Re: Pronunciation of koine

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Feb 19 1996 - 12:51:11 EST

On 2/19/96, Alan Repurk wrote:

> Gentlemen,
> Hope you all don't mind a newbie question !
> Is koine pronounced `keen - ee`, or `coin - ay` ?
> Are there any tapes which follow the NT Greek to aid in
> proper pronunciation ?
> tia
> -lars

This is a better question than you may have thought! but there is no ready
answer. There are at least TWO answers:

(1) Most (perhaps I should limit myself to English-speakers) teachers and
students of the Koine in the English-speaking world use the Erasmian
pronunciation, which may not be correct in terms of ancient pronunciation,
but which is a convenient convention. According to that, the word is
pronounced, to use you system, `coin-ay'.

(2) The probability is that in the era of the formation of the NT, it was
already being pronounced as it is in modern Greek, i.e., `keen-ee.'

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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