Brazilian Portuguese/Pronunciation

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Pronunciation[edit]

Nasal vowels in Portuguese[edit]

Unlike its close neighbor, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese makes great use of nasal vowels. You can observe this in the words bom, bem, também, and João.

am, an, ã - amplo (ample), fantástico (fantastic), maçã (apple)
em, en - exemplo (example), entrar (to enter)
im, in - íntimo (intimate)
on - onda (wave)
um - um (one)

Be careful, though. If the m or n is followed by another vowel, before stress takes place, the sound is not nasal:

amigo, caneta
eminente, inimigo
imitar, menina (slightly nasalized i)
onífero (slightly nasalized o)
unilateral (slightly nasalized u)

The tilde and ç[edit]

Modern Portuguese has four accents, in oder of most common use: the acute (´), the circumflex (^), the tilde (~) and the grave (`). Brazilian Portuguese had a diaeresis (¨) in the past, with the same use of that in Spanish, and all of Portuguese has cê-cedilha (ç), with the same use of that in French, though it is not regarded as an accent anymore). The accents will all be explained as they appear. Let's take a look at the trickiest one for foreigners to pronounce: the tilde. The tilde can only appear in the following combinations: ã, ãe, ães, ão, ãos, ões. They are usually preceded by the c-cedille (ç), or cê-cedilha. The cedille is only found in this form. Examples are maçã, ação, ações. Try to imitate the native speaker (the following words are in the singular and followed by the plural):

maçã, maçãs
cidadão, cidadãos
avião, aviões
mãe, mães