A discussion of the peculiarities of languages and the differences between them.
tcward wrote:I declined to take Latin.
I wasn't even allowed to take Latin, having chosen science. So I asked my old classmate the Latin professor if I was correct in remembering the phrase as "papam habemus", and linked him to the Languagelog comment on Cardinal Estevez' pronuciation (www.langagelog.com, abour 2/3 down).
BTW, that page also has several interesting discussions on particles/tags like Canadian eh and Japanese ne.
The comments by the prof, my translation:
The word order 'habemus papam' is the normal one, but the reverse one is, from a linguistic point of view, equally correct. 'H' was pronounced very feebly in the Latin of antiquity, and disappeared totally in the Romance languages. So, Estevez' pronunciation is perfectly expected and correct as a modern Latin pronunciation.
Another view: the Swedish RC archbishop would have preferred the quite common name "Bengt" for an official Swedish name, but had to admit that all previous Benedicts have been Benedictus in Sweden.
It is normal practice in Sweden to use names close to the transcriptions of the original ones for, say, Latin and Greek authors. There's no Homer here but a Homeros, Plutarch is Plutarchos, etc. etc.
Irren ist männlich
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