Pronouncing The Word “Celtic” Is Not So Easy

Article by Mark D. Jordan

How do you enunciate the word Celtic? Is it pronounced “keltic” or “seltic?” If you and your pals have been in an argument over how the word is pronounced you can cease. You are both correct. But is one far more correct than the other?

The controversy arises since of the several points. The origin and manipulation of the word “Celtic” is not really clear, and relying on what language it derived from and time period, or even where you live, the pronunciation could be different.

The most well-known principle is that it derived from the Greek word Keltoi, which implies “folks who hide.” From this Greek phrase it is believed that the classical Latin term Celtus (keltus) was derived. These terms referred to certain tribes of folks speaking distinctive languages these as Cambric, Cornish, Manx, and a lot more, who lived throughout Europe at the time.

The English words “Celt” and “Celtic” didn’t arrive into use until the early 1700’s, when scholars were describing early inhabitants of Fantastic Britain. It was an academic phrase employed by scholars studying these early settlers. As utilized then, “Celtic” appears to have arrive from the French phrase celtique (selltique). That French phrase is assumed to have arrive from the Latin word celticus. Present day British Latin pronunciations had been different than classical Latin so the “ce” in “celticus” would have been stated like an “s” in the 1700’s. In classical Latin it would have been a “k” sound. The “ce” in French words is also pronounced like “s.” If all of this is true than the 18th century enunciation of the words “Celt” and “Celtic” would have been “selt” and “seltic.”

It is generally suitable to speak words the way your certain language enunciates them and not how they have been spoken in an additional time time period by one more group of folks. Given that the expression “Celt” arrived from a French phrase pronounced with the “c” sounding like an “s”, and practically all English “ce” words enunciate like an “s” (cement, cereal, cent), it would have been correct at the time that the phrase “Celt” was pronounced like “selt.”

Celt pronounced as “selt” actually remained well-liked until the mid 20th century. Simply because of this, outdated sports activities teams adopting “Celtic” as portion of their title pronounced it as “seltic.” That is why the Boston Celtics and the Glasgow Celtic football club pronounce it “seltic.”

In the 20th century the Germans of academia received into Celtic studies far more and they pronounced the “c” as a “k”, due to the fact that is how it is enunciated in their language. It spread about the academic entire world that scholars were now pronouncing “Celt” like “kelt.” How this pattern truly got began is unknown. It may well have been due to the fact of the old Greek word “Keltoi” or not. It is interesting to note that the Welsh and Gaelic pronunciation is “kelt”, and constantly has been. Maybe that also played a aspect in the change. What ever the reasons, scholarly circles now think about “kelt” to be the correct pronunciation amongst the educated. Of program this does run counter to English grammar guidelines for words commencing in “ce.”

The argument still goes back again and forth as to the entirely right pronunciation of “Celtic”, but you can be confident that there is a valid argument on equally sides and neither may well be a lot more appropriate than the other, in circumstance you are actually yet again in a disagreement with buddies or loved ones on the subject matter.

About the Writer

Mark D. Jordan is a researcher and writer from Pennsylvania. Much more good Celtic data and sources can be observed at Pa Celtic Activities or Unique Irish Gifts