European Portuguese Pronunciation Guide

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European Portuguese Pronunciation Guide

Postby Luís » 2005-12-23, 21:59

Several people have asked for it, so here it goes (v 1.5).

But before you start, bear in mind that these rules aren't extensive (I'm sure I'm leaving many details out) and also that there are always exceptions for which these rules don't apply.

Consonants

b - /b/
c - /k/ before a, o, u and consonants, /s/ before /e/ and /i/.
ch - /S/
d - /d/ at the beginning of a syllable or after a nasal vowel, /D/ elsewhere, /d/ and /D/ are allophones.
f - /f/
g - before a, o, u: /g/; Before e, i: /Z/
h - mute, see digraphs ch, nh, lh
j - /Z/
l - /l/ at the beginning of a syllable , "dark l" /5/ at the end, both sounds are allophones.
lh - /L/
m - /m/ if at the beginning of a word or between vowels, otherwise it just nasalizes the preceding vowel.
n - /n/ if at the beginning of a word or between vowels, otherwise it just nasalizes the preceding vowel.
nh - /J/
p - /p/
q - /k/
r - /R/ at the beginning of a word or after nasal consonant, /4/ elsewhere.
rr - /R/ (only used between vowels)
s - /s/ at the beginning of a word, /S/ or /Z/ at the end or before consonants, /z/ between vowels
ss - /s/ (only used between vowels)
t - /t/
v - /v/
x - /S/, /ks/, /z/, /s/, /Z/. Always /S/ if at the beginning of a word, always /ks/ if at the end, otherwise there are no particular rules.
z - /z/

Vowels

a - /a/, /6/ if unstressed
e - /E/ or /e/, /1/ or mute if unstressed
i - /i/
o - /O/ or /o/, /u/ if unstressed
u - /u/
ã, an, am (if not at the end of a word) - /6~/
en, em (if not at the end of a word) - /e~/
in, im - /i~/
õ, on, om - /o~/
un, um - /u~/

Diphthongs and Others

There are quite a few diphthongs and triphthongs, but I won't write them all here (most pronunciations are pretty obvious). Here are some of the less obvious ones:

ão, am (at the end of a word)- /6~w~/
ãe, em (alone or at the end of a word) - /6~j~/
õe - /o~j~/
ui (in muito) - /u~j~/
ei - /6j/

Accentuation

´ marks a stressed syllable with an open vowel (also stressed nasals)
^ marks a stressed syllable with a closed vowel
~ marks nasality
` marks the crasis a + a /6/ + /6/

Miscellaneous

- The rule that says that /s/ becomes /z/ between vowels is valid even between different words.

- /s/ becomes /S/ before unvoiced consonants, /Z/ before voiced consonants, the same is valid even between different words.

- An unstressed e usually sounds as /j/ before another vowel.

- When there are several i's in adjacent syllables, the unstressed one usually becomes /1/.

- i becomes /1/ before /S/, /Z/, /L/, /N/

- /e/ before j, ch, nh and lh becomes /6j/

- Initial es- is pronounced /S/ (the 'e' is mute), as is many times initial (h)is-.

- The fact that a vowel is in an unstressed syllable doesn't mean it will be pronounced unstressed (as in Catalan). There can be /a/, /e/, /E/, /O/ and /o/ in unstressed syllables...

And a zillion other things I'm probably forgetting.. I'll edit this post as I remember them. 8)
Last edited by Luís on 2008-01-16, 15:31, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby ekalin » 2005-12-25, 12:07

How about this simpler (and somewhat inexact) version for those in hurry?

- Pronounce consonants as described above.
- Don't pronounce any vowels.

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Re: European Portuguese Pronunciation Guide

Postby bender » 2005-12-25, 12:59

Luís wrote:"dark l" (no idea what is X-SAMPA for that - as in the English word "hall")


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Obrigado

Postby Kenji27 » 2006-10-23, 13:38

Ola Luis,

I've been lookin for this Post. Thnk you. You post is cool. Obrigado




Ken :D

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Postby Kenji27 » 2006-10-26, 14:02

Olá Everyone,

I would just to ask is the çã in maçã is like cinq of french but window spelling the q?

and how do you spell the letters â ê ô u^ like in french too?

Muito Obrigado,

Kenji

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Postby Luís » 2006-10-26, 22:33

Kenji27 wrote:I would just to ask is the çã in maçã is like cinq of french but window spelling the q?


No, the "çã" is like the "sen" in the French word "sensation".


Kenji27 wrote:and how do you spell the letters â ê ô u^ like in french too?


â - more or less like the 'u' in the English word "but"
ê - like French 'é'
ô - like French 'ô'
û - doesn't exist in Portuguese
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hi there again

Postby Kenji27 » 2006-10-28, 13:29

Hi Luis,

so maçã is like maSANG?


KENJI :)


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Postby Luís » 2006-10-28, 17:30

Sort of. It's not exactly the same sound but it's the closest English equivalent.
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olá

Postby Kenji27 » 2006-11-01, 13:29

hi Luis,

can you recommend me free online website who teaches basic portuguese grammar and some portuguese short reading stuff like for children since i'll have to learn Portuguese like a pre schooler.


Obrigado

Kenji

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Postby Luís » 2006-11-01, 14:19

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Postby Luís » 2006-11-21, 21:18

A Pronúncia do Português Europeu @ Instituto Camões

:praise:

This website is just amazing. It covers everything you'll ever want to know about standard EP pronunciation (both formal and colloquial). The section about external sandhi is particularly interesting! 8)
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Postby kibo » 2006-11-21, 23:22

Yeah, really great.

If only there were some way to print it out.

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Re: European Portuguese Pronunciation Guide

Postby ILuvEire » 2010-01-23, 5:56

Do you drop the final /ɾ/ in verb infinitives, like cantar?
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Re: European Portuguese Pronunciation Guide

Postby Luís » 2010-01-23, 12:36

ILuvEire wrote:Do you drop the final /ɾ/ in verb infinitives, like cantar?


Not in standard pronunciation.
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Re: European Portuguese Pronunciation Guide

Postby Psi-Lord » 2010-01-23, 20:04

Luís wrote:
ILuvEire wrote:Do you drop the final /ɾ/ in verb infinitives, like cantar?

Not in standard pronunciation.

Ah, so do you happen to have regional variants that do? I thought that was exclusive to (certain) Brazilian variants (like my own). :)
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Re: European Portuguese Pronunciation Guide

Postby sergiolopes » 2010-01-23, 20:45

Psi-Lord wrote:
Luís wrote:
ILuvEire wrote:Do you drop the final /ɾ/ in verb infinitives, like cantar?

Not in standard pronunciation.

Ah, so do you happen to have regional variants that do? I thought that was exclusive to (certain) Brazilian variants (like my own). :)

I have some friends from the Azorean island Terceira and they do drop the final /r/.
"Eu vou cantá", "Eu vou fazê", etc. :D
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Re: European Portuguese Pronunciation Guide

Postby Luís » 2010-02-01, 21:42

What I had in mind were not dialectal variations but rather the colloquial trend of dropping the final -r (and not just in verb infinitives) in certain contexts.

A few examples taken from the article A vibrante em coda no Português Europeu, by Maria Helena Mateus and Celeste Rodrigues:

pode se[] para a próxima (TV)
se queremos dize[] bem do nosso produto (TV)
começa a te[] vários anos (TV)
voltou a sai[] do estúdio (radio)
eu, no luga[] deles, deveria demitir-me (radios)
se calha[] como o senho[] também devia te[] feito na associação (radio)
não estou a dize[] que desaparece, estou a dize[] que é... (radio)
não tiveram capacidade de se[] fiscalizadas (radio)

a dize[] mal do futebol (TV)
sem joga[] nada, sem joga[] nada (TV)
começaram a passa[], se calha[] no meio disso (TV)
isso vai demora[] muito mais tempo (radio)
se fo[] lá (radio)
pa da[] lugares (radio)
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