an Anglo speaker pronounce a Chinese dinosaur name. 

 

A critter I worked on recently is being named after a local southeastern Alaska native word... I cannot prononce it. 

 

And as an added tidbit of info....Jobaria (sauropod from Niger) is named after the Tuareg word... the J is soft as in zhobaria not djobaria.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HoJoon
10 hours ago, Taogan said:

I am with the people who say it doesn't matter too much as long as people understand. For example, Latin does not have one pronunciation it has many; Classical, church and a few others and has changed over the years. Look at the way the name CAIVS IVLIUS CAESAR is pronounced today. Scientific names stem from a mixture of Latin, Greek, other languages and names of both people and places. The person who gives the name probably knows how they want it to sound, but in the absence of a phonetic guide published with the name by its original author (which I have occasionally seen) we all make a best guess. 

Hello Taogan,

 

  That's true. Actually, when I had tried to learn the pronunciation of the Latin, I was so confused what I should study. There were several different Latin pronunciations! :(

   Well.. But now, maybe it's not that important to concern it. Thank you! :)

 

-Jun

 

3 hours ago, jpc said:

Another issue is that a lot of recently named critters are named for Chinese places or people.  This leaves us English speakers saying the names with our English-speaking accents because we have no idea of the subtleties of Chinese pronunciations.  This probably only becomes a problem when we actually get the chance to talk about these beasts with someone who does speak Chinese.  I wonder how confused Chinese folks get when they hear an Anglo speaker pronounce a Chinese dinosaur name. 

 

A critter I worked on recently is being named after a local southeastern Alaska native word... I cannot prononce it. 

 

And as an added tidbit of info....Jobaria (sauropod from Niger) is named after the Tuareg word... the J is soft as in zhobaria not djobaria.   

 

    Hello jpc,

 

 That's interesting! I just reminded few Korean trilobites which have Korean and Japanese pronunciation in their scientific name. Not only these trilobites, but I've seen some other fossils that have other languages, such as English, Chinese, Arabic, etc. I suppose that people have not to pronounce them with Latin (I'm not sure, but I guess).

 

  Anyway, it's an interesting point! Thank you! :D

 

-Jun

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jpc

Yes, interesting discuyssion, especially the multilingual aspects.  Imagine if someone named a beast using the one of the southern African languages that uses clicks.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×