Kappa translitereated as "k" and "c"

Is vocalizing the Greek words and sentences important? If so, how should Greek be pronounced (what arguments can be made for one pronunciation over another or others?) How can I write Greek characters clearly and legibly?
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Jonathan Michaels
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Kappa translitereated as "k" and "c"

Post by Jonathan Michaels » May 19th, 2015, 9:46 am

Hello:

When do you know to transliterate kappa as "k" or "c"?

What are some examples of Greek words that have been transliterated both ways?

Thanks,
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Kappa translitereated as "k" and "c"

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 19th, 2015, 8:16 pm

Are you asking about words that enter the English vocabulary from Greek? Or some particular form of transliteration? I need some context here.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Jonathan Michaels
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Re: Kappa translitereated as "k" and "c"

Post by Jonathan Michaels » May 19th, 2015, 11:10 pm

I am asking about Greek words that enter English.

For example, koine.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Kappa translitereated as "k" and "c"

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 19th, 2015, 11:52 pm

General principal:
Latin uses "c" to transliterate κ (Kappa). If a Greek word came to English through Latin, you will find a "c". If a word is being transliterated from Greek directly it will have a "k". It usually has a "k" these days.

Example:
The Greek philosopher Σωκράτης is traditionally referred to as "Socrates" (the Latin form of his name - itself a transliteration of the Greek), but sometimes as "Sokrates" (a direct transliteration from Greek to English).

Comments:
There is a feeling that the Greek / Hellenistic heritage does not need to be mediated to us through the Latin / Roman. The Mythology is ancient Greece is alluded to in Greek literature, but not written out in detail. One possible explanation of that was that it was part of the public consciousness. During the Hellenistic period, there was need for a fuller explanation and story telling of the myths and they were written down in full, and some of them include etiologies. As the Romans adopted the Greek gods and some of their practices, there was a degree of syncretism. The use of transliteration of κ (Kappa) as "k" may indicate an attempt to view ancient Greece (both lannguage and culture) in and of itself, rather than as it has been handed down to us through the classical tradition (that in itself being interpreted in a number of ways).
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Kappa translitereated as "k" and "c"

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 20th, 2015, 12:32 am

Jonathan Michaels wrote:koine
If it had been transliterated into Latin first, it might have ended up in English as "Cena", but it wasn't and didn't.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Kappa translitereated as "k" and "c"

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 20th, 2015, 6:13 am

Of course "cena" exists as a perfectly good Latin word meaning "dinner." And no -- οι was regularly transliterated by Latin speakers with oe. The tradition of following the way the Romans did transliteration into Greek was common up through the first half of the 20th century, and some classicists still do it. Speaking of cena:

A classics prof went to a local diner, and was handed a sheet listing the daily specials. The waiter approached him and said, "What would you like?" The prof replied:

cena
cenae
cenae
cenam
cena
cenae
cenarum
cenis
cenas
cenis

"What are you doing?" queried the waiter. "Declining the dinner," quipped the prof.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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cwconrad
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Re: Kappa translitereated as "k" and "c"

Post by cwconrad » May 20th, 2015, 7:51 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Of course "cena" exists as a perfectly good Latin word meaning "dinner." And no -- οι was regularly transliterated by Latin speakers with oe. The tradition of following the way the Romans did transliteration into Greek was common up through the first half of the 20th century, and some classicists still do it.
I find (somewhat) more interesting the transformation of vowels and diphthongs from Greek κοιμητήριον to French cimetière to English "cemetery."
Speaking of cena:

A classics prof went to a local diner, and was handed a sheet listing the daily specials. The waiter approached him and said, "What would you like?" The prof replied:

cena
cenae
cenae
cenam
cena
cenae
cenarum
cenis
cenas
cenis

"What are you doing?" queried the waiter. "Declining the dinner," quipped the prof.
Down, Barry! Down! Down!
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Kappa translitereated as "k" and "c"

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 20th, 2015, 9:08 am

Did I mention that the professor's name was "Carl?"
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Kappa translitereated as "k" and "c"

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 20th, 2015, 10:58 am

It was only in the early 20th century that the spelling of oe (or œ) in words of Latin origin - eg. œcomics or cœmetery - was finally standardised to the simple e (economics, cemetery). The sound change happened earlier with the medieval pronunciation of Latin making no difference between them.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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