[amsat-bb] Re: use of PI in amsat development practice

Greg D. ko6th_greg at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 14 20:02:01 PDT 2010

> Here's something people might not know about the letter pi. It is
> closely related in ancient Greek to the letter 'phi'. While, we (at
> least the Western European 'we') pronounce phi as an 'ffff', in
> ancient Greek it was a 'p' sound with a bit of a puff of air after it,
> 'p' + 'huh'. There was a similar relationship in Greek between kappa
> and chi.
> 73, Bruce
> -- 
> http://ve9qrp.blogspot.com

Yeah, Ancient Greek is an interesting language.  Modern Greek too.  We native English speakers get taught the "Greek alphabet" in our math and physics classes, and most of the letters are pronounced all wrong for Modern Greek.

For example, all the letters ending in "eye" (Pi, Xi, Phi, etc) are pronounced in Greek ending in "eee".  So, Pi is not a big round thing with fruit in a crust, but rather "Pea", the small orb-like vegetable.  Sorry, Pi-day folks.  You're baking the wrong food.

To make things worse, the letter that looks like a "B" (beta) is not a "bee" sound, but rather it's a Vee.  Veeta, like the cheese.  The "v"-looking letter sounds like an "n".  The "n" letter is actually an "eee" sound.  The "e" looking letter is, oddly enough, pronounced like an "eee", one of 6 "eee"s, counting some double-letter combinations.  I don't recall any long-I sounds at all, come to think of it.

And they say English is hard to learn...

The best summaries I've found are here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSpbpOtF9qI and
here:  http://greekfood.about.com/od/glossary/a/alphabet.htm

Greg  KO6TH
(Grandparents came over on "the boat")

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