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Lesson Transcript

Hi! Welcome to Introduction to Portuguese. My name is Alisha and I'm joined by...
Hi everyone! I'm Ana Clara
In this lesson, you'll learn the basics of Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation."Pronunciation" refers to the manner in which a word is spoken. So don't focus on reading what's on-screen. Instead focus on listening and repeating.
Pronouncing Portuguese Vowels
In Brazilian Portuguese, vowel sounds are represented by 5 characters.
There are 13 basic vowel sounds that create several diphthongs and triphthongs, which are vowel sound combinations. Let's take a look at how some of the basic vowels are pronounced.
A ; E ; I ; O ; U
The more closed vowels are
Ê ; Ô
And there are the nasal vowels
à ; E (˜) ; I (˜) ; Õ ; U (˜)
Diphthongs are two vowel sounds pronounced closely together to form a gliding sound. Here are some examples:
ÃO ; ÓI ; ÉU
Finally, triphthongs are gliding sounds made by three vowel sounds
Diacritics are in some cases used in vowels to signify certain ways of pronunciation. But don't worry about them for now. We'll eventually get there.
Nasal vowels are very common in Portuguese, and they may seem a little tricky.
To correctly produce nasal vowels, you should relax your soft palate and the back of your tongue, so the nasal passage is not blocked. It's like humming with your mouth open and adding the vowel sound to it. Let the air pass through both your oral and nasal passages. Listen and repeat after Ana Clara.
Banco Banco Banco
Consonants in Portuguese
There are 21 basic consonant sounds in Portuguese, represented by 20 characters. The consonant sounds in Portuguese can be very similar to English, as well as some vowels. Let's take a look at the consonants combined with a vowel:
Pa ; Ba ; Ta ; Da ; Ca ; Ga
Ma ; Na ; Nha
Fa ; Va ; Sa ; Za ; Ja ; Xa ; RRa
La ; Lha
Ra* ; Ti ; Di
* ɾ
As you can see, most sounds are the same in English. Let's see in this case.
The first sound is the same as the “ch” in “change.” The second one is the same as the “ou” in “out.” Listen again.
See how they sound the same? That means you only have to learn a few new sounds to speak Brazilian Portuguese!
Unique sounds of Portuguese
As you just learned, there are a lot of identical sounds between English and Portuguese. So let's take a look at the unique sounds of Brazilian Portuguese.
There are 3 Portuguese consonants not shared with English as well as the nasal vowels already seen in this lesson.
Let's take a closer look at one of these consonants
Focus on the second letter.
This trill sound is done by lightly tapping the gum ridge behind your upper teeth with the tip of your tongue. It should be a quick, striking motion similar to the sensation you get when pronouncing the “T” in words like “butter,” “cutter,” and so on. Don't roll your tongue like an English R. Most of the air should go around the sides of your tongue. Listen and repeat after Ana Clara
Well done! Note that this trill is present in the first word we've learned in the previous lesson. Do you remember it?
Obrigado / Obrigada
“Thank you”
Okay, so let's wrap up this lesson by recapping what we've learned.
In this lesson, you learned the characters that represent vowel sounds in Portuguese and that the language uses diacritics. Most consonant sounds in Portuguese are the same as in English. And there are some unique sounds in Portuguese: nasal vowels and 3 consonants.
We've covered only the basics of Portuguese pronunciation. If you're interested in learning more, check out the entire course we created named “The Ultimate Guide to Portuguese Pronunciation.” In that course, we cover and break down every single sound in the Portuguese language, showing you mouth and tongue positioning, and giving you tips to help you perfect your Portuguese pronunciation.
In the next lesson, we'll introduce you to the basics of Portuguese grammar, where you'll learn about Brazilian Portuguese order, and how to build basic phrases in Brazilian Portuguese.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!