Pronouncing "v"

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Upasaka Sumana
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Pronouncing "v"

Postby Upasaka Sumana » 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!
Metta,
Sumana

Rather light a candle than complain about darkness.
~Chinese proverb


The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
~Nelson Mandela


Think not lightly of evil, saying, "It will not come to me." Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the fool, gathering it little by little, fills himself with evil.
Think not lightly of good, saying, "It will not come to me." Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.

~Dhp. 121-122

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Kare
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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.
Mettāya,
Kåre

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Upasaka Sumana
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Re: Pronouncing "v"

Postby Upasaka Sumana » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:32 pm

Thank you, Kåre!
Metta,
Sumana

Rather light a candle than complain about darkness.
~Chinese proverb


The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
~Nelson Mandela


Think not lightly of evil, saying, "It will not come to me." Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the fool, gathering it little by little, fills himself with evil.
Think not lightly of good, saying, "It will not come to me." Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.

~Dhp. 121-122

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mikenz66
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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:
Mike

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Paul Davy
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Re: Pronouncing "v"

Postby Paul Davy » 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"!

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)

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ancientbuddhism
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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'.
‘yaṃ kiñci dukkhaṃ uppajjamānaṃ uppajjati, sabbaṃ taṃ chandamūlakaṃ chandanidānaṃ. chando hi mūlaṃ dukkhassā’ti.’

“Whatever dukkha arises into existence, all arises rooted in chanda, chanda as its cause, chanda as the root of dukkha. – SN.42.11 Bhadrakasuttaṃ

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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