Caesar Pronunciation?

Dec 2018
Yeah, Hadley. If you ordered a kaiser salad you'd probably get something with sauerkraut in it.:) The funny one is Cicero, or should I say Kikiro. Sounds Japanese.
My grandfather's last name was Cicerone. It's pronounced Chee-chah-rohn-eh.

Caesar should be something like Chee-zah-reh, since it's spelled Cesare in Italiano.
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Sep 2012
Regarding 'tzar' the old Bulgarian transliteration is 'Kesar' /attested in Old Church Slavonic with meaning king. Tervel of Bulgaria was awarded by ERE emperor with the title of kaisar, which made him second only to the Justinian Rhinotmetos, the title at the time was given to the successor of the throne. With time it evolved into цар / transliteration tzar.
Feb 2011
K- ai-sar with hard C, so I was taught for ancient latin.

For medieval latin or Italian, the soft c- hence Che-sa-rei Borgia,.
Mar 2017
What is the actual, proper pronunciation of Caesar's name?



When I was in school, I was aware of three different forms of pronouncing Latin:
1) Roman Catholic church Latin (still used in my youth): SEE-sar
2) Jesuit Latin taught in American schools: Kae-sar .... by the same token, Cicero would technically be KEE-keh-roh
3) Slavic school Latin: TSEE-zahr .... CIcero -> TSIH-tsih-roh
--- I suspect there are many more variations.

I think the lesson here is that the academically preserved forms of Latin have evolved away from the language spoken during the empire, flavored by local language. Just because Latin is the official "legal" language of the RC Church, doesn't mean they pronounce it correctly (it's actually a pretty good idea, since the vocabulary & grammar don't change, things written in the 11th century mean exactly the same thing now). The "ts" sound is common in Slavic languages that don't have English "th" ... and appears in words like "tsar" (caesar derivative). Of course the German "kaiser", is also a Caesar derivative.

This is Greek, but you can see transliteration to "C":
Cleopatra has a hard "C" ... the Greek is actually Kleopatra. Hard "C" works.
Her younger sister was Berenike ... hard "K", Bere-NEE-kay ... but it's anglicized to Berenice (as wrong as could be)
The queen of Kush was the Kandake (hard "K") ... KAN-dah-kay... but is anglicized to Candace (even more wrong)

SOoooooooo .... I lean towards a hard "C" ... for Caesar ... technically, but I pronounce it like everyone else to avoid stares.
Yeah, I learned Jesuit Latin, but I'm kind of caught up in that K->C business ... even though Caesar has always been spelled with a "C".
Since Latin has a "K", maybe the slavs are closer with "ts" .... dunno.

His name is "Julius", right? Latin didn't have a "J". It's "Iulius" ... carved all over the place. Another example of modern changes.

Candace is a good example of an English word. I can't think of an English word that starts with "C" that isn't a hard "C".
"C" separating a vowel from another vowel which makes it long ("ace") is a soft "C".
"AE" is a single Greek vowel, preserved in "archaeology" ... alternately "ar-key" or "ar-kay"
You could make an argument for KEY-sar or KAY-sar. <--- I don't think ANYONE says this.

My recommendation? Use the one that doesn't make you look like a goof to your friends. The dictator is long past caring.
Italian might have a "ch" ... I'm unaware of one in Latin. *I* am unware.
I just did a quick search for Latin male names starting with "K".


I've never seen them spelled that way ... Germanized? Maybe there's a rule about only "C" starting a name instead of "K"?

Tiberius Claudius Fortunatus

..... I'm going with "male names can't start with K" .... for some reason.

And someone else's opinion who sounds like they know what they're talking about:

"K, k, was used in the oldest period of the language as a separate character for the sound k, while C was used for the sound g. In course of time the character C came to be used also for the k sound, and, after the introduction of the character G, for that alone, and K disappeared almost entirely from the Latin orthography, except at the beginning of a few words, for each of which, also, the letter K itself was in common use as an abbreviation; thus, Kæso (or Cæso), Kalendæ (less correctly Calendæ), sometimes Karthago (or Kar.; v. Carthago); "and in special connections, Kalumnia, Kaput (for Calumnia and Caput, e. g. k. k. = calumniae causā in jurid. lang.): nam k quidem in nullis verbis utendum puto, nisi quae significat, etiam ut sola ponatur", Quint. 1, 7, 10; cf. id. 1, 4, 9.—Some grammarians, indeed, as early as Quintilian's time, thought it proper always to write K for initial C before a, Quint. 1, 7, 10.—Besides the above-mentioned abbreviations, the K is also found in KA. for capitalis, KK. for castrorum, K. S. for carus suis. "
Why is the letter K a rare letter?

So ... under no interpretation is SEE-zar correct. It's either Key/Kay-sar or Gey/Gay-sar. .... note the mention of Caeso as Kaeso.
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Oct 2018
Adelaide south Australia
I was taught church latin, created from the vulgar latin of the third century

We were taught sees-ar not Kais-er

BUT, a friends's boys were studying Latin at Cambridge University a few years ago. I asked them: Sis-ero or kick-ero. they said kick-ero (Cicero)
Aug 2011
The Castle Anthrax
Wow! Seven pages on this!? Properly pronounced, that is in the time of any of the Caesars, it would be C- (as in k) ae- (as in ai-sle) ar. The -r is trilled of briefly rolled. As has been mentioned;
C was always pronounced as in can
-ae- is a diphthong pronounced like ai- in aisle or i- in iphone
r was trilled briefly for one, longer for two as in carrhae

Another one that is never pronounced correctly is Julius, Julia, Julian, etc.. anything Ju-
Ju- is actually iu-, which is i- functioning as a consonant. Ergo, Julius Caesar would have been pronounced; Yulius Kaisar.
Feb 2011
From my Latin lessons at school many moons back- in Roman Latin, C- is pronounced as a hard letter, as in K-
ae pronounced as ai.
sar- pronounced as it looks.


so in the first sentence of book 3 which I just about recall, starting
Cum Caesar in Italiam proficiscerator - when Caesar was setting out into Italy

the c of cum and C of Caesar are both pronounced as 'hard'; all of the c's in the phrase are pronounced as if they were 'k'


Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
There’s a strong possibility it was pronounced multiple ways: Saesar among the commoners and Kaesar among the Patricians.

It’s possible that Julius Caesar himself pronounced the C as an S, as he was a man of the people.

When speaking of the man, it may have been pronounced as an S, when speaking of the position of Emperor, it was pronounced as a K. Kind of like Kaiser vs. Caesar (pronounced a little like Say-sar) in German.