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Learn This for Tonight’s FHE

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 15, 2008

Mark B. spotted this on The Volokh Conspiracy, which we are “free to use in caroling this holiday season,” according to its adapter. Wouldn’t your kids just think you were the coolest — or geekiest — parent in town if you sang or even taught them to sing this carol tonight?


Rudolpho cervo erat
Nasum ruber lucensque;
Quicumque hunc videret
Hunc diceret candere.

Alii cervi omnes
Semper hunc deriserant;
Cum misero Rudolpho
In ludis non luserant.

Sanctus Nicholas dixit
Sub festum nubilum:
“Naso claro, Rudolphe,
Hodie carrum ducesne?”

Tum cervi clamaverunt,
“Omnibus dilectus es!
Rudolphe rubri nasi,
In historiam descendes!”

For pronunciation, remember to pronounce every vowel (there are no silent letters, except kinda sorta in the “qu” combination, which is pronounced “kw” just like in English) — the rhythm of the tune will remind you to pronounce the vowels because you’ll need the syllables. Pronounce “a” as in “blah”; pronounce “e” either as “eh” or “ay”, whichever comes easier; pronounce “c” as if it were “k” no matter what vowel comes after it. That will get you close enough for third graders.



7 Comments »

  1. Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit

    Comment by Phouchg — December 15, 2008 @ 8:58 am

  2. Nerds, all of you.

    Me likey. :)

    Comment by queuno — December 15, 2008 @ 10:36 am

  3. My kids already think I’m nerdy, geekish enough.

    Comment by Steve C. — December 15, 2008 @ 10:52 am

  4. This is crying out to be sung in the style of Praetorius. Or Bach, if that’s easier. Any musicians among us who could work something up?

    Comment by Researcher — December 15, 2008 @ 11:07 am

  5. Yesterday in church, we sang O Come, All Ye Faithful. I didn’t sing along, but silently recited the words of Adeste Fideles along with the music. Somehow, the feeling of faithfulness, joy, triumph and adoration came through very well for me.

    Comment by Mark Brown — December 15, 2008 @ 11:09 am

  6. Awesome, Ardis.

    Comment by m&m — December 15, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

  7. Is this to be sung with classical Latin or medieval Latin pronunciation? The hard “C” suggests the former, but without a guide to “v”, we can’t be sure.

    I’ve always leaned towards classical pronunciation, but for a christmas carol, medieval might be more appropriate.

    [A medieval Christian would probably be able to grasp the meaning with only a little explanation, but a pagan Roman would have need a lot of background!]

    Comment by Doug Hudson — December 16, 2008 @ 10:04 am

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