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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Portuguese Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn the top 5 Portuguese pronunciation mistakes to avoid.
These are common mistakes that students of Portuguese tend to make.
So pay close attention and make sure that you don't make these same mistakes too.
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
Number 1: Can't pronounce rolled R's
Number one. Can't pronounce rolled R's.
For many Portuguese learners, pronouncing the rolled R can be a difficult task.
Listen to some examples:
caro (expensive)
Brasil (Brazil)
ler (to read)
The only way to solve this problem is to keep listening to native Portuguese speakers and practicing it yourself -- or practicing with us!
It's quite a complex sound, but luckily for you, we have a small trick that can help you.
If the "R" is not followed by a vowel, and if you are familiar with other dialects, you can use different accents to pronounce it properly *without* having to use the rolled "R" sound.
Listen to the following examples.
porta (rolled R)
porta (carioca R)
porta (caipira R) - ("door")
ler (rolled R)
ler (carioca R)
ler (caipira R) - ("ler")
Check out lesson 6 to master the pronunciation of the ellusive rolled R.
Number 2: Mispronounce the nasal diphthong ÃO
This is arguably the most difficult sound for Portuguese learners to pronounce correctly.
ão
It is similar to the "ow" sound in English, but with nasality. Saying the word 'pound' repeatedly may sometimes help with pronouncing this sound. But again, the best way is to listen to native speakers and try to imitate them.
Listen to the following examples.
pão (bread)
são (saint)
coração(heart)
We'll cover this sound, and more diphthongs, in lesson 7.
Number 3: Can't differentiate between open and closed vowels
Number 3. Can't differentiate between open and closed vowels
Unlike English, portuguese distinguishes many vowel sounds based on their 'openness'.
'Openness' just refers to how widely your mouth 'opens up' when pronouncing the vowel sound.
The letters A, E, and O, each have an 'open' and 'closed' variant, and many Portuguese words differ only in the openness of the vowel.
That's why it's so important to get the proper pronunciation, otherwise, you'll likely be misunderstood.
Listen to the following examples.
avô (grandfather)
avó (grandmother)
massa (pastry)
maçã (apple)
We'll cover all the different Portuguese vowel sounds in the next lesson.
Number 4: Confusing the pronunciations of the letter D and T
The letter D and T can sometimes be pronounced differently from what you would expect.
First, let's see the two ways you can pronounce the D.
saudade (nostalgia) - pronounced in the 2 ways - as "d" and as "j"
idioma (language) - pronounced in the 2 ways - as "d" and as "j"
Now, pay attention to the T sounds.
sorvete (icecream) - pronounced in the 2 ways - as "t" and as "tch"
atividade (activity) - pronounced in the 2 ways - as "t" and as "tch"
The way you pronounce them varies based on the region you're visiting in Brazil. Don't worry about it too much though, because they're just that, variations. Both pronunciations are correct and you'll be understood regardless of which one you use.
Number 5: Mispronouncing the J and G
The letter J and G can sometimes be pronounced like...
j
It sounds like the S in "pleasure". The problem arises when speakers begin substituting the English J or G sound, for this sound.
Listen to (host name), and pay attention to the way it's pronounced in the following words.
julho (July)
agenda (agenda)
geleia (jam)
Don't worry if you don't get it straight away because we'll breakdown this sound in lesson 5.
Now you know the top 5 Portuguese pronunciation mistakes to avoid.
Try to be careful so that you don't commit these same mistakes.
In the next lesson, we'll start learning Portuguese vowel sounds.
What's your biggest challenge with Portuguese pronunciation? Is it one of these top 5 mistakes?
Let us know in the comments.
Stick with us and you'll overcome it quickly!
See you in the next Ultimate Portuguese Pronunciation Guide lesson!

22 Comments

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PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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What's your biggest challenge with Portuguese pronunciation? Is it one of these top 5 mistakes?

PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Thursday at 05:26 AM
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Oi Phil,


Yes, that's right! Different from Spanish, we "cut" a lot of words in Portuguese.

That's not an issue to pronunciate all words, people will understand you either way.

But it gets challenging when you're listening to Brazilians!


Boa sorte, e bons estudos!

Paloma

Team PortuguesePod101.com

Phil
Monday at 12:39 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

A challenge for me, being somewhat fluent in Spanish, is to not pronunciate the written words as if they were spanish.

PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 08:42 AM
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Oi Kristine,


Please try to say the words "a" and "o" in Portuguese while closing your nose with your fingers.

That's similar to the nasal sounds "ã" and "o".


I hope it helps!

Paloma

Team PortuguesePod101.com

Kristine Ilano
Friday at 10:50 PM
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Hi,


I find it a bit hard to pronounce the "ão" sound :( Is there any sound comparison or word to practice with it? Thank you for those who will answer my question :)

PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Sunday at 09:18 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Elisabeth,


Thank you for your question.


For Windows:

Press ‘ + c = ç

Press ‘ + e = é

Press ‘ + u = ú

Press ‘ + i = í

Press ‘ + a = á

Press ` + a = à

Press ˜ + o = õ

Press ˜ + a = ã

Press ^ + e = ê

Press ^ + a = â


What we could also suggest is to use an online Portuguese keyboard or check your language settings on your computer.


We hope it helps! Let us know if you have any further questions


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team PortuguesePod101.com

Elisabeth
Saturday at 02:17 AM
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How do I get the extra signs for theHow do I get the extra signs for the quizzes that are not on my keyboard ? quizzes that are noHow do I get the extra signs for the quizzes that are not on my keyboard ?tHow do I get the extra signs for the quizzes that How do I type the etra signs that are not on my keyboard for the quizzes?

PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Thursday at 01:06 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Dena,


Glad to hear that you're improving your Portuguese speaking skills!


Keep up the good work and in case of any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team PortuguesePod101.com

dena
Wednesday at 02:46 AM
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it took me a full year to get the ao sound 😄 but im so proud of myself. It takes a lot of effort to sound natural and nearly native but it's worth it. It will take a lifetime of study. Obrigada Portuguesepod!! ❤️️❤️️

PortuguesePod101.com
Tuesday at 10:43 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Kamilah,


We’re glad to hear that you’re having fun while learning Portuguese with us!


Practice makes perfect, so keep up studying well and soon you'll get great results!👍


In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team PortuguesePod101.com

Kamilah
Sunday at 12:38 PM
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I'm having a lot of fun learning with you guys! I will say the nasal sounds are what I struggle with the most. However, I've recently caught a slight cold and the nasal sounds are coming a bit more naturally 😅