proper pronunciation of vowels in mantra

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Re: proper pronunciation of vowels in mantra

Postby gmugmble » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:49 am

It depends on the language of the mantra, and the system of spelling used to write it. (For boring historical reasons, English is very idiosyncratic in how it uses vowel letters to spell vowel sounds. So if English is the first language you learned to read, you're at a disadvantage.)

As a general rule, the vowels letters are used to represent sounds as shown below when writing languages other than English. So if you have no idea how to pronounce the language of the mantra, making a guess based on the table below will probably get you in the ballpark. But there are only five vowel letters, and many languages have more than five vowel sounds, so various ad hoc conventions are used to spell them. If accuracy is your concern, your best bet is to find someone who knows the language and have them teach you. Your second best bet is to find a recording to imitate.

A - like the 'a' in father or the 'o' in hot
E - like the 'a' in mate or the 'e' in met
I - like the 'ee' in beet or the 'i' in bit
O - like the 'o' in hope
U - like the 'oo' in moot or the 'u' in mutt

Personally, I think it's important to try to pronounce mantras, invocations, and such as correctly as possible, because language is one of your magical weapons and should be treated with due respect as such; but realistically I know that I'm always going to have a thick American accent no matter what I do, and at some point I have to be practical and say that's as good as it's going to get and it will have to do.

Lon Duquette once said that invocation works like this. Say you're chanting an Enochian call. An angel hears you and says, "Listen -- somebody is singing the old school song. Boy, their pronunciation is terrible!!! Let's go check it out."
-- Robert W

"Friends in the Dharma, be satisfied with your own heads. Do not put any false heads above your own. Then, minute after minute, watch your step closely." -- Nyogen Senzaki
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Re: proper pronunciation of vowels in mantra

Postby Quintessence » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:28 am

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