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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Portuguese Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn all 13 Portuguese vowel sounds.
By learning all of these sounds, you'll be able to pronounce any vowel that could possibly appear in Portuguese!
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
The first vowel is...
"a (in às)
lá - there
alface - lettuce
amor - lover"
This vowel sound is very similar to the A in 'father'. This vowel sound is considered as an 'open' A sound because the jaw is low, and the mouth is wide and 'open'. Listen to how (host name) pronounces this vowel.
a, a (slowly)
a, a (slowly)
The next vowel is...
"a (1st ""a"" in MAnhã)
manhã - morning
cama - bed
banana - banana"
This vowel sound is similar to the previous sound except that it's the closed variant of the A sound. Compared to the previous sound, the jaw isn't opened as wide. It kind of sounds like the U in 'but', however, try to relieve the pressure from the back of the mouth slightly by moving the tongue forward a little. Pronouncing this sound quickly can also help with the pronunciation of this sound.
a, a (slowly)
a, a (slowly)
The next vowel is...
ângulo - angle
lã - wool
São Paulo - São Paulo"
This is identical to the previous vowel sound except there's nasalization.
Nasalization means to pronounce it through the nose. Touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth and follow the groove to the back of the mouth. Could you feel the bone at the roof of your mouth? As you move further to the back roof of the mouth, there is a fleshy section that doesn't contain bone. This soft tissue that hangs at the back roof of the mouth is called the velum. The velum is raised when pronouncing oral sounds. To produce nasality, lower the velum to allow air to travel freely into the nasal cavity and out through the nose. Listen to (host name) pronounce this nasal vowel.
ã, ã (slowly)
ã, ã (slowly)
The next vowel is...
"é (in serra)
serra - mountain range
meta - goal
café - coffee"
This vowel sound is identical to the E in 'set'. It's known as the 'open E' sound in Portuguese.
é, é (slowly)
é, é (slowly)
The next vowel is...
"ê (in ser)
ser - to be
medo - fear
êxodo - exodus"
It's similar to the E in the word 'neigh', however, try not to carry over the I sound *too* much. This is known as the 'closed E' sound in Portuguese.
e, e (slowly)
e, e (slowly)
The next vowel is...
"ẽ
cento - hundred
sempre - always
essência - essence"
This is identical to the previous sound but with nasalization. Remember, you want to pronounce it through your nose.
ẽ, ẽ (slowly)
ẽ, ẽ (slowly)
The next vowel is...
"i
sinal - signal, sign
dia - day
país - country"
This is identical to the I in the word 'ski'. The vowel I doesn't have any open or closed variants.
i, i (slowly)
i, i (slowly)
The next vowel is...
cinto - belt
sim - yes
ímpar - odd"
This is identical to the previous sound but with nasalization.
ĩ, ĩ (slowly)
ĩ, ĩ (slowly)
The next vowel is...
"ó in (avó)
avó - grandmother
famosa - famous
óculos - glasses"
This is identical to the O in the word 'hot'. This sound is known as the 'open O' sound in Portuguese.
o, o (slowly)
o, o (slowly)
The next vowel is...
"o (in avô)
avô - grandfather
oliveira - olive tree
ovo - egg"
"This similar to the previous sound except that it's the closed version. This means that the mouth and tongue is positioned a little bit higher.
It's quite similar to the O sound in the word 'coal'. Listen to (host name)."
o, o (slowly)
o, o (slowly)
The next vowel is...
conto - tale
vontade - will
bom - good"
This is identical to the previous sound but with nasalization.
õ, õ (slowly)
õ, õ (slowly)
The next vowel is...
"u
rua - street
saúde - health
maduro - ripe, mature"
This is identical to the U in the word 'rule'. There are no open or closed variants for the U sound in Portuguese.
u, u (slowly)
u, u (slowly)
The last vowel sound for this lesson is...
fungo - fungus
algum - some
cúmplice - accomplice"
This is identical to the previous sound but with nasalization.
ũ, ũ (slowly)
ũ, ũ (slowly)
Well done! You've just learned all 13 vowel sounds in Portuguese!
With these sounds, you can pronounce any vowel that could possibly appear in the Portuguese language! Isn't that great?
Which vowel sound was the most difficult for you to pronounce? Let us know in the comments.
In the next lesson, you'll start learning consonant sounds.
See you in the next Ultimate Portuguese Pronunciation Guide lesson!

33 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Which vowel sound was the most difficult for you to pronounce?

PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:37 PM
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Olá, Tom!


Thank you for answering! these sounds are really tough for some students. But let's keep practising 👍

You can do it! :)


Sincerely,

Marcia

Team PortuguesePod101.com

Tom
Thursday at 09:56 AM
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õ and ã are by far the hardest for me

PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 07:22 AM
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Oi Ian,


That's right!

It's similar to "aww" or the O in "hot"!


Hope this helps!

Paloma

Team PortuguesePod101.com

Ian
Friday at 02:08 PM
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Are there any other words/sounds that we can liken the open O sound of Portuguese to in english? Maybe I'm tricking myself or have a funny way of talking but the "o" in hot sounds very close to the "a" in the way I say father. Could the open O be anywhere near the "awwwww" sound of something being cute in english?

PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Friday at 10:31 PM
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Oi Allen,


Thanks for the comment! Yes, you need to "train your ear" so it gets used to these variations 😉


Bons estudos!

Paloma

Team PortuguesePod101.com

Allen
Tuesday at 08:22 PM
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Almost every one as I have a hearing deficiency and it is hard to

Distinguish between the slight variations. I’ll get it though

PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 08:36 AM
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Que bom Rhoda!


Yes, that's one of the most difficult parts of Portuguese. Just continue practicing!

And let us know if you have any questions!


Paloma

Team PortuguesePod101.com

Rhoda Champlin
Friday at 03:24 AM
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Definitely the difference between the open and closed vowels is greatest difficulty. The explanation was, though, extremely helpful.

Muito Obrigada.


Sincerely,

Rhoda

PortuguesePod101.com
Sunday at 09:11 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Asuka,


Practice makes perfect! Please also use the voice record tool to practice your pronunciation and adjust it to the native speaker's.


In this lesson, the feature is in the [Vocabulary] section.


In case of any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.👍


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team PortuguesePod101.com

Asuka Nguyen
Tuesday at 05:04 PM
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Well, this is more difficult than I thought. I thought I pronounced everything like 80% exactly but it seems that it's not the case.