Requiem

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Whisky con ron

Senior Member
Venezuela / Español
Hi,

Could someone tell me what the accepted pronuntiation of "Requiem" is? Is it "ReqUiem" (pronouncing the U) or "ReKiem"?

I am Spanish speaker (and also a choir singer) and we've also said "ReKiem" (no "u"), but now I'm singing in an English-speaking chorus and people say "reqUiem". Any ideas?

Cheers
 
  • Whisky con ron

    Senior Member
    Venezuela / Español
    Sorry, I probably asked this question in the wrong forum. I have found that it is, indeed, "reqUiem", and also found a couple of interesting facts about "Ecclesiastical Latin" and "Classical Latin". But in both versions the U retains its sound.

    ReqUiem it is.
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Whisky con ron said:
    Sorry, I probably asked this question in the wrong forum. I have found that it is, indeed, "reqUiem", and also found a couple of interesting facts about "Ecclesiastical Latin" and "Classical Latin". But in both versions the U retains its sound.

    ReqUiem it is.
    Well, I'm studying Latin, and I would have said "rekwiem".
     

    Whisky con ron

    Senior Member
    Venezuela / Español
    Thanks for that answer. I think it depends on the country where it is said. Remember Latin "died" in all "Popular" uses except the catholic church, which was the only "forum" where people would speak it (at masses, etc). It was only in the early 1900 when the pope asked all catholics to pronounce latin in the "Italian" way... before it was up to the original language.

    So, in French and Spanish latin (the one used at church in those countries), people would indeed say "Re-ki-em"...

    Saludos
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Hi Wcr,
    I sing Latin too!
    There seems to be a standard (or two) for pronunciation of Latin in choral works. But as far as I can tell, "...qui..." will always be pronounced as "....kwee...", whether it is the word "qui" or elsewhere (as in requiem).
    I THINK this is universally true, but it might be true only of English-speaking choirs singing Latin.
     

    Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Bonjour,
    The French way to pronouce the Latin 'qu' has changed.
    It has been pronounced the French way 'k' during centuries ( hum, 2 or 3 at least :)), but some 30-40 years ago, someone decided that the Latin pronounciation was probably 'kw' and changed the rules. When I studied Latin (it was during last century, can you believe it??!), I was taught to pronounced it 'kw'.
    This is probably the reason why it is sometimes difficult to know how French people pronounce Latin... :D

    By the way, I never heard "requiem" pronounced 'rekyem', only "rekwyem" (even by VEEEEEEEEEEERY old people who learned the old-fashioned way).
    The French noun "quiproquo" (= misunderstanding) = "qui pro quo" in Latin is pronounced kiproko...
    "Quid" (= what about...) is pronounced kwid.
    Etc. :(

    And "requiem" is pronounced "rekwyem". :D
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Agnes E. said:
    This is probably the reason why it is sometimes difficult to know how French people pronounce Latin... :D
    Haha, that's why I often can't pronounce "et" and "qui" in Latin in the correct way, because in French it's "e" and "ki", I often fail because of the correct Latin pronunciation "et" and "kwi".
     

    Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Whodunit said:
    Haha, that's why I often can't pronounce "et" and "qui" in Latin in the correct way, because in French it's "e" and "ki", I often fail because of the correct Latin pronunciation "et" and "kwi".
    Absolutely!
    The "old" French pronunciation of Latin "et" and "qui" was the French one: e and ki.
    Now, we are requested to pronounce it the supposedly true Latin one (probably taken from linguistic studies, and probably closer to reality): ett and qwi.
     

    Whisky con ron

    Senior Member
    Venezuela / Español
    I would be careful in talking about any "true" latin pronuntiation.... It is often thought that the "true" latin sounds much like today's italian, and this probably is due to the fact that Latin has been dead for centuries, in terms of people talking it as their prime language, and only the catholic church (Rome's church) used it.

    That way, though, it is thought that "luce" (light) should be pronounced like "luCHe", when apparently the "Classic" latin was closer to "luSe".

    Then you have classic latin (spoken by emperors, etc), and latin "from the street" (which then evolved to modern day's european languages, more or less)... which one is "true" latin?

    If you are interested in this, I recommend doing a search in the internet for "classic" and Eclesiastic latin...

    Saludos!
     

    Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    I would be careful in talking about any "true" latin pronuntiation....
    I do agree.
    This is the reason why I used frequently "supposed", "likely", "probably", etc. when posting!! ;)
    As Latin is a dead language, I never understood the reason of such a change in France: no-one is now able to say "this is true" or "this is false", anyway!!
    And I also fully agree with the difference that you point out between "noble" Latin and "street" Latin.

    When I mentioned "quiproquo" and "quid", I mentioned them as "French" words, as they are commonly used in French (and talked about their pronunciation as French words).
     
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