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Portuguese: Pronunciation

The Portuguese alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet. In Spanish, the use of accents is common, and usually indicate a shift of stress within a word or the nasalisation of a vowel. In general the last-but-one syllable is stressed, unless there is an accent.

Pronuncation is largely the same as in English. Below you will find the consonants and vowels which are pronounced differently that in English.

Consontants and Dipthongs

c is pronounced as in 'face' if it followed by 'e' or 'i', otherwise it is pronounced as 'cat'.
is always pronounced as in 'face'. It is primarily used if it is not follwed by 'e' or 'i'.
ch is pronounced as in 'ship'.
h is completely scilent at the beginning of a word. If it is preceded by 'l' or 'n' it is pronounced as in 'yet'.
j is pronounced as in 'seasure'.
m is usually pronounced as in English, except when it comes at the end of a word. In this case it is pronounced nasally, almost producing the sound 'ng' as in 'bang'.
qu is pronounced as in 'cap' if it is followed by an unaccented 'e' or 'i', else it is pronounced as 'kw'.
r is always rolled as in Scottisch or Spanish.
s is pronounced as 'sh' or 'j' (see above) if it followed by a consonant or if it is used at the end of the scentence. If it is used between two vowels it is pronounced as in 'maze'.
v is pronounced similarly as in English, but the pronunciation tends to go towards 'b'.
x can be pronounced in many different ways, depending on the word used. Usually it is pronounced either as 'sh' or 'j', you will need to learn or find out the correct pronunciation when you come across it.
z is pronounced as in 'measure' when it comes at the end of a word, otherwise it is pronounced as in English.


a is pronounced as in 'come', but it is pronounced lighter.
e is pronounced as in 'bed'.
i is pronounced as in 'meet', but shorter.
o is pronounced as in 'hot'.
u is pronounced as in 'cool'.

Vowels are able to have accents. The vowels , , , , indicate that the syllable is stressed. If you encouter the accent [ ~ ] on one of the vowels, it indicates that the vowel is nasalised.

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