European Portuguese Pronunciation


You can practice the sounds of the Standard European Portuguese language with the help of the International Phonetic Alphabet. 

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system that represents speech sounds through symbols.

Because it's common in Portuguese to have one letter of the alphabet represent different sounds, the IPA helps you to know exactly which sound to make in each situation. 

Note that this refers to the standard. Some letters will have different sounds in different regions of Portugal.

The IPA symbols are shown between slashes. / /


vowel - a


Listen and repeat.

IPA symbols.png

1) sal

2) mal

3) cá

4) lá

5) má

6) vá

7) dá

IPA symbol.png

1) mas

2) na

3) banana

4) lama

5) cada

6) mana

7) chama

 

Compare both sounds and repeat.

IPA symbol.png
 
 

1) nada

2) pata

3) vaca

3) sala

4) fala

5) mala

6) carta

Listen and decide what is the sound (or sounds) you hear.

You can check the answers below.

 

+ Answers

  1. da - /ɐ/
  2. dá - /a/
  3. estar - /a/
  4. lar - /a/
  5. par - /a/
  6. fama - /ɐ/ /ɐ/
  7. cama - /ɐ/ /ɐ/
  8. bala - /a/ /ɐ/
  9. gata - /a/ /ɐ/
  10. água - /a/ /ɐ/
  11. pára - /a/ /ɐ/
  12. para - /ɐ/ /ɐ/
  13. falamos - /ɐ/ /ɐ/
  14. falámos - /ɐ/ /a/
  15. daamos - /ɐ/ /ɐ/
  16. daámos - /ɐ/ /a/
 

vowel - e


Listen and repeat.

IPA symbols-04.png

1) Tejo

2) boné

3) mel

4) ela

5) janela

6) café

7) bebé

IPA symbols-06.png

1) parte

2) se

3) me

4) lhe

5) de

6) come

7) nove

IPA symbols-05.png

1) ver

2) mesa

3) pêra

4) dê

5) lê

6) Pedro

7) letra

IPA symbols-02.png

1) fedelho

2) tenho

3) queijo

4) venho

5) ovelha

6) joelho

7) cereja

Note: before j, lh, nh and as part of ei.

Listen and decide what is the sound (or sounds) you hear.

You can check the answers below.

 

+ Answers

  1. quelha - /ɐ/
  2. ele - /e/ /ɨ/
  3. ela - /ɛ/
  4. escrever - /ɨ/ /e/
  5. vejo - /ɐ/
  6. cabelo - /e/
  7. correr - /e/
  8. bela - /ɛ/
  9. telha - /ɐ/
  10. pele - /ɛ/ /ɨ/
  11. época - /ɛ/
  12. caderno - /ɛ/
  13. vela - /ɛ/
  14. meta - /ɛ/
  15. meta - /e/
 

vowel - i


Listen and repeat.

IPA symbols.png

1) imitar

2) vi

3) picar

4) rima

5) si

6) China

7) sílaba

IPA symbols-06.png

1) utilizado

2) vigiar

3) dissimular

4) eliminar

5) distribuição

6) aquisição

7) exigir

Note: when speaking fast, if not, then /i/.

IPA symbols.png

1) vai

2) sais

3) foi

4) estreia

5) cais

6) dois

7) mais

Note: as part of ai, ei, oi, ui when in the same syllable.

Listen and decide what is the sound (or sounds) you hear.

You can check the answers below.

 

+ Answers

  1. tradicionais - /ɨ/ /i/ /j/
  2. isso - /i/
  3. gaio - /j/
  4. pedir - /i/
  5. existiria - /ɨ/ /i/ /i/
  6. filho - /i/
  7. iate - /i/
  8. situação - /i/
  9. primeira - /j/
  10. saia - /j/
  11. saía - /i/
  12. discursar - /ɨ/
  13. depois - /j/
  14. pais - /j/
  15. país - /i/
 

vowel - o


Listen and repeat.

IPA symbols-04-09.png

1) pó

2) bota

3) oral

4) corda

5) porta

6) gola

7) ótimo

IPA symbols-04-11.png

1) do

2) tubo

3) uso

4) no

5) falo

6) Portugal

7) aluno

IPA symbols-04-10.png

1) doce

2) pôr

3) cor

4) bolo

5) calor

6) estou

7) dou

Note: the sound /o/ represented as well by ou.

Listen and decide what is the sound (or sounds) you hear.

You can check the answers below.

 

+ Answers

  1. soube - /o/
  2. sobe - /ɔ/
  3. pôde - /o/
  4. pode - /ɔ/
  5. pólo - /ɔ/ /u/
  6. golo - /o/ /u/
  7. forma - /ɔ/
  8. forma - /o/
  9. gosto - /ɔ/ /u/
  10. gosto - /o/ /u/
  11. avô - /o/
  12. avó - /ɔ/
  13. Porto - /o/ /u/
  14. todo - /o/ /u/
  15. tudo - /u/
  16. ouça - /o/
  17. vou - /o/
  18. ouvir - /o/
  19. copo - /ɔ/ /u/
  20. corpo - /o/ /u/
  21. ouro - /o/ /u/
 

vowel - u


Listen and repeat.

IPA symbols-04-11.png

1) tudo

2) uva

3) rua

4) nu

5) usa

6) tu

7) fumo

IPA symbols-12.png

1) eu

2) causa

3) mau

4) abriu

5) saiu

6) valeu

7) céu

Note: as part of au, eu, iu, when in the same syllable.

Listen and decide what is the sound (or sounds) you hear.

You can check the answers below.

 

+ Answers

  1. seu - /w/
  2. aprendeu - /w/
  3. urso - /u/
  4. burro - /u/
  5. uma - /u/
  6. cobriu - /w/
  7. esquadro - /w/
  8. costumo - /u/
  9. correu - /w/
  10. pau - /w/
  11. puto - /u/
  12. luz - /u/
  13. qual - /w/
  14. viu - /w/
  15. museu - /u/ /w/
 

nasal sounds


Listen and repeat.

nasal-sound-in-portuguese-a.png

1) cantar

2) romã

3) ambos

4) cambiar

5) amputar

6) manhã

7) fã

Note: in ã; an+consonant; am+b/p

nasal-sound-in-portuguese-e.png

1) enviar

2) tempo

3) encarnado

4) sentinela

5) vento

6) empilhar

7) fluente

Note: in n+consonant; em+b/p

nasal-sound-in-portuguese-i.png

1) fim

2) vinte

3) impossível

4) sim

5) invisível

6) inverno

7) pintar

Note: in in+consonant; im+b/p; im at the end of the word

nasal-sound-in-portuguese-o.png

1) comprimido

2) computador

3) bombom

4) som

5) contar

6) construir

7) ponte

Note: in on+consonant; om+b/p; om at the end of the word

nasal-sound-in-portuguese-u.png
 

1) um

2) mundo

3) fundar

4) segundo

5) nenhum

6) cúmplice

7) atum

Note: in un+consonant; um+b/p; um at the end of the word

Listen and decide what is the sound (or sounds) you hear.

You can check the answers below.

 

+ Answers

  1. interessante - /ĩ/ /ɐ̃/
  2. temperatura - /ẽ/
  3. dezembro - /ẽ/
  4. com - /õ/
  5. entrevista - /ẽ/
  6. inquérito - /ĩ/
  7. onde - /õ/
  8. mamã - /ɐ̃/
  9. antiga - /ɐ̃/
  10. contacto - /õ/
  11. embaixada - /ẽ/
  12. campanha - /ɐ̃/
  13. consulado - /õ/
  14. envolver - /ẽ/
  15. comum - /ũ/
 

nasal diphthongs

Nasal diphthongs are formed by a nasal vowel and a non-syllabic vowel (semivowel).


Listen and repeat.

nasal-diphthong-in-portuguese.png

1) quem

2) sem

3) tem

4) Benfica

5) mãe

6) cães

7) cãibra

Note: in ãe; ãi; em (at the end of the word); some en.

nasal-diphthong-in-portuguese.png

1) mão

2) cão

3) pão

4) irmão

5) falam

6) contam

7) compram

Note: in ão; am (at the end of the word).

nasal-diphthong-in-portuguese.png

1) leões

2) aviões

3) põe

4) lições

5)ões

6) feijões

7) melões

Note: in õe.

nasal-diphthong-in-portuguese.png

1) muito

Note: only in muito and derived words.

 

Listen and decide what is the sound (or sounds) you hear.

You can check the answers below.

 

+ Answers

  1. vêm - /ɐ̃j/ /ɐ̃j/
  2. veem - /ɐ̃j/
  3. não - /ɐ̃w/
  4. corações - /õj/
  5. teriam - /ɐ̃w/
  6. também - /ɐ̃j/
  7. muitíssimo - /ũj/
  8. dispões - /õj/
  9. cantam - /ɐ̃w/
  10. muitas - /ũj/
  11. falem - /ɐ̃j/
  12. união - /ɐ̃w/
  13. bem - /ɐ̃j/
  14. edição - /ɐ̃w/
  15. papelões - /õj/
 

consonant - s


Listen and repeat.

letter-s-in-portuguese.png

1) sapo

2) sal

3) subir

4) cansar

5) professor

6)ssimo

7) isso

Note: s at the beginning of the word; s preceded by consonant and followed by vowel; ss.

letter-s-in-portuguese.png

1) casa

2) coisa

3) frase

4) caso

5) atraso

6) rosa

7) usual

Note: s between vowels.

letter-s-in-portuguese.png

1) país

2)s

3) cais

4) dois

5) escola

6) castanha

7) vista

Note: s at the end of the word; s followed by consonant.

/ʃ/ is voiceless (no vibration of the vocal chords).

letter-s-in-portuguese.png

1) Lisboa

2) mesmo

3) casmurro

4) cismar

5) fantasma

6) pasmar

7) asneira

Note: s followed by consonant.

/ʒ / is voiced (vibration of the vocal chords).

 

Listen and decide what is the sound (or sounds) you hear.

You can check the answers below.

 

+ Answers

  1. casas - /z/ /ʃ/
  2. frases - /z/ /ʃ/
  3. passados - /s/ /ʃ/
  4. ingleses - /z/ /ʃ/
  5. observares - /s/ /ʃ/
  6. presentes - /z/ /ʃ/
  7. presbitério - /ʒ/
  8. soube - /s/
  9. se - /s/
  10. os - /ʃ/
  11. mas - /ʃ/
  12. ssia - /s/
  13. trás - /ʃ/
  14. comesses - /s/ /ʃ/
  15. s - /ʃ/
  16. cosmo - /ʒ/