Pronunciation Issues With Hymnus Europae

By R. Seltza, in 'Pronunciation, Spelling and Listen to Latin', Mar 25, 2018.

  1. R. Seltza Member

    Nebula Septima
    Hello Everyone,

    I was wondering about some issues with the Latin version of the European Union's Anthem.
    Here's the song:

    I also have some questions about the grammar of certain sections in the song, but seeing as there are different sections for Latin Grammar Questions & Pronunciation, I'll make 2 separate posts & post the Grammar thread over in the Latin Grammar Questions Section.

    Anyways, my questions are as follows:

    (1.) Europa sounds like it was pronounced [AH-EE-ro-pa]/[AH-YU-ro-pa]. Isn't Eu- supposed to be pronounced ["Yu" or "Iyu"]?

    (2.) They pronounced Pacem like [PAH-SEM] instead of the classical [PAH-KEM] or Ecclesiastical [PAH-CHEM]. Is this a part of a different pronunciation system?

    (3.) Cives has the same issue as Pacem, as it was pronounced like [SEE-VEHZ] instead of the classical [KEE-VEHZ] or Ecclesiastical [CHEE-VEHZ] (they even have the background tenors dragging out the [SEE-] sound). Is this also a part of a different pronunciation system?

    (4.) They pronounced words with the letter V with the actual "V" sound instead of the "W" sound (like Di[VER]sitate & Ci[VES]. Is whatever pronunciation system they're using a more modern version or something?

    (5.) Words with -ae are pronounced [AY] (Like in Way) instead of being pronounced [AI] (like the sound of the letter "I"). In the sentence "Stellae Signa Sunt in Caelo Aureae, Quae Iungant Nos", "Caelois pronounced [CH(AY)-LO], like the Ecclesiastical pronunciation, but there are other places in the song where it doesn't seem to be following an Ecclesiastical pronunciation system. What's going on here?

    Thanks For The Help in Advance!
  2. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    The pronunciation does seem weird here.
    Cinefactus likes this.
  3. R. Seltza Member

    Nebula Septima
    I'm surprised that they would make this the official Latin Version of their anthem when it has a number of punctuation issues...
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    What you hear as /s/ actually sounds like /ts/ to me, which is not unusual in ecclesiastical pronunciation (or at least some sorts thereof; I believe it's like that in the version that is/was used in Czech-speaking countries, right, Godmy ?). Only perhaps in cives does it sound a bit like just /s/. Overall it sounds like relatively "normal" ecclesiastical pronunciation to me. Definitely not classical, but much like what I've heard in many Latin songs.
    Godmy and Hemo Rusticus like this.
  5. Hemo Rusticus Active Member

    More or less, yes, but they're definitely borrowing from German. I'm hearing /ɔɪ/, as in German 'Freund'.

    Yeah, that's a pan-Slavic phenomenon. The old 'aktsent'.

    Edit: The rest, as Pax hath y-said, is pretty normal, although the inconsistency with diphthong ae is a little baffling.
  6. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    I thought that in Latin (as opposed to English, where it does sound something like "you") it was more along the lines of /ɛʊ/. Not sure those are the exact phonetic characters to use here, but anyway, I think it's a diphthong involving some "e" (as in Latin) sound and some "u" sound.

    Edit: Wait, perhaps that's just what he was trying to approximate with "iyu". It wasn't immediately obvious to me, but now that I think about it, I guess it's close-ish. As for "yu", I was reading it with a consonantal "y", thus sounding like "you", but I guess he meant a vocalic "y".
    Last edited by Pacifica, Mar 27, 2018
  7. Hemo Rusticus Active Member

    It certainly was, at least among the learned. But as to how it developed in popular speech, I'm guessing it would have followed a native utterance like 'eum', and don't modern Ecclesiasts tend to pronounce that word /e-ju:m/?
  8. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    I've never noticed or paid attention to modern ecclesiasts' pronunciation of eum (I haven't listened to that much ecclesiastical Latin, after all, except for a couple of favorite songs) but I guess a /j/ sound can sneak in between the e and u spontaneously enough. As for possible popular variants of the eu in Europa, although I don't know, I guess your hypothesis is possible.
  9. Hemo Rusticus Active Member

    I said this without realizing/remembering that the lyrics begin with the German word 'Freude', which, I think, serves to corroborate.
  10. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Thanks for tagging. The pronunciation is pretty much correct, but it's the central European [traditional] pronunciation (not the restored one) in the German mutation (= heard in "r" and "eu" pronounced "oy" in "boy"; in Czech we pronounce both "r" and "eu" as one would in restituta and we always have) :)

    Otherwise make sure guys, to learn about also the rest of the giant international pronunciation models ;) Typically it's:

    1) Italian Ecclesiastic
    2) Central European/medieval (= pretty much the rest of the Europe but Italy, being in stranger mutations in France & Spain and once upon a time in a strange mutation in England too, though I'm not sure England hadn't took some elements from the Ecclesiastic too later on; of course before England switched to restituta as partially also the other European countries have already)
    3) restituta
    Last edited by Godmy, Mar 28, 2018

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