Re: Bear with me, here. :-)

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Oct 16 1999 - 20:28:42 EDT

At 8:16 PM -0500 10/16/99, Geoffrey Lessel wrote:
>Okay, all you Greek experts. I'm a VERY new newbie (started Thursday) and
>was wondering about the pronounciation of a letter. How exactly is the
>omikron pronounced and how different is it from omega? Example: Is QEOS
>pronounced "theohs" or more like "theahs"? Another one that's giving me
>trouble is LOGOS because I just want to pronounce it like an omega,
>aparently. Anyway, I have no one to ask but you guys, so there you go.

Welcome to the list, Geoffrey. I must warn you, however, that you are not
to expect unanimity on even so seemingly simple a question as this. I think
that the probability is that the omicron at the time of the writing of the
NT was pronounced pretty much like an English long O, while the Omega was
more likely pronounced like the O in "doll." HOWEVER, the pronunciation
taught in most American schools is traditionally termed "Erasmian" because
this system of pronunciation was supposedly originally taught by the Dutch
Renaissance scholar who edited the first printed Greek New Testament; that
pronunciation generally renders the Omicron more like the O in "doll" and
the Omega like an English long O. Some B-Greekers favor using the
pronunciation of modern spoken Greek for the Greek of the NT era, and
that's probably closer to what I first suggested above. Be assured,
however, that you'll be reading other opinions here. And again, welcome to
the list.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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