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Can you pronounce these words correctly? | Brazilian Portuguese Pronunciation Test




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Did you know that there are many words in Portuguese and English that are very similar but are pronounced in completely different ways?


In the last two lessons, we studied false cognates, which are similar words with different meanings. Click here to see last week's lesson.


What is a true cognate?


True cognates are words that are spelled similarly and have the same meaning.


However, remember that Portuguese and English are phonetically very different languages. Even if some words are written similarly, the pronunciation of these words will be different in each language.


In this lesson, I'm going to give you several tips for you to pronounce cognates correctly. Remember to watch the video lesson to listen to the pronunciation.


1. How is the word ANIMAL pronounced in Portuguese?


Note that the stressed syllable of words ending in L is at the end: animAL.


Remember that the letter L is pronounced as a weak U at the end of words or at the end of syllables. Pretend that the letter L at the end is the letter W.


Let's see this word in a sentence:

  • A capivara é um animal típico do brasil. (The capybara is a typical animal from Brazil.)

2. How is the word NATURAL pronounced in Portuguese?


Like the word “animal,” the stressed syllable of the word “natural” is at the end, and the letter L is pronounced as U: naturAL.


Let's see this word in a sentence:

  • Eu adoro suco natural de frutas. (I love natural fruit juice.)

3. How do you pronounce the word REAL in Portuguese?


Note that the letter R at the beginning of words is pronounced in the throat, more or less like the letter H in English.


Let's see this word in a sentence:

  • Este filme conta uma história que aconteceu na vida real. (This movie tells a story that happened in real life.)

4. How is the word TOTAL pronounced in Portuguese?


Note that the letter T before the vowels A and O has a strong pronunciation, and the letter A has a very open pronunciation, like the word "father" in English.


Let's see this word in a sentence:

  • Qual foi o valor total da compra? (What was the total purchase price?)

5. How is the word ORIGINAL pronounced in Portuguese?


Note that the letter G before the vowel I is pronounced like the letter S in the word “treasure.”


Remember that the letter R between two vowels is pronounced with the vibration of the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth. This pronunciation is similar to the English “flap T,” as in the word “water” in American English.


Let's see this word in a sentence:

  • Qual foi o valor total da compra? (He had an original idea!)

6. How is the word CHOCOLATE pronounced in Portuguese?


Note that the CH digraph is pronounced exactly like the letters SH: cho = sho.


Like most words in Portuguese, the stressed syllable of this word is the second to last one: chocoLAte.


Let's see this word in a sentence:

  • Você gosta de comer chocolate? (Do you like to eat chocolate?)


7. How is the word BANANA pronounced in Portuguese?


Here, the main difference would be the pronunciation of the A. The first two are nasal, and the last one is very weak. Again, the stressed syllable is the second to last one: baNAna.


Let's see this word in a sentence:

  • Minha sogra faz uma geléia de banana maravilhosa. (My mother-in-law makes a wonderful banana jam.)

8. How is the word CINEMA pronounced in Portuguese?


Here, the main difference would be the stressed syllable, which is the second to last one: ciNEma.


Let's see this word in a sentence:

  • O cinema brasileiro está cada dia melhor. (Brazilian cinema is getting better every day.)

9. How is the word RADIO pronounced in Portuguese?


Note that the letter D before the vowel I is pronounced as /djee/, and the vowel O at the end of words is pronounced as a weak U.


Again, remember that the letter R at the beginning of words should be pronounced like the letter H in English, and the letter A has a very open pronunciation.


Let's see this word in a sentence:

  • Recomendo que meus alunos ouçam uma rádio brasileira para praticar português. (I recommend that my students listen to Brazilian radio to practice Portuguese.)

10. How is the word CRIME pronounced in Portuguese?


Note that the vowel I in this word is pronounced slightly nasal, and the vowel E at the end is pronounced as a weak I.


Note that the letter R in the consonant cluster CR is pronounced with the vibration of the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth.


Let's see this word in a sentence:

  • Ele confessou que cometeu o crime. (He confessed to committing the crime.)


That's it, everybody! Remember to watch the video lesson to see how these words are pronounced.


Até a próxima!


Your teacher,


Virginia

 

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