Lahgahs vs. Logos

Just watched a promotional video for Logos Bible Software. They’re looking for employees. Apply if you’re interested.

Anyway, the guy in the video pronounced the name of the company as “Lah-gahs” rather than “Lōgōs” as it should be pronounced. What’s funny is that Logos 4 has a pronunciation tool that pronounces Greek words according to both the Modern and Erasmian schemes. Listen to the difference below. First you’ll hear the employee, then the Modern, and then the Erasmian.

Notice that both the Modern and the Erasmian schemes pronounced long Os? For all that’s wrong with Erasmian pronunciation, and that’s plenty, the programmers of Logos 4 made it a bit more acceptable here!

I’m just sayin’ is all…



12 thoughts on “Lahgahs vs. Logos

  1. The recording sounds like the modern Greek pronunciation of short “o” (omicron) sounds. The promotional video sounds almost like he is substituting alphas.

    It’s pretty hard to describe in words how words in another language are pronounced. I saw someone describe the pronunciation of the word as “law-gaws” – which might be exactly right, depending on where the person is from that is trying to sound it out! :-)

  2. Hey, I should apply for that Blog Assistant position! I’d totally blog if I were to get paid for it. ;-)

    However, I’m fairly certain that I can’t work there: I could NEVER pronounce “Logos” like they do. I would much, much rather volunteer to suffer extended physical and psychological torture.

  3. A lot of Greek students today are taught to pronounce the omicrons that way to distinguish it from the omega. I still pronounce it this way because of that, even though it isn’t accurate. But hey, it’s pedagogical. ;-)

  4. Ah this point has already been made in — ironically — a Logos Bible Software video.

    Watch the first 73 seconds of this video to see how different employees at Logos Bible Software fight over this.

    But this is really an issue of over-correction. People are eager to distinguish the omicron sound from the omega sound in Erasmian pronunciation, and tend to over-correct the pronunciation of omicron. And in my experience, most American English speakers do pronounce it this way. Even the OED has the pronunciation listed as ˈlɒɡɒs where the “ɒ” sound denotes the vowel in pot — which in Received British Pronunciation is kind of “ah” sounding term. So, as an English word (e.g., as used in the Oxford ENGLISH Dictionary), I think lahgahs is an acceptable pronunciation.

    But I tell you what. We can split the work. First, you get the majority of American English speakers to pronounce “Jesus” correct (Ἰησοῦς) and then I’ll work on getting them to pronounce λόγος correctly.

  5. pronounce “Jesus” correct (Ἰησοῦς)

    I’m not sure how to say this (right) but doesn’t the gospel of John sort of begin like this? Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Ἰησοῦς?

    And in Alexandria, Egypt, where they seem to be flaunting the pronunciations of λόγος, a few Bible translators have us their readers and even Moses (in Numbers 13:16) speaking Greek like this:

    καὶ ἐπωνόμασεν Μωυσῆς τὸν Αυση υἱὸν Ναυη: Ἰησοῦν

    Ναυη for נון? Αυση for הושע? Ἰησοῦν for יהושוע?


  6. James: Exactly. I’d add that I believe the original pronunciation of the omicron was like the modern pronunciation. The alpha sounding pronunciation seems a way to keep students from getting confused.

    Jeremiah: My condolences.

    Esteban; I think moving to Washington state would qualify as “extended physical and psychological torture”!

    David: A savage people, those Australians, butchering a language so mercilessly!

    Tom: They want to trap you in Bellingham so you’ll become a kayaker and pronounce your omicrons incorrectly!

    Hodge: I get the reasoning; I just don’t agree with it. What other language do we learn to pronounce wrongly so we don’t potentially confuse letters?

    Theophrastus: Thanks for the video! That’s great!

    J. K.: I wish I was more learned so as to be able to follow your comment better. Right now I’m only qualified to wax obnoxious about Erasmian pronunciation. ;-)

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