Pronunciation of Rhodophyta

Discussion in 'Plants: Nomenclature and Taxonomy' started by Carnby, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Carnby

    Carnby Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tuscany (Italy) 8b/9a
    How would you pronounce Rhodophyta? The transcriptions I found on Wikipedia are somewhat confusing: I need both US and UK pronunciations to fix the page.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. David R

    David R Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    Road-o-fighta .....lol..but the one i hear pronounced strangely is kalanchoe..ive always pronounced it as kallan-ko-e but i also hear kallan-cho
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,933
    Likes Received:
    242
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Agree with David R.
     
  4. Harri Harmaja

    Harri Harmaja Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Finland
    I suggest ‘Raw-daw-fyoo-tuh’. Why not trying to pronounce the scientific names roughly as Linné intended, or according to the language which they represent, i.e. Latin or Greek? According to my experience of several decennia, the English speaking scientific community, in particular, tend to pronounce them as if they were English.

    The vowel ‘y’, the Greek ypsilon, is a loan from Greek to Latin. It is very common in scientific names of plants, fungi and animals. It is described as a ‘close front rounded vowel’, or ‘u with an umlaut’. The problems arise as this vowel sound is missing in modern English. But this sound is present in many other languages. Finns and Albans write it as ‘y’. In French and Dutch this sound is written as ‘u’ while in German, Estonian and Turkish it occurs as ‘ü’.

    In the United States, people with Spanish or Italian names are very common. Frequently, these are pronounced fairly faithfully according to the rather simple rules of their respective languages. Thus it would not appear too difficult also to try the original pronunciation of Latin and Greek. If you have learnt yourself a new language you also try to speak and pronounce it according to its rules. Why make an exception with Greek words?

    Harri Harmaja, Finland
    http://www.fmnh.helsinki.fi/users/harmaja/about_myself.htm
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,933
    Likes Received:
    242
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    That can't be right! There certainly shouldn't be an aspirated 'h' sound at the end.

    Using IPA symbols (as recommended by wikipedia), it would best be:
    ɹəʊdəʊfaɪtə
    Not sure this will display properly in the UBC forum (edit: it doesn't!), but it should be copyable into wikipedia.
     
  6. Carnby

    Carnby Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tuscany (Italy) 8b/9a
    He was suggesting a pronunciation (in simple IPA) like [rOdO'fju:t@], which is quite weird for English. The word does not exist in Classical Greek since it is a modern creation, however the words rhódon ("rose") and phytón ("plant") do exist.
    A possible reconstructed pronunciation is [hrO'dOphyta] (note [hr] for initial rho and [ph], not [f], for phi, while the stress must be on the -DO- syllable).
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,933
    Likes Received:
    242
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
  8. Vernonia

    Vernonia Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    lattingtown, New York (North shore of Long Island)
    I would pronounce it row-doph-ita with the accent on the doph.
    row - long o
    doph - short o
    ita - short i
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,933
    Likes Received:
    242
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    That's breaking up the syllables - it is combined from two words Rhodo (rose/red) and Phyta (plant), so having a syllable 'doph' in it is wrong. A bit like saying La-tingto-wn (with emphasis on 'tingto') for your home town ;-)
     
  10. Harri Harmaja

    Harri Harmaja Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Finland
    Er... I just wished to encourage English speaking people to pronounce the vowel ypsilon (German 'ü', 'u with an umlaut').

    It is somewhat out of my scope to discuss which is the best phonetic tag for advising people to pronounce foreign languages.

    As 'Rhodophyta' is basically Greek, why not simply pronouncing it as such? It would appear that it is the Finnish scientists that most faithfully follow the Greek and Latin rules in pronouncing scientific names of organisms. Not badly also those who speak Scandinavian, German or Slavic languages.

    Harri Harmaja
    http://www.fmnh.helsinki.fi/users/harmaja/about_myself.htm
     
  11. Harri Harmaja

    Harri Harmaja Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Finland
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,933
    Likes Received:
    242
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Should be "Poly-podey-um gly-ki-rizer" but I bet most people say "Poly-podey-um gly-si-rizer"
     
  13. David R

    David R Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    I pronounce it Polly-po-de-um gly-ka-riza ..but then again that is how i spell it too
     
  14. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I come up against this with my own name, which in the original German is pronounced "Kahreen" with a rolled R. I have never seen any advantage to going through life trying to get people in Canada to pronounce it any way other than what comes naturally to Canadians, namely the same pronunciation usually used for "Karen;" something like "Kehren" with the most gutteral, unattractive R sound you can imagine. I'm just grateful I wasn't a boy, as my parents would have named me Jürg.

    As such, I see no reason why Greek or Latin rules of pronunciation should prevail when one is using them in English, Spanish, or any other language that doesn't predispose its speakers to using Greek pronunciation. Words should be pronounced the way it is most logical in the language being used. Which is why, although I shudder to hear the word "puzzle" being pronounced "poozle" (oo sounds like it does in 'book') when it is used in German, and can't personally bring myself to say it that way, I don't quibble with their right to pronounce it as they see fit. (Although I do quibble with the trend toward using "poozle" in the first place instead of the delightful and descriptive German word Legegeduldspiel which means lay-patience-game)

    Isn't it enough trouble getting people to actually USE Latin names rather than common names in their native languages? Getting snooty about the names being pronounced correctly according to Greek rules is hardly going to help make Latin names more accessible and user friendly.
     

Share This Page