Pronouncing "v"

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Stephen K
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Pronouncing "v"

Postby Stephen K » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:34 pm

Why do some people pronounce "vipassana" as [wipassana], "bhagavato" as [bhagawato], "avijja" as [awijja], etc...?
Which is the correct pronunciation of "v" — [v] or [w]?
Or if both are correct, is it then a regional difference, i.e. Sri Lankans pronouncing it as [v] while Thais as [w]?

Thanks!
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Re: Pronouncing "v"

Postby Kare » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:59 pm

Stefan wrote:Why do some people pronounce "vipassana" as [wipassana], "bhagavato" as [bhagawato], "avijja" as [awijja], etc...?
Which is the correct pronunciation of "v" — [v] or [w]?
Or if both are correct, is it then a regional difference, i.e. Sri Lankans pronouncing it as [v] while Thais as [w]?

Thanks!


The correct pronunciation is probably the labio-dental [v] (although it has been discussed - according to Warder some think that the old pronunciation in the days when Pali was a spoken language, may have been the bilabial [w]). In the Thai language there is no [v]. The letter in the Thai alphabet that stands for the [v] in the Pali words, is pronounced as [w]. So the [w]-pronunciation heard today is probably influenced by the Thai.
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Kåre

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Re: Pronouncing "v"

Postby Stephen K » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:32 pm

Thank you, Kåre!
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Re: Pronouncing "v"

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:26 pm

Thai simply doesn't have a "v" sound, just as English doesn't have a number of sounds found in languages such as Thai, the various Chinese dialects, and even European languages such as Dutch (e.g. Van Gogh). Therefore, you don't find Thai pronouncing it as "v", just as you don't find many English speakers pronouncing Van Gogh correctly (it makes me feel like I'm making a rude noise!).

In my opinion, the "right" pronunciation is the pronunciation of the group one is chanting with. It would be silly to turn up to to a Thai Wat and create dissonance by loudly chanting a different pronunciation...

:anjali:
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Re: Pronouncing "v"

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:41 pm

Greetings,

From what I can gather the "v" isn't particularly common amongst Sri Lankans either... it's pronounced like more of a "w".

So much so that when writing certain Dhamma related words in English / Roman Script, they may even replace the "v" with a "w"!

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Re: Pronouncing "v"

Postby ancientbuddhism » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:11 pm

In the Tahi, true ‘v’ is replaced with . Also, the Thai rigor of pāḷi chanting insists on their particular ephony of retroflex consonents such as ṭ & ṇ, of which is rather hard to render any transliteration.

When I was chanting with the Lao saṅgha it was difficult to follow after training with the Thai, as they chant pāḷi according to the custom of Lao language. Lao does not use ‘r’ or ‘ch’ giving brahmacariya the euphony boomasara.

And as retro has mentioned, the Sri Lanka saṅgha does not seem to care. Although a Sri Lankan abbot I stayed with mentioned that there were some variations in the pāḷi texts where the 'v' is found replaced by 'b'.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

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With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

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