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Itms

===[TASK]===[VOICES]=== Greek

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Hi ltms and Yorgos,

To my knowledge, καλλιεργώ is indeed modern Greek, though I'm not that familiar Ancient Greek to say if it existed or not. But from what I found out in a book, it is γεωργω or γεωργεω which are the present conjugated forms of ancient Greek.

Which brings me to a question : what is the conjugation time or intonation that should be expressed by the voices ?

Concretely, do they have to respond to the question : "hey man or lady, what are you doing ?" and then the character should reply in a descriptive neutral way : "I'm doing", "I'm fishing", "I'm doing whatever".

Or is the question they have to answer : "man/lady, go do that" and then they should acknowledge it by saying in a way that denotes the intention to start doing something : "I'm going to do this"

I don't know if my point makes sense.

XTos

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Hey, I just posted some additions and changes to the audio voice list on the the corresponding thread. I was actually the one to submit the phrases in English, Ancient Greek, transliteration, and International Phonetic Alphabet. That was quite a while ago; not sure how long. I never finished the job back then; I guess it seemed too overwhelming to me then. But today I came back to it and got most of the phrases translated.

Nicolas, I listened to your recordings and have some input. (I studied Attic and Homeric Greek and researched the pronunciation on the side, so this is from my personal experience practicing the pronunciation.) There are three characteristics of Ancient Greek that are difficult for English speakers: vowel length, aspiration and voicing distinctions, and pitch accent. These are some areas where your pronunciations could use work. Or at least vowel length and pitch accent. I'm not sure about the aspiration thing, because it's hard to hear in the recordings.

Ancient Greek, unlike English, has vowel length distinctions everywhere in a word. In English, long vowels usually occur in stressed syllables; lengthening of a vowel is part of what indicates stress in English. To an English speaker, Ancient Greek will sound like it doesn't have regular stress, because stress is marked only by pitch, not by lengthening vowel of the the stressed syllable and shortening and reducing the vowels of unstressed syllables. Some of your audio files need work in this area, such as γεωργήσω "I will farm". (I thought νέμω "I am herding" needed work, but then I thought I could hear a little length in the o.)

There's also the pitch accent. Ancient Greek had a pitch accent, unlike Modern Greek, which has a stress accent (hence the removal of the grave and circumflex accents from the Modern Greek alphabet). Pitch accent is usually placed on one mora in a word. A mora is a short-vowel unit. Long vowels and most diphthongs have two morae. There are four possibilities for accent: no accent, high pitch on one morae, high pitch on first of two morae, high pitch on last of two morae. These can be notated as à, á, áà, àá. (Here à, grave accent, represents no accent or medium pitch.) áà is equivalent to â, the circumflex: thus, the circumflex is a falling accent. àá is equivalent to acute accent on a long vowel or on the last vowel of a diphthong, as in ἁλιεύσω.

We don't know exactly how pitch was (or what the grave accent was like), but I like to pronounce it as a gentle hill, with the high-pitch mora as the top of the hill. The difference between the highest and lowest pitches, or the high pitch and medium pitch, is supposed to have been about the musical interval of a fifth. I've noted the pitches in the IPA using acute accent (high pitch on single mora), circumflex (high pitch on first of two morae), and caron or háček (high pitch on last of two morae). I also added this to the Wikipedia page on IPA for Greek.

Finally, there was a three-way distinction in voicing and aspiration in Ancient Greek. We have a two-way distinction in English. Ancient Greek had voiceless unaspirated (p, t, k), voiced (b, d, g), and voiceless aspirated (ph, th, kh). I think you tried to capture this in the two audio files with aspirated consonants. At the very least, you're not pronouncing it the Modern Greek way. The distinction is hard to capture because English has a simple distinction of voiced and voiceless, and voiceless is often accompanied by aspiration, and voiced by lack of aspiration. Both unaspirated p, t, k and voiced b, d, g can sound voiced to an English speaker. It was hard for me to properly make the distinction when I was trying to pronounce Ancient Greek, and still is. Maybe it would be easy for a Hindi speaker to make the distinction.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Curious how much of this you already are aware of, because you do seem to know the differences between Ancient and Modern Greek pretty well, based on the several sound files I listened to.

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Hello Erutuon, and thanks a lot for the input on this! I'm French so I'm not a native English speaker at all, I'm quite surprised you thought I was, because I don't see how I would pronounce Greek with an English accent :P

I'm actually aware of all this, and I didn't try, indeed, to add the pitch accents, because I'm not used to pronounce them and I was afraid they would remove some authenticity because of my lack of practice :)

I'll try to improve the recordings that way.

I'll also try to insist on the vowels length, this time the problem was the pace. My first attempts were really slow and boring to hear and I put the vowels length a bit aside, I'll see what I can do.

Finally, about aspiration, I did try to capture it but it's hard to ear it in the recording, and too much aspiration is bad for the sound quality...

I'll come back with new recordings when the work on the new 0AD release is behind us, I'm also commenting on the other thread, thanks again for your professional advice!

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Hmm, my apologies for mistaking your native tongue. :? I didn't actually base what I said on your pronunciation, but was simply ignoring the possibility you were not an English speaker (even though your name is quite clearly French!) and telling the things I found difficult from my experience as an English speaker. Probably you as a French speaker would find it easier to distinguish voiced and voiceless unaspirated stops, whereas the other difficulties may remain.

I guess the advice may be unnecessary, but if you are interested, I have recorded a few attempts at demonstrating contrasts in pitch accent and vowel length and uploaded them to a Dropbox folder:

εἰμί εἶμι εἴσειμι ἔπειμι (I am, I will go, I will go into, I will go against)

οὕτως οὗτος (thus, this)

θηράσω θεράπων (I will hunt, servant)

The last example has a word with long a, then short a (since this is not visible from the spelling).

Regarding aspirated stops, you may be trying to make them too explosive if you are running into problems with sound quality. My advice would be to breathe gently, but to stop your vocal chords from vibrating for a longer time after the release of the stop than for unaspirated stops. That way you can aspirate "strongly", but not by blowing hard into the microphone and messing up sound quality.

Let me know if the recordings are helpful; I can make more if you are interested.

Edited by Erutuon

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Hello again, and sorry for the bump @Itms I assume it's ok since you told me? :P Can you please give me a quick rundown of what exactly is needed right now?

Edited by SGK7019

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12 minutes ago, SGK7019 said:

Hello again, and sorry for the bump @Itms I assume it's ok since you told me? :P Can you please give ma a quick rundown of what exactly is needed right now?

I think you can improved the existent Greek voices.

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10 hours ago, SGK7019 said:

Hello again, and sorry for the bump @Itms I assume it's ok since you told me? :P Can you please give me a quick rundown of what exactly is needed right now?

Yes! I'd like your input on the voices I recorded, that can be found in the top post of this thread. Especially the first ones, which are Ancient Greek recorded with a modern pronunciation. You can also give your input on the other ones.

If you think what I did is worth it, @Abdurrahman Al Sayad can use my recordings as a reference so that we have diverse voices recorded.

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17 minutes ago, Itms said:

Yes! I'd like your input on the voices I recorded, that can be found in the top post of this thread. Especially the first ones, which are Ancient Greek recorded with a modern pronunciation. You can also give your input on the other ones.

If you think what I did is worth it, @Abdurrahman Al Sayad can use my recordings as a reference so that we have diverse voices recorded.

As a classicist I also happen to know how Classical Greek (and Latin) were pronounced, which sound-shifts occured and approximately when, and what the modern pronounciation is. I do not have any recording equipment, but I could listen to audio files, and criticize them, if you like.

One of the most important differences with modern European languages is that classical languages didn't have stress, they had tone (cf. Chinese); á represents a rising tone, ã a rising then falling tone, and à a falling tone. Also, vowel length mattered: ā and ă were both written a, but the former was pronounced twice as long as the latter. Around c. 300 AD stress had become common and tone and vowel length had mostly disappeared.

As for sound values, I could write down pronounciations and highlight the differences between classical and modern. Do you understand IPA? If so, it would make things easier.

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54 minutes ago, Nescio said:

As a classicist I also happen to know how Classical Greek (and Latin) were pronounced, which sound-shifts occured and approximately when, and what the modern pronounciation is. I do not have any recording equipment, but I could listen to audio files, and criticize them, if you like.

One of the most important differences with modern European languages is that classical languages didn't have stress, they had tone (cf. Chinese); á represents a rising tone, ã a rising then falling tone, and à a falling tone. Also, vowel length mattered: ā and ă were both written a, but the former was pronounced twice as long as the latter. Around c. 300 AD stress had become common and tone and vowel length had mostly disappeared.

As for sound values, I could write down pronounciations and highlight the differences between classical and modern. Do you understand IPA? If so, it would make things easier.

That would be great. I do understand IPA and I should be able to pronounce tones :)

52 minutes ago, SGK7019 said:

And I assume I'll be posting here, right?

You can post here whenever its better to let everybody know, and I can send you my Discord handle by PM :)

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1 hour ago, Itms said:

That would be great. I do understand IPA and I should be able to pronounce tones :)

Great! Many sound shifts occured between 300 B.C. and 300 A.D. (Koine Greek), therefore the ancient pronunciation is often quite different from the modern one. “A” stands for Attic, the dialect of classical Athens, before those sound shifts, and “M” stands for the Byzantine/Modern pronunciation afterwards. Also, I give /broad/ rather than [specific] pronunciation. Here we go:

Vowels and diphthongs (it helps if English isn't your native tongue, because English orthography is simply horrible)

Α α – A: /a/ or /aː/ – M: /a/
Αι αι – A: /ai̯/ – M: /ai/
ᾼ ᾳ – A: /aːi̯/ – M: /a/
Αυ αυ – A: /au̯/ or /aːu̯/ – M: /av/

Ε ε – A: /e/ – M: /e/
Ει ει – A: /eː/ – M: /i/
Ευ ευ – A: /eu̯/ – M: /ev/
Η η – A: /ɛː/ – M: /i/
ῌ ῃ – A: /ɛːi̯/ – M: /i/
Ηυ ηυ – A: /ɛːu̯/ – M: /iv/

Ο ο – A: /o/ – M: /o/
Ου ου – A: /oː/ – M: /u/
Οι οι – A: /oi̯/ – M: /i/
Ω ω – A: /ɔː/ – M: /o/
ῼ ῳ – A: /ɔːi̯/ – M: /o/

Ι ι – A: /i/ or /iː/ – M: /i/
Υ υ – A: /y/ or /yː/ – M: /i/
Υι υι – A: /yi̯/ or /yːi̯/ – M: /i/

NB Vowel length was not indicated in Antiquity, therefore ā and ă were audibly different yet both written α; mutatis mutandis for ι and υ. Vowel length distinction has disappeared in the modern pronunciation.

Consonants (mostly the same as in modern European languages, except for aspiration)

Μ μ – A: /m/ – M: /m/
Ν ν – A: /n/ – M: /n/
Ρ ρ – A: /r/ – M: /r/
Λ λ – A: /l/ – M: /l/

Π π – A: /p/ – M: /p/
Β β – A: /b/ – M: /v/
Μβ μπ – A: /mp/ – M: /b/
Φ φ – A: /pʰ/ – M: /f/
Ψ ψ – A: /ps/ – M: /ps/

Κ κ – A: /k/ – M: /k/
Γ γ – A: /g/ – M: /g/
Γ γ (before γ, κ, χ, ξ, μ, ν) – A: /ŋ/ – M: /ŋ/
Χ χ – A: /kʰ/ – M: /x/
Ξ ξ – A: /ks/ – M: /ks/

Τ τ – A: /t/ – M: /t/
Δ δ – A: /d/ – M: /d/
Θ θ – A: /tʰ/ – M: /θ/
Ζ ζ – A: /zd/ or /dz/ – M: /z/

Σ σ ς – A: /s/ – M: /s/

NB pʰ is pronounced as in “ship hull”, not as in “photograph”; mutatis mutandis for kʰ and tʰ.

 

 

PS I also slightly edited the pronunciation tables at https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/Audio_Voice_List

 

Edited by Nescio
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2 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

One thing to point out is that having both Attic and Koine pronunciations is valid since the Macedonians, Seleucids, and Ptolemies should use that.  On that note though, shouldn't Spartans use Doric Greek?  There are some phonological differences.

Yes, I believe the intention is that the Ptolemies and Seleucids will use Koine and the modern pronunciation, and Athens and Sparta Attic and the classical pronunciation. Macedon was founded in 808 B.C., therefore a classical pronunciation would probably be better than a modern one.

And yes, there were several different dialects in ancient Greek; ideally Athens should use Attic, Thebes Aeolic, Sparta Doric, and Epirus Northwestern Greek. Unfortunately only a few inscriptions have survived for most dialects; although it is possible to reconstruct how e.g. Doric should have sounded and been written, using unattested forms is typically frowned upon, which means we have a lot of Attic, some Aeolic, and next to nothing of all other dialects. To summarize, Spartans speaking Attic is historically incorrect but probably better than the alternative, inventing ancient Greek words.

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19 minutes ago, Itms said:

Thank you very much for the detailed reference. I can't wait to try recording stuff!

@Sundiata
While at it you might try some Kush voices ? :)

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