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Old 05-15-2015, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 45,671,389 times
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Does anybody know of a site where I can actually hear the proper pronunciation of latin genus, varieties, cultivars? It's been so long since I got my Horticulture Degree and I know some changes have been made. Also regional pronunciation can be different. Some examples are li-A-tris vs LI atris, Cle MA tis vs. CLE matis
and buddleia is pronounced all sorts of ways. I know how to read pronunciation but I really want to HEAR it.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:29 AM
 
1,566 posts, read 950,365 times
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FWIW, think "Wikipedia" has phonetic spellings showing the emphasis on vowels and so on for widely accepted pronunciations of the various genus and species names. that said, don't think there is a UNIVERSALLY accepted/required pronunciation for latin either ecclesiastical or scientific (since it's a "dead" language and no one actually speaks it day to day).

practically, a reasonable attempt to pronounce the words "correctly" will likely get an intelligent response from someone who also has some knowledge of scientific names (which often include BOTH greek and latin elements---sometimes simultaneously)---which is all you really need for communication. it may end up being a case of "pahtahtoh" or "poetaetoe", "creek" or "crick" but understanding should be reached sooner rather than later. if there is some kind of impasse then on what is exactly is being referred to then you can probably WRITE the name down and/or point to the plant and point to the name and say, "that's what I'm talking about!!!" (LOL). hope this helps a little.

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 05-15-2015 at 08:52 AM..
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 45,671,389 times
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yes it does help thank you. Specifically I was thinking of an encounter I had recently with a rather knowledgeable retail clerk. I asked for Sweet Autumn CLE' matis- which is how I was taught and she answered back with "Oh you mean cle MA' tis" I wasn't going to get into a pissing contest with her and I still haven't looked it up but I'm thinking it is just old v new pronunciation and either is accepted.

YEAH I was right.

see pronunciation note right after Clematis

Clematis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:15 AM
 
Location: CO
2,454 posts, read 2,791,810 times
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I've used Fine Gardening's guide for years. Very helpful. The clematis pronunciation seems to be regional, I've found. But at least most people recognize it either way, "knowledgeable sales clerks" not withstanding!

Pronunciation Guide | Fine Gardening
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 45,671,389 times
Reputation: 47513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Roses View Post
I've used Fine Gardening's guide for years. Very helpful. The clematis pronunciation seems to be regional, I've found. But at least most people recognize it either way, "knowledgeable sales clerks" not withstanding!

Pronunciation Guide | Fine Gardening
EXACTLY WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR. Many many thanks.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,513,448 times
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Thanks for the link. I have a similar problem.

One tip that works for me: neatly print out the scientific names on a piece of paper or index card and take that with you when plant shopping. Some clerks will recognize the written word faster or can look up things on the computer faster if they can see the letters.

That also helps prevent, "We don't have it" when the clerk can't quite remember the Latin spelling and guesses.

I, too, avoid arguing with clerks as much as possible. The goal is to buy or order the specific plants I need. I try to stay focused on that task.

I've also found it helpful to chat with owners or supervisors when the clerks are teenagers who know very little about plants. Some places hire youngsters for watering/loading. On the other hand, children of the owners may know quite a bit.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:02 PM
 
Location: NC
7,260 posts, read 8,987,314 times
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Also, it helps to consider the derivation of the scientific names. For example Clematis derives from the word clema (climbing) + the suffix -tis, hence CLEM-a-tis not clem-AT-is. Buddleia is from the name Buddle + ia, therefore BUDDLE (rhymes with puddle)-ee-a. Peony is based on the name of the Greek character Paeon, so you would say PEE-awn-ee, not pee-OWN-ee.

Of course it is easier to use the resource posted by Lost Roses. There exists also the Cambridge online dictionary which will give both english and american pronunciations as audios. But there are so many that I need to look up too.
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