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Alphabet in Brazilian Language

Learning the Brazilian alphabet is necessary in mastering the Brazilian Language. Brazilian alphabet composition is practiced in a day-to-day conversation. Without the Brazilian alphabet, it is extremely hard to say the Brazilian words and phrases properly even if you know how to write those terms in Brazilian. Learn More

Like any language, the better a person pronounce a letter in a word, the more understood you will be in speaking the Brazilian language. Listed below are website links which directs you to the Brazilian alphabet and exactly how it’s pronounced in English.
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Vowels in Brazilian Alphabet

alike father
ãlike détente (Nasal)
elike set, say, or eight. Often dropped at ends of words in Portugal save verbal conjugations but not in Brazil, where it is reduced to i.
closed elike herd. Often spelled with an accent mark: ê
élike let
ilike machine
obetween sort and book in Portugal. In Brazil it is usually rounded (like in cold) except at the end of a word, when it is pronounced as a short oo, as in the English word to. See also the diphthong ou.
open olike in hot.
ólike rock Note that o and ó are not the same vowel.
õlike French sont (say "song" and drop the final consonant) (Nasal)
ulike soup or book

Consonants in Brazilian Alphabet

Using the English "R" sound in the beginning of words can cause confusion. Use the English "H" sound (or the French R) instead. The M is also nasalised at the end of words (sim, mim) and the English "M"
sound should be dropped even if the next word begins with a vowel. In this phrasebook, it's represented by an N (the closest possible sound). Also, be careful with words containing "Te" and "Ti" (see below).
blike 'b' in "bed"
clike 'c' in "cat"
ce cilike in cell and civil.
çlike 's' in soft or super. The mark below the letter "c" is called a cedilla in English or cedilha in Portuguese. It is used to force the soft C before vowels other than E or I.
dlike 'd' in "dog". In some regions of Brazil (e.g. Rio) it is affricate before i (like in dia sounding roughly like an English "j": "jeea"). Unlike Spanish, the d is always pronounced hard, even in between vowels
flike 'f' in "father"
glike 'g' in "good". Same as the d above, the letter is never softened between vowels as in Spanish.
ge gilike 'zh' as in Brezhnev and other East Slavic words.
hSilent. See Common digraphs below and r and rr for the English "h" sound. Note: many Spanish words starting with this silent "H" begin with "F" in Portuguese (and in other Romance languages) such as "hacer" v.s "fazer" (to do).
jlike 'zh' as in Brezhnev and many East Slavic words.
kFound only in words of foreign origin, so pronounce accordingly. See letters c and q for the English "k" sound.
llike 'l' in "love". The final L is vocalised (like in "cold"). Brazilians will make it a "u" sound (like in "mal" sounding like the English "ow", as in "now".) Unlike English, words ending in L are normally stressed on the final syllable. Capital (cah-pe-TALW)
m...like 'm' in "mother".
...mNasalizes the preceding vowel, and is dropped at the end of a word (Luso). Letter 'N' used in the phrasebook for Brazilian pronunciation.
nlike nice. Nasalizes the preceding vowel and is silent when followed by a consonant. (See Common digraphs below.)
plike 'p' in "pig"
qlike "unique". Qu is usually followed by e or i as a way to get the k sound. Words with qua will sound just as 'qua' in the English word "quack".
r...like 'h' in "help", only harder. See also RR in Common Digraphs below. In European Portuguese, it sounds harder and more trilled than in Spanish. In Brazil it's often pronounced like a Spanish J.
...rlike 'r' in "morning" or the (usually dropped) 'r' in British pronunciation.
...r...like the Spanish 'r'.
ExamplesBrazilian pronunciation
A loopholefresta (FRES-tah)
Hour, timehora (OH-rah)
slike "hiss" at the beginning of words, "haze" between vowels, "sure" in Portugal and final position/before consonants in Rio de Janeiro, or as s elsewhere (like the regular plural ending sound in English).
tlike 't' in "top"
Brazil only -- except some areas near Argentina and Uruguay:
...te (if unstressed, i.e. no accent mark)
te + a... (the 'a' is pronounced in the next syllable)
ti (in any syllable)
like 'chee' in cheese
Please noteThis is completely different from Spanish
ExamplesBrazilian pronunciation
Theatreteatro (chee-AHT-roh)
Typetipo (CHEE-po) type
Routinerotina (ho-CHEE-nah)
I watched/helped/attendedassisti (ah-sist-CHEE)
Testteste (TES-chee)
Untilaté (ah-TEH)
vlike 'v' in "victory"
wFound only in words of foreign origin, so pronounce accordingly. Mostly pronounced as 'v' (Volkswagen) or 'u' (Wilson).
xlike "box", "shoe", "zip" or even "yes". The correct pronunciation of the X is not easy to deduce. It is usually pronounced like sh before a vowel, and "ks" if preceding another consonant (but not always).
yFound only in words of foreign origin, so pronounce accordingly. The digraph lh sounds like a "ly". (see Common digraphs below)
zlike 'z' in "zebra," or like a soft sh or s when final ("paz", "luz")

Semi Vowels/ Diphthongs in Brazilian Alphabet

Like French, Portuguese has its share of nasal vowels. These are written in one of six ways:
1.) A tilde over the vowel: ã, õ (This is also the phonetic representation of the nasal vowel.)
2.) Any vowel followed by m at the end of a word
3.) Any vowel followed by n plus a consonant (except nh)
4.) Any vowel followed by m plus b or p
5.) The vowel â with the circumflex (stressed)
6.) The diphthong ui, if in the middle of a word
Often, but not always, nasal vowels occur at the end of a word.
1.) irmã (non-verbs), cão (dipthong)
2.) andam (verbs only), viagem, ruim, bom, algum
3.) antes, mundo (but not ano, nulo, enorme, banho, etc.)
4.) caçamba, emprego, simples, combinar, penumbra
5.) lâmpada (but not você, avô, etc.)
6.) muito (slight nasalization)

Note: Two vowels together not listed as diphthongs usually means a syllable split.Example: ia in Bahia. Any accent mark (not counting the tilde such as ão and õe)
amsame as ã and â, but unstressed andam they walk (Nasal)
ailike bike (often equivalent to Spanish 'AY') praia beach
aí (with an accent)Not a diphthong; just a, (new syllable), stressed i
ãosimilar to uwng (u as in cup) dão they give (Nasal)
aoused only in contractions, and the same sound as au below
aulike house Manaus Brazilian city in the Amazon
eiIn Brazil: like say (best equivalent to Spanish 'E') meio half. In Portugal (i.e. Lisbon and Coimbra): like why or bye (the i or y sound).
euthe e vowel plus a w semivowel (no equivalent in English) Europa Europe
emIn Brazil: like reign viagem travel or journey (Nasal).
oilike boy oito eight
omsame as õ som sound (Nasal)
ouas in own false diphthong (pronounced the same as the Portuguese vowel 'O') sou I am
õenasal oi ele põe he puts (Nasal)
umlike room algum some (Nasal)

[table id=brazilian filter=”Special Consonant Cluste

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