Curious about Brazilian Portuguese Pronunciation?

Here you'll find the secrets behind it!

Oi! Como vai?

Do you want to learn the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation?

Fantastic! And yes, it's that easy!

Before we go through the pronunciation, let me, first of all, congratulate you. You already know how to spell words in Portuguese. Easy! Is it?

That was a great achievement! Well done!

Now, the next step is to understand the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation.

Brazilian pronunciation is said to be difficult. But, in fact is quite straight forward. All we have to do is to be prepared for input!

There is a secret behind it, and that is practising by reading and paying attention to:

    1. Word endings.

    2. Where the words are stressed.

    3. If the word have written accents (little signs on top of a vowel).

    4. How to read words. You normally read every letter except if a words starts with an H.

But, hey! in case you find Brazilian Portuguese Pronunciation difficult, let's think this way:

Things are difficult only up to the point where we get to know them. Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation is no exception. And when we know how to do things, we don’t find them difficult any more, do we?

Imagine that Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation is like when you learnt how to drive a car! Then, you learnt how to do it and now it’s piece of cake.

Or when you tried to cook that favourite dish of yours on your own...

The same will happen when you learn a language!

You’ll notice that only those who don’t speak Brazilian Portuguese say “Portuguese is difficult”, or “the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation is difficult”.

That’s because they didn’t learn it properly.

That’s because they gave in to the difficulty.

That’s because they convinced themselves it was difficult.

But YOU are not like that!

You are here reading this because you believe, as I believed, that learning a language is possible!

Because you see thousands or millions of other people speaking a second, a third language, or even more!

It’s real! It’s possible! It’s out there for us to confirm.

So YOU also can speak Portuguese! With a great Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation, with great knowledge, with great confidence, with great assurance!

We are here together and together we’ll get there! This is for sure!

OK, so let’s go straight to business!

There are a few things we must consider to get the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation right! Let’s start with the easy rules first.

    1. Via rule Brazilian Portuguese words are stressed in the second last syllable.

Wow Syllable????? What is he talking about?????

You right! Let me explain.

Words are divided in parts - so let's call each of those parts a syllable. For instance the word TE-LE-VI-SION has 4 parts - 4 syllables.

If you know this, you are holding one of the main secrets to get a good Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation.

The best way to figure out how many syllables (or parts) there are in a word is imagining that you have to shout out loud that word at someone who is quite far from you, but in a way that is perceptible.

So, now imagine that one of your friends is on the other side of a very wide and busy road and you have to make him/her hear the word ‘television’.

So you raise your voice and shout TE-LE-VI-SION !!!!

Well, you see? Automatically you just found out that the word "television" has 4 parts, or in other words, 4 syllables.

Normally, in Portuguese, each syllable has a vowel (I mean A, E, I, O, or U). There are no words with more than one vowel in each syllable, unless in very specific cases – diphthongs for instance - but you don’t have to worry about this for the time being.

So, most Portuguese words are stressed in the second last syllable.

One of the reasons why people think that the Brazilians swallow the words when they speak, and one of the reasons they say that Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation is weird, is because they don’t know this rule.

In fact, they do swallow parts of words, but for a reason and we’ll learn why!

Very soon you'll be able to watch my video here, which will teach you in a funny way how to pronounce Portuguese words, and it will explain the way it works in a more visual way.

In every language you have to stress the words in the right place, otherwise people won’t understand you. People wouldn’t even understand each other.

Once you pronounce the word in the right place you can“swallow” the rest of it or run it together with the next word.

So, let’s practise the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation by reading some words. Remember to give emphasis to the 2nd last syllable.

Me-sa, ca-ma, sa-co, te-cla-do, ca-ne-ta, con-to, li-vro, ca-mi-sa, sa-pa-tos, ga-ra-gem, sol-da-do, trans-for-ma, sis-te-ma, bo-la, me-ni-no, bor-ra-cha,

Now, try to read these words with no syllable separation:

Pombo, Como, Pedra, Vida, Convida, Vandalismo, Chumbo, Bastante, Ambos, Comerio, Magricela, Humorado, Bengala, Namorada, Camioneta, Conto, Rapazes, Mulheres, Compras, Vendas.

Well done!

I think it's now time to read some sentences. Stress the word in the part in bold. Remember the first rule of the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation.

a) Como ele estuda?

b) Como ele come a comida?

c) O livro tem folhas.

d) As folhas do livro lembram outro livro velho.

e) Eles compram jornais e revistas.

f) A minha prima tem mais livros do que a minha vizinha.

Now try to read the same sentences without help. Remember the rule!

a) Como ele estuda?

a) Como ele come a comida.

c) O livro tem folhas.

d) As folhas do livro lembram outro livro velho.

e) Eles compram jornais e revistas.

f) A minha prima tem mais livros do que a minha vizinha.

You see? Provided that you stress the word in the right place, the rest of that word is almost silent.

That’s why people think that Brazilian native speakers ‘swallow’ the words. What they actually do is, they silence the last part of the word after the stress, or they run that word together with the next one.

And as you can see, that’s not that difficult after all.

Imagine when you will start swallowing parts of the words yourself!

You’ll be speaking Brazilian Portuguese to the Brazilians, like the Brazilians themselves, with a great Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation!

Hey! How does it sound?

I think it sounds great!

You know? Every little thing you learn, every little achievement you accomplish when you are learning a different language, feels like a prize for you.

You'll feel richer and richer every day, up to a point that you'll start to win discussions and debates with Brazilians native speakers.

And then, haha!

You'll get more and more motivated, and confident to learn everyday more and more!

And, my friend, when you least realise you are what they call an ‘expert’ in Portuguese! Well, whatever they mean by that...

To learn a foreign language we kind of need to be aware of our own language.

By the way, do you know the difference between ‘practise’ and ‘practice’ in English? Try to find out! This is just to stimulate your curiosity for your own language.


Let’s carry on with Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation.

So, if the first rule of the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation is to stress the second last syllable, the next rule is...

    2. Words ending with L, Z, R, U and I, are stressed in the LAST syllable.

Well, this is piece of cake, isn’t it?

All you have to do is to remember these endings and no matter how long the word is, you know that the last part of it is the one to emphasise.

However!!!! There are a few things you need to know when you pronounce these words in Brazilian Portuguese. And they are:

  • A. The sound of the L is normally [oo]. So "animal" will sound [ah-nee-mahoo].

  • B. The sound of the Z at the end of the word is [ss]. So, "feliz" will sound [fee-leess].

  • C. The sound of the R at the end of a word is silent. So "comer" will sound [coo-meh].
  • Ok, so, shall we put the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation into practice?

    Let’s read these words:

    Jornal [jor-naoo]

    Papel [pah-peh-oo]

    Feliz [fee-leess]

    Natal [nah-taoo]

    Brasil [bra-zeeoo]

    Portugal [por-too-gaoo]

    Continental - [con-tee-nen-taoo]

    Comi [co-mee]

    Guru [gu-roo]

    Capaz [cah-pass]

    Rapaz [rah-pahss]

    Espanhol [ees-pah-nyi-ohoo]

    Azul [ah-zoo]

    Now try to read the same words without any help.

    Mind the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation rules!














    Please remember that you will achieve excellent results if you watch the videos available for this Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation unit. The video documents will provide you with practical exercises and reinforce your Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation practice in order for you to learn and faster.

    So, if the first rule of the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation tells you to stress a word in the second last syllable,

    And the second rule tells you to stress a word in the last syllable if the word ends with an L, Z, R, U or I, the 3rd rule is:

      3. Written accents are stronger than any other rule.

    Yes, in fact, if you have a word that has a written accent you must ignore all the other rules, when placing the stress in a word.

    By stressing a word where the accent (little sign on top of a vowel) is, it allows you to get a perfect Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation.

    Ok, Let's carry on with the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation.

    The written accents in Brazilian Portuguese are:

      1. The acute accent – [ ´ ].

      2. The grave accent – [ ` ].

      3. The circumflex accent (also known as “hat”) – [^].

      4. The tilde – [~].

      5. The trema - [ü] (the double dot on top of the letter U).

    The acute accent is the strongest one.

    You’ll normally find one accent only per word, but, obviously, you’ll find a few words with 2 different accents (maximum)– for instance órfão, órgão, etc.

    After all, the exception makes the rule, doesn’t it?

    The acute accent stresses a word in other syllable but the second last.

    These words are an example:

    Secretária, Automático, Geográfico, Síntese, Fantasmagórico, Controvérsia, Água, Óptimo, Conteúdo, Pronúncia, Ambíguo.

    Well, as you can see, reading a Portuguese word with an acute accent is not difficult, and it's vital to get a good Brazilian Portuguese Pronunciation!

    You have to stress the word where the accent is. When practising, shout the stressed syllable if you want. It's a good exercise!

    On the other hand, the grave accent is used only on top of the letter A.

    So you’ll find very few words in Brazilian Portuguese that use the grave accent.

    À, Às, Àquele, Àqueles,Àquela, Àquela, Àquilo

    and full stop!

    The circumflex accent is not very frequent but it shows up on a word now and then...

    The circumflex accent basically closes the vowel when the word is short. For instance you have to close the vowel to say ‘têm’ [tay-eng] rather than ‘tem’ [teng].

    Otherwise it is used instead of an acute accent to stress the words in a particular syllable (e.g. words ending in ...ência or ...ância, or metrô, ônibus, etc.).

    Examples of words with circumflex accent are:

    Excelência [excellence]

    Consciência [conscience]














    The tild on its turn makes a vowel nasal.

    Hey! You don't need to have flu or have your nose running to pronounce these words...! Hehe!

    There are many words in Brazilian Portuguese with a nasal sound. Nasal sounds are normally associated with diphthongs.


    I guess now is the time to know what a diphthong is...

    A diphthong is a group of 2 vowels that together make a specific sound.

    And in Brazilian Portuguese these diphthongs are normally, but not always, stressed with a tild.

    Please practise these nasal sounds with some examples:

    ão [aong] – limão, religião, coração, reunião, contemplação, manifestação, estação.

    ãos [ah-ongss] – mãos, irmãos.

    ãe [ah-eeng] – mãe.

    ães [ah-eeng-ss] – mães, alemães, cães, capitães, pães.

    õe [oing] – põe, compõe, dispõe, repõe.

    ões [oh-ingss] – regiões, tentações, limões, espiões, colchões, religiões, canções, padrões.

    Sometimes diphthongs can be tricky. For instance if you have words ending with ai, au, ei, eu, iu, ou, whether followed by s or not, are stressed in the first vowel (e.g. comeu [coo-meh-oo].

    The fourth, and last, rule is:

      4. You normally read every single letter in a word, except the R that is silent when at the end of a word (aforementioned), and the H that is always silent at the beginning of a word.

    All words that start with an H you just have to ignore that it is there. (e.g. Hospital).

    OK, And that's it! I think we are done!

    So, so far we have learnt pronunciation rules in 4 areas:

    a) Stress the second last syllable.

    b) Stress the last syllable if a word ends in a L, Z, R, U and I.

    c) Stress a syllable that has a written accent.

    d) Read every single letter (except exceptions).

    Now, it’s time to get familiar with the different sounds of certain letters.

    Let’s start with the letter S:


    The S has 2 different sounds in Brazilian Portuguese:

      1. It has the sound [SSSS] like the English word “social”.

    • a. When at the beginning of the word [S...] - sapato, saco, suco, etc...
    • b. When is double in the middle of a word [...SS...] – profissional.
    • c. When at the end of a word [] e.g. reis, cadeiras, camas, panos.
    • d. When before another consonant but ‘s’[] – costa, constante, costume, cesto, sistema.
    • 2. It has the sound [ZZZZ] like the English word “zebra” when the S is in between 2 vowels like: coisa, casa, causa.

    Having said that, it's time for a coffee. Oh, but before you go let's read some words.

    I’ll help you with the first 2 words, you do the rest.

    Sapo [sssapo]

    Coisa [koee-zzzah]


















    Well done! You can grab your drink and come back for the letter


    Now, let’s jump to the letter – X:

    The X in Brazilian Portuguese has 3 sounds and, unfortunately there are no rules to determine whether the X has the sound:

      1. [ks] like taxi,

      2. [zz] like exame,

      3. [shh] like enxame,

    So in this case, all we have to do is to know the words to find out which sound a certain word has. When in doubt, a good dictionary will be your best friend.

    But I have good news for you: there aren’t many words with an X in it, so you don’t have to worry much about it.


    The Ç (c cedilha) is a particular letter in Brazilian Portuguese that you need to know. It has one only sound:

  • [sss] like comunicação, açúcar, Açougue.
  • This letter works only with the vowels a, o and u. Due to the etymology (or the origin) of the words, some words have to be spelt with a Ç but need to have the sound [sss].

    The A and E

    The A and the E are mostly open sounds like [aahh] and [ehhh} respectively.

    The Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation have 2 other unique sounds:

    The D and T

    When together with the vowels E and I, have the rather funny sound [tch].

    For instance to say "dia" (day) you'd pronounce it [tchee-ah], and "artístico" (artiscic) you'd pronounce like [arg-tchees-tchee-coh].


    The ‘O’ has sounds [or] like the English word "port". Exemple:











    Some words we may found difficult to pronounce when reading...

    We must remember that, in order to get a good Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation, via rule we have to pronounce and open the vowels when reading a word in order to get a great Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation.

    These are some examples:

    Laura [lah-oo-rah]

    Coisa [koh-ee-sah]

    Fauna [fah-oo-nah]

    Causa [cah-oo-sah]

    And that’s it!

    Now that you know all the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation rules, let’s go for a challenge!

      1. Try to read the following texts.

      2. Please don’t worry if you don't understand what you are reading. This is not the aim of this exercise. The aim is to practise your pronunciation.

      3. Start slowly and record your voice if possible.

      4. Then listen to your own voice and underline the words you find that are wrongly pronounced.

      5. Read the texts again correctly.

    I think it’s not necessary to say Good luck to you...

    Well, I just know you can do it!

    Go for it now!

    Text 1 to practise your Brazilian Portuguese Pronunciation.

    Rio de Janeiro, vinte e seis de janeiro de dois mil e cinco – Os medicamentos genéricos contribuíram para uma poupança de mais de cento e trinta e cinco milhões de Reais entre janeiro e dezembro de dois mil e quatro, tendo atingido no final do ano uma quota de mercado de nove vírgula oito por cento, nunca antes conseguida.

    Segundo dados quantitativos da I.M.S. Health, entidade de estudos de mercado da indústria farmacêutica, e análise da responsabilidade da Associação Brasileira de medicamentos - no ano passado o mercado nacional global de medicamentos ultrapassou os três mil milhões de Reais, dos quais duzentos e cinquenta milhões correspondem à venda de genéricos.

    Comparativamente com o ano anterior, a poupança aumentou sessenta por cento o que corresponde a cinqüenta e três vírgula cinco milhões de Reais.

    “É um acréscimo espantoso dos benefícios para os doentes e para o Estado”, afirma o presidente da Associaão, João Abreu. “Estamos ajudandando muitas pessoas que precisam e que, sem os medicamentos genéricos, não teriam acesso às terapias”, acrescenta a mesma fonte.

    Satisfeito pela evolução verificada, este responsável atribui parte do êxito conseguido aos médicos, “porque são eles que prescrevem os medicamentos” e aos farmacêuticos, “que interpretam a prescrição dos médicos, fornecem o medicamento de menor preço e, assim, ajudam o doente a poupar”.

    Dos cerca de noventa princípios ativos disponíveis, as cinco substâncias genéricas mais vendidas foram Omeprazol, Sinvastatina, Fluoxetina, Enalapril e Ciprofloxecina, o que também já tinha sido verificado em dois mil e três.

    Segundo esta associação, a poupança conseguida deve-se, sobretudo, ao fato de os medicamentos genéricos serem trinta e cinco por cento mais baratos do que os originais e beneficiarem de uma comparticipação extra de dez por cento.

    “Além da maior acessibilidade que permitem aos doentes, os medicamentos genéricos contribuíram também para a redução dos preços dos medicamentos originais, o que acaba por ser outro fator de poupança que não está aqui contemplado”, sublinha o mesmo responsável. A associação defende a abertura do mercado a empresas inovadoras.

    Para a continuação da poupança, esta associação defende que a política do medicamento deve continuar associada a medidas com vista à estabilidade do mercado, proporcionando a inovação e a vinda de novas empresas de medicamentos genéricos, dispostas a comercializar novas moléculas para áreas terapêuticas diversas.

    “Sem renovação, o mercado corre o risco de estagnar. É essencial criar condições que motivem a indústria a investir em novas substâncias genéricas”, alerta João Abreu. A associação defende, por exemplo, a flexibilização do actual preço de referência, que considera “muito redutor para as empresas que pretendem investir no lançamento de moléculas menos rentáveis”.

    João Abreu considera que “o nosso país é um dos melhores exemplos de implementação dos medicamentos genéricos na América Latina”, mas que é necessário prudência para garantir a continuação do êxito.

    Text 2 to practise your Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation.

    Medicamentos genéricos ganham peso no Brasil.

    São Paulo, sete de Fevereiro de dois mil e cinco – “A indústria farmacêutica de genéricos está se tornando a principal fornecedora de medicamentos dos cidadãos brasileiros”, afirmou o Director-Geral da BEGA, num encontro anual realizado em Washington. Segundo Greg Perry, os medicamentos genéricos já representam quotas entre sessenta e setenta e cinco por cento do mercado farmacêutico na America do Sul.

    Nos países do Norte, estes fármacos representam entre qüarenta e cinqüenta e cinco por cento do valor do mercado farmacêutico. “Estes países descobriram que podem confiar nos genéricos e que, graças a eles, fornecem aos seus doentes medicamentos de qualidade a preços significativamente mais baixos”, afirmou a mesma fonte.

    O Director-Geral da BEGA apresentou o caso do Brasil como exemplo do empenho para implementar medidas que ajudem a desenvolver medicamentos a preços acessíveis para os doentes. Além do Brasil, Greg Perry aponta também os casos da Venezuela e da Colômbia, onde a qüota de medicamentos genéricos se situa entre os dez e os quinze por cento.

    No Brasil, o patamar mais alto de sempre do mercado de medicamentos genéricos foi atingido recentemente, com uma qüota a rondar os dez por cento. A Brapogen – Associação de medicamentos, representante da BEGA no Brasil, defende que o mercado nacional destes fármacos tem boas perspectivas de crescimento, desde que sejam tomadas medidas prudentes.

    Segundo João Abreu, presidente da associação, “o nosso país é um dos melhores exemplos de implementação dos medicamentos genéricos na América Latina, mas para continuar a evoluir necessita de estabilidade legislativa”.

    A Brapogen defende a criação de condições que motivem a vinda de novas farmacêuticas para o Brasil, “desde que estejam dispostas a trazer novas substâncias genéricas, de forma a alargar a diversidade da oferta a mais áreas terapêuticas”.

    Num momento em que o Brasil tem até trinta e um de Outubro para transpor para a lei nacional as directivas internacionais referentes à legislação do medicamento, a BEGA alerta que a implementação dessas medidas é a chave para o sucesso da legislação.

    O aumento da esperança de vida das populações torna os medicamentos genéricos uma necessidade em toda a América Latina – apelidada por Greg Perry como “a necessidade genérica” – por permitir estender os cuidados de saúde a mais pessoas.

    Greg Perry falava no oitavo Encontro Anual sobre Assuntos Regulamentares da BEGA, que decorreu entre dois e quatro de fevereiro. O evento reuniu uma audiência recorde de representantes da indústria de medicamentos genéricos, comissões oficiais da Agência do Medicamento e alguns outros países da America do Norte e da Europa.

    Well done!

    Até amanhã! [ah-tay ah-mah-nyiah] - see you tomorrow!


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