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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Portuguese Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn about Portuguese diphthongs.
WHAT ARE DIPHTHONGS?
Diphthong' means 'two sounds'. It's the term used to describe two vowel sounds that are pronounced closely together in the same syllable.
"Take the English word 'pain' for example.
It's not pronounced 'pa-in', but 'pain'.
Or the word 'foul'. It's not 'fo-ul', but 'foul'."
Notice the difference? You can think of it like gliding from one vowel to the next very quickly. Diphthongs therefore, begin one way and end in another.
PORTUGUESE DIPHTHONGS
There are two types of diphthongs in Portuguese: Oral diphthongs, and Nasal dipthongs.
Let's focus on Oral diphthongs first.
Oral diphthongs involves two oral vowels, meaning vowels that are pronounced through the oral cavity. Portuguese has a great number of oral diphthongs, so we'll just cover the most common ones and have you practice them.
ai, ai
"raiva - anger
cai - (he/she/you) fall
pai - father"
It sounds like 'eye'. Try it!
Next.
au/ao, au/ao
"aula - class
mau - bad
caule - stalk"
It sounds like the diphthong in 'cow'. Now *you* try!
Next.
ei, ei
"feito - done
eleito - elected
falei - (I) spoke"
It sounds like the diphthong in 'hay'. Try it yourself!
Next is
ou, ou
"chegou - arrived
louco - crazy
ouro - gold"
It sounds a bit like the diphthong in 'goal' except more drawn out. Try it!
Great, I think you got the hang of Oral diphthongs. Let's move on to Nasal diphthongs.
Nasal diphthongs involve a nasal vowel and usually occurs at the end of a word.
-ão, -ão
"pão (bread)
cão (dog)
vão (they go)"
It sounds a bit like the diphthong in 'pound', but remember, you need to emphasize the nasality of the vowel, so make sure you're pronouncing it through the nose. This is a closed O sound, so don't open your mouth *too* widely. When practicing with the word 'pound', you may find it easier to remove the final D sound altogether. Try it!
Next.
ãe, ãe
"mãe - mother
alemães - Germans
pães - breads"
This is similar to the YIN in the word 'flying'. Since it's a nasalised diphthong, you need to pronounce it through the nose. And as with the previous sound, the A is "closed". Try it!
Next.
-õe, -õe
"põe - (he/she/you) put
opõe - (he/she/you) oppose
compõe - (he/she/you) compose"
For English speakers, it's like the sound that a spring makes: "boing!". Another similar sound is in the word 'ointment'. This is a closed O sound, so don't open your mouth *too* widely. Try it!
Okay, last one.
-ui, -ui
"pinguim - penguin
ruim - bad
muito - a lot, very"
This is similar to the diphthong in the word "quit". But remember, since it's a nasal dipthong, you want to pronounce it through the nose as much as possible.
Well done! In this lesson, you learned about Portuguese diphthongs.
In the next lesson, you'll learn about accentuation in Portuguese.
Do you have any other tips or tricks on how to pronounce nasal diphthongs? Share it in the comments.
See you in the next Ultimate Portuguese Pronunciation Guide lesson!

7 Comments

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PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Do you have any other tips or tricks on how to pronounce nasal diphthongs? Share it in the comments.

PortuguesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:45 AM
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Oi Allem,


Muito obrigado pelo seu comentário. We are constantly working on adding new example sentences and corresponding audios. We hope you are enjoying our lessons.


Abraços,

Levente

Team PortuguesePod101.com

Allem
Wednesday at 09:34 AM
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Would appreciate it if when doing the slide show that all sentences are spoken. Not just one or two

PortuguesePod101.com
Monday at 05:45 AM
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Hi Eddie,


This series Ultimate Portuguese Pronunciation Guide has only 10 lessons:

https://www.portuguesepod101.com/lesson-library/ultimate-portuguese-pronunciation-guide/


If you're referring to the current one (Lesson 7), it seems that the video is working OK. Could you check if you have a free lifetime account? Those who have the free lifetime account can access only up to lesson 3 for free. If you have a basic or premium membership, please let us know which error message you see on the screen. It’d be great if you could send us an email at contactus@PortuguesePod101.com so that we can take a look at the issue closely.


Thank you,

Cristiane

Team PortuguesePod101.com

Eddie Munoz
Sunday at 04:09 AM
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Lesson 12 wont start?!?@

Portuguesepod101.com     
Thursday at 08:41 PM
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Hello Kenneth,


Thank you for your message.


There are vowels which are stressed (called "vogais tônicas") in Portuguese, that is, they have a stronger sound, for example: "café" (coffee), "é" has a stronger sound; others are unstressed (called "vogais átonas"), for example: "bola" (ball), "a" has a week sound.


Some vowels have a week sound when they are with other vowels (called "semivogais"), for example: saudade (longing), "u" has a week sound, as "a" is the strong sound.


Here are some extra lessons about vowels and pronunciation:

https://www.portuguesepod101.com/2011/04/19/pronunciation-1-basic-portuguese-vowels/

https://www.portuguesepod101.com/2010/10/26/all-about-4-portuguese-pronunciation-made-easy/


If you have any doubts, please let us know.


Cristiane

Team Portuguesepod101.com

Kenneth
Thursday at 02:33 AM
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In Spanish vowels combine when a weak vowel (I,U) is involved and the strong vowels (A,E,O) are pronounced separately if they appear together. Is there a similar rule for Portuguese whereby one can determine if two vowels should be separate or combined? What are the strong and weak vowels in Portuguese?