I apologize for the delay. Finally catching up this evening…

Pronunciation is a tricky thing in Latin.  This is simply because no one knows for sure how it sounded.  The Romans left us no audio recordings.  They had plenty of time.  Their civilization lasted over 1,000 years.  I guess they were busy doing other things.  🙂

When I started teaching myself Latin, I faced the same problem you are facing now.  I couldn’t find any pronunciation help.

There still isn’t much, but there is more these days than there used to be. 

Here are my tips for learning to pronounce Latin.

First of all, just follow along and listen to the last video in every Visual Latin lesson.  It is there you will learn to pronounce the words used in the course.

Second, you can listen (and follow along) to the New Testament in Latin.  Here is the New Testament, dramatized by a team of Catholic monks: http://listen.bible.is/LTNNVV/Matt/1. I have to warn you, though.  The monks sing at the beginning of every book for about 3 minutes.  If you want to skip the singing, just move to the next chapter.  But, I also have to say… Matthew chapter 1 is very helpful for pronunciation practice.  Just listen to (and repeat) the long string of names in the genealogy of Christ.   If they are reading too fast, simply click on the pause button.

Third, you can actually use Google Translate to practice Latin pronunciation these days.  While the translations of sentences are often a bit off, or sometimes way off, the translation of words is usually fine.  I am currently teaching myself Italian.  I use Google Translate all the time.  The person, or robot, who pronounces the Italian words is the same person, or robot, who pronounces the Latin words.  Of course, pronunciation purists will set their hair on fire and run in circles when they read this, but that’s okay.  I look for unconventional methods for two reasons.  One, the unconventional methods are often really good.  And, two, it’s fun to watch the purists freak out.  Remember that there are no ancient Latin recordings.  No one really knows for sure how Latin was pronounced.  For this, and many other reasons, I try to pronounce Latin with an Italian pronunciation.

And, finally, if you are crazy enough, you can join me every weekday morning at 5 a.m. central time zone for a Latin vocabulary class.  My students and I pick a list of Latin words and see how many English words we can draw from that list.   We end up practicing Latin pronunciation, Italian pronunciation, French pronunciation and sometimes… Greek pronunciation.  The class is free to anyone crazy enough to get up that early with me.  Of course, depending on your time zone it could be too early.  Or, it could be reasonable. 

Here is the link to the early morning class: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5072626970748798466