Our Coptic language > Old pronunciation vs new debate


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Very helpful and informative Canis Majoris.. Thanks a lot
Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡ̀ϭⲥ

>In the 1800's, the church decided that Modern Greek is the correct way to pronounce the ancient texts, < >Most Arabic Egyptians don't speak Modern Greek nor have studied it. Their pronunciation of Coptic Egyptian is subject to their native Arabic and how they perceive language differences in Modern Greek.<

Hi Canis:

This may explain the current pronunciation in Coptic churches where Χ, Β, Ⲅ sounds for example may not always correspond to Modern Greek. Going forward, perhaps the easiest approach is to leave things the way there are. Trying to reform the pronunciation is bound to introduce more errors, especially if AB is chosen as the basis for reform. What do you think?

Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡ̀ϭⲥ   


Hi Andrew
I cannot agree more with what you said. That is one of the reasons why I don't like the idea of Greco-Bohairic pronunciation
Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡ̀ϭⲥ

Canis Majoris:
As Coptic Egyptian is a literary language used mainly by scholars and the Orthodox Church in Egypt, any pronunciation would help the main purpose of the language- the purpose of being a connection to the ancient past and the continuation of the Christian tradition of Egypt. Until Kemetic Egyptian becomes widely spoken or written as a natural language, and not existing for the sole purpose of tradition, there won't be a consensus on what the proper pronunciation is.

You are  correct in saying that a reform would produce errors- there would be confusion between learners of the GB pronunciation between now and 150 years ago, and future learners of the new reformed pronunciation. However, for all the people who do learn to pronounce Coptic Egyptian, there are very few who really learn or care about the language; more people need to be motivated to learn Egyptian before a new reform can be considered.


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