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Your Ultimate Portuguese Pronunciation Guide

Knowing how to correctly pronounce words when you learn to speak a new language is crucial for speaking it well. It is no different with Portuguese. At PortuguesePod101, we put a lot of emphasis on teaching and demonstrating correct pronunciation, as it is our aim to help you to speak like a native after a while!

According to Dictionary.com, ‘pronunciation’ is: the act or result of producing the sounds of speech, including articulation, stress, and intonation, often with reference to some standard of correctness or acceptability.

Paying attention to your Portuguese pronunciation not your own essentially means you’re learning to ditch most of your foreign accent. This is very important if you want to be a successful communicator in any language. Getting Portuguese pronunciation right may seem like a daunting task at the onset, but it need not be!

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Portuguese!

If you want to master the Portuguese language and become fluent, get this Portuguese eBook!
You need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Portuguese learning beginners!

FREE Portuguese eBook

Download your FREE Portuguese practice sheets PDF today and learn the Portuguese language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

1. Introduction to Portuguese Pronunciation

Portuguese Pronunciation

Almost every sound in Portuguese also exists in English. Therefore, if you’re a native speaker of English, then, in a sense, you may have already mastered Portuguese pronunciation! Even the Portuguese sounds that sometimes do pose a slight amount of difficulty are not nearly as difficult as some of the unique sounds in some other language. Plus, another factor that makes learning to speak this language a lot easier, at least for English speakers, is the fact that the two languages use completely identical alphabets. Therefore, we’re going to take a look at how Portuguese vowels are pronounced, and then we’ll take a look at Portuguese consonants.

Given the fact that we’ve already explained that the Portuguese alphabet is identical to the English one, it’s really no surprise that Portuguese features the same five vowels as English. Therefore, a logical first step to learning Portuguese pronunciation would be to learn to pronounce its vowel sounds. Fortunately, Portuguese actually has fewer vowel sounds than English. Whereas English has two (long and short) or more sounds for each of its five vowels, Portuguese only has one sound for each of them. Here’s the breakdown:

• “A” is pronounced as it would be in the English word “Father.”

• “E” is pronounced as it would be in the English word “Get.”

• “I” is pronounced as it would be in the English word “Ski.”

• “O” is pronounced as it would be in the English word “Soap.”

• “U” is pronounced as it would be in the English word “Flu.”

When it comes to consonants in Portuguese pronunciation, the ways in which they are combined represent the areas where you should focus your attention. In fact, some of these consonant combinations represent some of the sounds which we mentioned before, that can be among the most difficult sounds to reproduce in the entire language. That’s the bad news. The good news, of course, is that once you’ve mastered the pronunciation of these particular sounds, you’ve pretty much mastered the pronunciation of the entire language. Here’s a breakdown of those:

• “LY” is pronounced as they would be in the English phrase “Will ye?”

• “NH” is pronounced as they would be in the English word “Lasagna.”

• An “R” makes a “D” sound, and a double “R” makes an “H” sound.

These sounds may be difficult for you to reproduce at first, but you will master them in time if you keep practicing them long enough.

2. Why is Correct Pronunciation in Portuguese Important?

Proper pronunciation is important, very important. Some say it’s even more important than getting the grammar perfectly correct! Why would this be?

1) Good Understanding

If communicating with native speakers matters to you when learning Portuguese, you need to be understood when you talk, and you need to be able to understand the native speakers. After all, without understanding, the purpose of language is null and void! In order to be understood, you need to be able to speak the language in a way that is familiar to native speakers, or at least recognizable by them.

When learning to speak a new language, you will learn that the more you progress the more intricate it becomes! For instance, almost every language has vocabulary that may look the same in writing, but because the words are pronounced differently, they have very different meanings. This means that you may say a word in Portuguese, and because of a slight change in pronunciation, the meaning of the word changes completely. Understandably, this can make for pretty embarrassing situations! At worst, your mispronounced Portuguese will sound garbled to a native speaker.

Knowing the nuances of how a word or letter is pronounced will also help you to understand spoken Portuguese better.

No worries if this feels hard; you’re learning, and with our help at PortuguesePod101, you will not have a problem with mispronunciation if you follow our advice and examples carefully.

2) Good Communication

Not pronouncing Portuguese or any other language correctly can lead to a lot of frustration because you’re unable to express what you mean, and you will not be understood correctly. Even if you have total knowledge of Portuguese grammar, and can write it like a native, not knowing how to speak it properly will only make for very frustrating communication all around.

3) A Good Impression

Even if you’re only a beginner, it is possible to speak any language correctly. This way, you are bound to make a good impression on native speakers, and when you’re more fluent, you will be likely to garner a lot more respect than a fumbling newbie speaker who doesn’t care much for correct pronunciation.

People often have a lot of patience for someone who learns to speak a new language, but native speakers are more likely to address you and engage with you in conversation if you work hard on your accent. This is simply because you’ll be able to understand one another! So, proficiency in pronunciation can mean the difference between having none or plenty of Portuguese speaking friends. It will also serve you well in the workplace, and make you popular with your Portuguese speaking managers and employers or employees.

Learning to speak Portuguese properly is also a sign of respect for not only the language, but also the native speakers and their customs.

3. Secrets to Learning the Correct Portuguese Pronunciation

Secrets to Learning

1) Use voice recording tools to perfect your pronunciation

PortuguesePod101 has plenty of resources to help you with your Portuguese pronunciation, so be sure to make thorough use of our recordings with native Portuguese speakers. These are available not only to demonstrate to you how you should pronounce Portuguese vocabulary, but also sentences and dialogues. Watch and listen to these over and over again to train your ear, and watch the teacher’s mouth as she speaks in the video lessons. Then, copy the speech as best you can. Later, you can record yourself to hear if you sound like a native speaker and compare yourself with native speakers. Great for self-motivation.

2) Practice in front of the mirror.

And see that you’re copying the correct lip and mouth movements.

3) Use our PortuguesePod101 dictionary!

Use the Portuguese dictionary provided by PortuguesePod101 to look up words and listen to the audio pronunciation. This will go a long way towards giving you an idea of how to pronounce a word or letter correctly.

4) Train your ear to the language!

Make an effort to often listen to Portuguese music and recorded books, and watch plenty of Portuguese movies and/or TV shows in Portuguese. This will train your ear to the language, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you pick up the accent. Remember, this is the way we learned to speak when we were young - mostly by listening to the adults talking, and repeating what they say!

5) Practice, practice, practice…

Repetition of the same thing may be boring, but in learning a new language, you’re creating new pathways in your brain. For these to remain and become habitual, you will need to repeat the correct pronunciation often.

6) Make friends with a native Portuguese speaker.

Don’t be shy to address them in Portuguese! Ask them to correct you when you make a pronunciation mistake - this is a wonderful way to practice and learn the language first-hand, and also to make new friends.

7) Practice your pronunciation with your Portuguese teacher!

If you’re a serious student and don’t know where to meet native Portuguese speakers, consider investing in PortuguesePod101’s Premium PLUS plan. This means you will have your own native Portuguese teacher available to practice your pronunciation with, and much more! Send recordings of yourself speaking Portuguese and get feedback from your Portuguese teacher.

4. How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Portuguese

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Portuguese!

If you want to master the Portuguese language and become fluent, get this Portuguese eBook!
You need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Portuguese learning beginners!

FREE Portuguese eBook

Download your FREE Portuguese practice sheets PDF today and learn the Portuguese language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Log in with Your Free Lifetime Account and we’ll give you a bundle of PDF cheat sheet including Survival Phrases, Romantic Lines, Learning Tips… — absolutely FREE!

3 Reasons to Learn Portuguese Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Portuguese lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Portuguese through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve downloaded the Portuguese lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Portuguese using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

② Print and Take All Portuguese Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Portuguese lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Portuguese lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Portuguese using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Portuguese at PortuguesePod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

5. Related Lessons

How to Say Hello in Portuguese
Do you know how to say hello in Portuguese? It’s the most basic phrase that you’ll need to say and hear in everyday life. If you don’t know yet, learn 15 ways to say hello and greet others in Portuguese. Why 15? The more variations you know, the more you can speak and the more fluent you become!
How to Introduce Yourself in Portuguese
Can you introduce yourself in Portuguese? Don’t worry! Check out the 10 Portuguese Lines You Need To Introduce Yourself with this free Review Sheet. From “My name is…“ and “I live in…” down to “My hobbies are…” Just review the 10 lines. It will only take you 2 minutes. Then, introduce yourself in the comment section below!
Portuguese Alphabet
Learn everything you need to know about the Portuguese alphabet. At PortuguesePod101, we introduce you to Portuguese writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Portuguese alphabet completely from the start.
How to Say Thank You in Portuguese
Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Portuguese. It’s one of the most important Portuguese phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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