Carmina Burana Latin and German Pronounciation

Here is  a pronunciation guide to the Middle High German in Carmina Burana
Click to download the PDF

Carmina Pronunciation  download PDF

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Latin Pronunciation  (German below)

Latin pronunciation rules for Carmina Burana:
produced for the
Dayton Philharmonic Chorus
by
Hank Dahlman, DMA
Department of Music
Wright State University
Dayton, OH 45435

  • Vowels are the same 5 pure ones used in modern church Latin:

a = “ah” e = “eh” i = “ee” o = “aw” u = “oo”

  • When “y” is used as a vowel in a Latin word, we will “Germanize” by making it a little like the umlaut “u” sound (ü), i.e., round lips like “oo”, but say “ee” inside.
  • Consonants present our biggest problem. Most are the same as in church Latin, which is closer to the poetic medieval than scholastic Latin. Notable consonant rules, exceptions, and examples in alphabetical order:
Consonant American English Equivalent Examples
c normally “k” mecum = meh-koom
Hecubam = heh-koo-bahm (see note on ‘h’)
calvata = kahl-vah-tah (see note on ‘v’)
capillata = kah-pee-lah-tah
Cupidinis = koo-pee-dee-nees
amicus = ah -mee-koos
ce, ci, followed by vowel ts crescis = krehs-tsees
aciem = ah-tsee-ehm
glaciem = glah-tsee-ehm
ocellis = aw-tseh-lees
vertice = vehr-tee-tseh
facies = fah-tsee-ehs
principatur = prihn-tsee-pah-toor
dulci = dool-tsee
celebratur = tseh-leh-brah-toor
cetus = tseh-toos
reducit = reh-doo-tseet
cedant =tseh-dahnt
recedit = reh-tseh-deet
liquescit = lee-kwehs-tseet
cetera = tseh-teh-rah
lascivit = lahs-tsee-veet
dulcedinis = dool-tseh-dee-nees
pincerna =peen-tsehr-nah
ancilla =ahn-tsee-lah
centum = tsehn-toom
sexcente = sehks-tsehn-teh
circa = tseer-kah
lucent = loo-tsehnt
cellula =tseh-loo-lah
coniunctio = kawn-yoon-tsee-aw
suscrescente = soos-kreh-tsehn-teh
lacertis = lah-tsehr-tees
facias = fah-tsee-ahs
species – speh-tsee-ehs
patiens = pah-tsee-ehns
simplicitas = seem-plee-tsee-tahs
domicella = daw-mee-tseh-lah
cc ts ecce = eh-tseh
saccis = sah-tsees
ch hard, almost guttural, like Modern German “ich” or the h in huge michi = mee-chee
chorus = chaw-roos
Baccho = bah-chaw
cy tsü Cytharizat = tsü-tah-ree-dzaht
Cypridis = tsü-pree-dees
g hard, as in get, not j as in jet egestatem=eh-geh-stah-tehm
angaria = ahn-gah-ree-ah
plangite = plahn-gee-teh
plango = plahn-gaw
legitur = leh-gee-toor
reginam = reh-gee-nahm
virginum -veer-gee-noom
fugit = foo-geet
sugit = soo-geet
niger = nee-gehr
agatur = ah-gah-toor
rege = reh-ge
lege = leh-geh
piger = pee-gehr
vagus = vah-goos
magus = mah-goos
gentes = gehn-tehs
virgines = veer-gee-nehs
virginali = veer-gee-nah-lee
gemma = geh-mah
generosa = geh-neh-raw-zah
h (initial) slightly pronounced not silent, as in modern Latin Hecubam = heh-koo-bam
hiemalis = hee-eh-mah-lees
Hyemis = hü-eh-mees
hinc = heenk
humus = hoo-moos
hoc =hawk
hac = hahk
hec = hehk
hera = heh-rah
herus = heh-roos
hyrca = hür-kah
Helena = heh-leh-nah
i before another vowel y iam = yahm
gaudia -gah-oo-dya (if dia is on one note)
iustis = yoo-stees
Io – yaw
iocundum = yaw-koon-doom
iuvenes = yoo-veh-nehs
qu kw, like in English quis-quid = kwees-kweed
antiquus = ahn-tee-kwoos
single s between vowels z fusus = foo-zoos
risum = ree-zoom
misera =mee-zeh-rah
presul = preh-zool
Rosa = raw-zah
formosissima = faw-mawr-zee-see-mah
pretiosa = preh-tsee-aw-zah
gloriosa = glaw-ree-aw-zah
generosa = geh-neh-raw-zah
ending single s s nobilis = naw-bee-lees
ss between vowels s promissio = praw-mee-see-aw
formosissima = faw-mawr-zee-see-mah
sc followed by vowel ts sceleris = tseh-leh-rees
th t Cytharizat = tsü-tah-ree-dzaht
ti between vowels tsee sevitia = seh-vee-tsee-ah
septies = sehp-tsee-ehs
militibus = mee-lee-tsee-boos
octies = awk-tsee-ehs
decies = deh-tsee-ehs
penitentibus = peh-nee-tehn-tsee-boos
agentibus -ah-gehn-tsee-boos
pretiosa = preh-tsee-aw-zah
v v (not w like scholastic Latin) volubilis = vaw-loo-bee-lees
vana = vah-nah
veluta = veh-loo-tah
virtutis = veer-too-tees
verum = veh-room
vertice = vehr-tee-tseh
calvata = kahl-vah-tah
veni = veh-nee
ave = ah-veh
Venus = veh-noos
w (initial) is borrowed from the old German so sing as English w (see German pronunciation section) Wafna = wahf-nah
x s sexies = seh-tsee-ehs
z (initial) dz Zephyrus = dzeh-fü-roos
nazaza = nah-dzah-dzah
Blanziflor = blahn-dzee-flawr

GERMAN PRONUNCIATION

  • Vowels: Are actually a bit more like modern English. Also, they tend to be phonetic, that is, if two vowels appear together, pronounce them separately (or quickly elide if on the same note).
  • Consonants: Are also much like modern English, so some modern German things don’t apply. For instance, “s” is pronounced like modern English “s”, and so is “w”. However, some consonants are done like in modern German: “v”= “f”, “j” = “y”, and “ch” endings in words like “ich” and “mich”.
  • Pronunciation: Because the MHG text is so much shorter than the Latin in CB, a word-by-word pronunciation guide follows: This refrain is in German
    Movement Text American English Equivalent
    7. Floret silva nobilis
    (The woods are burgeoning)
    (Note: the first segment of
    this movement is in Latin.
    The German text starts
    6 measures after rehearsal 53.)
    nah min gesellen ist mir we
    Gruonet der walt allenthalben,
    wa ist min geselle alse lange
    Der ist geriten hinnen
    o wi, wer sol mich minnen?
    nach meen geh-seh-lehn ihst meer weh (almost ‘we’)
    groo-oh-neht dayr wahlt ah-lehnt-hahl-behn
    wah ihst meen geh-seh-leh ahl-seh lahn-geh
    dayr ihst geh-ree-tehn hih-nehn
    aw wee wehr sawl mich mih-nehn
    8. Chramer, gip die varwe mir
    (Shopkeeper, give me colour)
    Chramer, gip die varwe mir,
    die min wengel roete,
    damit ich die jungen man
    an ir dank der minnenliebe noete.

    Seht mich an,
    jungen man!
    lat mich iu gevallen!

    Minnet, tugentliche man,
    minnecliche frouwen!

    minne tuot iu hoch gemout
    unde lat iuch in hohen eren schouwen

    Wol dir, Werlt, daz du bist
    also freudenriche!
    ich will dir sin undertan
    durch din liebe immer sicherliche.

    krah-mehr gihp dee fahr-weh meer
    dee meen wen-gehl roh-eh-teh (the o sounds a little Swedish)
    dah-miht ich dee yoon-gehn mahn
    ahn ihr dahnk dayr mih-nehn-lee-beh noh-eh-teh (Swedish o)

    sayt mich ahn
    yoon-gehn mahn
    laht mich yoo geh-fah-lehn

    mih-neht tuh-gehnt-lee-sheh (slightly gutteral) mahn
    mih-nehk-lee-sheh froh-oo-wehn
    (elide to second vowel quickly)
    mih-neh too-oht yoo hoch geh-moh-oot
    oon (as in foot)-deh laht yooch ihn hoh-ehn eh-rehn shoh-oo-wehn

    wohl deer wehrlt dahs doo bihst
    ahl-soh froy-dehn-ree-sheh
    ich wihl deer sihn oon-dehr-tahn
    doorch deen lee-beh ih-mehr see-cher-lee-sheh

    9. Reie
    (Round dance)
    Swaz hie gat umbe,
    daz sint alles megede
    die wellent an man
    alle disen sumer gan!

    Chume, chum, geselle min
    ih enbite harte din
    Suzer rosenvarwer munt
    chum un mache mich gesunt

    swahs hee-eh gaht oom-beh
    dahs sihnt ah-lehs meh-geh-deh
    dee weh-lehnt ahn mahn
    ah-leh dee-sehn suh-mehr gahn

    kuh-meh kuhm geh-seh-leh meen
    ich ehn-bee-teh hahr-teh deen
    soo-sehr roh-sehn-farh-wehr munt
    koom oon mah-che mich geh-suhnt

    10. Were diu werlt alle min
    (Were all the world mine)
    Were diu werlt alle min
    von deme mere unze an den Rin
    des wolt ih mih darben
    daz diu chunegin von Engellant
    lege an minen armen
    weh-reh dyoo wehrlt ah-leh meen
    fawn deem meh-reh oon-seh-an dayn reen
    dehs wohlt ich mich dahr-ben
    dahs dyoo koe-nih-gehn fohn ehn-geh-lant
    leh-geh ahn mee-nehn ahr-mehn
    18. Circa mea pectora
    (In my heart)
    The first four bars of
    the chorus are in Latin.
    Manda liet
    min geselle
    chumet niet
    mahn-dah lee-eht
    meen geh-seh-leh
    koo-meht nee-eht

 

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