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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.
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)
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...
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!