loan words Venus Vatican

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by john welch, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. john welch Senior Member

    English-Australian creole
    It appears that "Venus" when borrowed by classical Gr may have been "Benus". Is that correct and so would "Vatican" at that time have been "Batican"?
  2. sotos Senior Member

    The etymology of Vatican has been discussed elsewhere (search). Knowing a little about dialectological differences in south Europe, I believe there were people who possibly pronounced it "Benus" and "Batican". Compare with the Spanish "v", Gr. vous (ox) and latin bos etc.
  3. Eltheza

    Eltheza Senior Member

    Worcestershire, UK
    English - England (Midlands)
  4. john welch Senior Member

    English-Australian creole
    Thanks. Are you saying that in ancient Greece the other people would have copied the Latin sound /venus/ /vatican/?
  5. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Where did you get that from? In the case of Venus, why not just translate it as Aphrodite?

    As for the Vatican, it sounds like a medieval (perhaps later) word that did not exist in classical times.
  6. john welch Senior Member

    English-Australian creole
    I'm inquiring about Greek /v/. Did classical Greek drop the v in loanwords or try to pronounce it?
    (The name "Vatican" predates Christianity and comes from the Latin Mons Vaticanus, meaning Vatican Mount.[20] The territory of Vatican City is part of the Mons Vaticanus, and of the adjacent former Vatican Fields. )
    'Venice" is from the Veneti of 1000 BC. If a Roman asked a Greek to carve a Venus statue, how would the Greek pronounce the word?
  7. sotos Senior Member

    1) Veneti is not attested in 1000 BC.
    2) The correct question is if the Roman pronounced Venus of Benus. The Greek could probably pronounce both. As far as I know, there are no classical words spelled with "b" (-μπ- in Greek) but the modern Greeks while talking do pronounce "b" where the classic spelling is -νβ- or -μβ- which is common in ancient Greek. e.g. Beno (I enter) instead of εμβαίνω. If the modern Greeks do it, it is possible that the ancients did it as well. We speak the same language for 3500 years (attested).
  8. john welch Senior Member

    English-Australian creole
    So then, if Vatika is a loan word (not from classical Greek *batika?) then it may have been pronounced "V--" in ancient times?
  9. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In classical Latin the consonant "v" was pronounced "w", not "v"... The closest Greek equivalent to this should be OU (omicron-hypsilon). But I'm afraid I can't think of any ancient loanwords that illustrate this.

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