A TEI Project

Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar


8. The so-called Roman Pronunciation of Latin aims to represent approximately the pronunciation of classical times.



ā as in father ;


ă as in idea.

ē as eh? (prolonged), or a in date;ĕ as eh? (clipped) or e in net.
ī as in machine;ĭ as in holiest or sit .
ō as in holy;ŏ as in obey.
ū as oo in boot;ŭ as oo in foot.
y between u and i (French u or German ü ).


ae like ay;


ei as in eight;


oe like oy in boy;

eu as eh'oo;au like ow in nowui as oo'ee.

Consonants are the same as in English, except that—

c and g are as in come, get, never as in city, gem.

s as in sea, lips, never as in ease.

Consonant i is like y in young; v (consonant u) like w in wing.

n in the combinations ns and nf probably indicates nasalization of the preceding vowel, which was also lengthened; and final m in an unaccented syllable probably had a similar nasalizing effect on the preceding vowel.

ph, th, ch, are properly like p, t, k, followed by h (which may, for convenience, be neglected); but ph probably became like (or nearly like) f soon after the classical period, and may be so pronounced to distinguish it from p .

z is as dz in adze.

bs is like ps; bt is like pt.

Note— Latin is sometimes pronounced with the ordinary English sounds of the letters. The English pronunciation should be used in Roman names occurring in English (as, Julius Cæsar); and in familiar quotations, as, e pluribus unum; viva voce; vice versa; a fortiori; veni, vidi, vici, etc.

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