I have been trying to improve my ability to pronounce words from the Bible. I found it to be a difficult task, because I have trouble finding a standard. It is frustrating to work to change my pronunciation only to find I am now at odds with many sources. And the reader for UVerse does not seem to match any of the sources I have viewed. Do you have a reference that you would recommend?
The pronunciations in the PDF are standard American English pronunciations. Unfortunately, the standards vary greatly (e.g., between standard British and standard American English pronunciations). If you know Greek and/or Hebrew, you will have learned the standard way to pronounce the names in those languages (the same names are often pronounced and spelled differently in each language, by the way), but then you would lose many of your (mostly American) listeners.
- This site has the standard American pronunciation of names and places: http://www.biblespeech.com.
- This YouTube channel has several videos which slowly teach you how to pronounce many biblical Hebrew names: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXZw-QKTLn00PaAGS6ylYCQ.
(Note: the speaker often tends to emphasize the initial syllable whereas Hebrew tends to emphasize the final syllable in many cases).
- This is a superb site which can actually teach you the basics of speaking and reading Biblical Hebrew. It also contains great resources even if you are already familiar with Biblical Hebrew: http://www.hebrew4christians.com. I highly recommend this one!
- This is a very good site for learning the basics of Biblical Greek including pronunciation (it also explains that there are multiple “standard” pronunciations, even in Greek!): http://www.biblicalgreek.org/links/pronunciation.php.
I do the same as Douglas...for familiar names and words I use standard American English pronunciations; for less familiar words and names I usually pronounce them as they would be pronounced in the original language (Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic) according to the current scholarly standards of biblical Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic pronunciation.
I hope this helps in general and I hope you find the resources useful in pursuing your goal to improve your pronunciation of biblical words.