I get this question all the time. 

Do you think it would be confusing for a student to do both pronunciations? My kids (age 11 and 13) will be doing a class next year that uses Classical pronunciation but I would love them to be able to use some of the resources that are Ecclesiastical. From my (mostly uneducated) perspective it seems that there are only a few differences, mostly the c, v, i/j? Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks again for your blog it has been very encouraging to me!

Here is my reply: 

It’s the same language, with different pronunciations. There really should be very little confusion for your kids.  I switch back and forth all the time.

Naturally, I much prefer the ecclesiastical pronunciation.  It has a tradition going back at least 700 years.  The classical pronunciation was “restored” several hundred years ago.  No one really knows what ancient Latin sounded like.

To fully train myself in Ecclesiastical pronunciation, I practice Italian as often as I can on the site DuoLingo.  And, I listen to these guys often as I read the Bible: http://live.bible.is/bible/LATNV1/MAT/1

In the end, I wouldn’t worry much about pronunciation.  People fight over it, but the fights seem pretty silly since there is no definitive answer. 

Just keep this in mind. It’s the same language either way.  I don’t think your kids will be that confused.  They will only encounter trouble when they encounter academic purists.


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