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Download all online audio for offline listening.
To hear a word spoken just click on the 'Play' button next to the desired word.
Instructions to correctly display macrons when a box (✏) shows up.
NOTE: For purposes of clarity, all words are
pronounced at a slower pace and enunciated more distinctly
than would be usual in normal reading or conversation.
Vowels

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Text that has a PLAY button beside it below is recorded; simply click on the PLAY button next to the words and phrases to hear the recording.

Vowels in Latin had only two possible pronunciations, long and short. Long vowels were generally held about twice as long as short vowels, like half notes and quarter notes in music. In this book and in most beginning textbooks (though not in actual classical texts), long vowels are marked with a "macron," or "long mark." Vowels typed without a macron are short.

Compare: short a and long ā.

Students should regard macrons as part of the spelling of a word, since the differences of pronunciation they indicate are often crucial to meaning (just as the "silent -e" at the end of the English word cape indicates that the vowel -a- in that word is pronounced long and refers to a very different garment than the word cap, which lacks the -e and thus is pronounced with a short -a- sound).

For example, liber is a noun meaning book, while līber is an adjective meaning free.

The pronunciations are approximately as follows:

Long:
ā as in father : dās, cāra
ē as in they : , sēdēs
ī as in machine: hīc, sīca
ō as in clover: ōs, mōrēs
ū as in rude: , sūmō
ÿ     Dionÿsius (the y should have a macron instead of a diaresis)

Short:
a as in Dinah: dat, casa
e as in pet: et, sed
i as in pin: hic, sicca
o as in orb, off: os, mora
u as in put: tum, sum
y as in French tu, or German über: tyrannus
Note the pairs of words above that are identical except for vowel length (hic/hīc, os/ōs).

Continue onto Diphthongs

 

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