Pronunciation in Brazilian Portuguese

This page offers a guide to pronunciation in Brazilian Portuguese.

Pronunciation in Brazilian Portuguese

Most letters in Brazilian Portuguese are pronounced the same as in English, but the table below shows some of the main exceptions:

ãthis is a nasal sound, that sounds a bit like uh
ãothis makes an ah-ooh sound
cc that begins a word usually sounds like a k
cc before an e and an i sounds like s
chch sounds like sh
çç makes an s sound
dif a word starts with a d, it is usually a hard sound like in English.  A d in the middle of a word can have a hard sound, or sound like a j
emsmile to make this pronunciation
gbefore an a, o or u — pronounced like the hard g in got
gbefore an e or i — pronounced like the soft s sound in pleasure
hif a word begins with an h, the letter is silent
hif h follows an l, or an n, the sound is like a y
jthe letter j in Portuguese sounds like zh (as in Zsa Zsa Gabor)
nhnh sounds like ny
qthe letter q in Portuguese has a k sound
rr at the beginning of a word sounds like h in English
rif r comes at the end of a word, it’s silent
rrif a word has two r’s, it makes an h sound
tsounds like ch when it is followed by an e, or an i
wthe letter w doesn’t naturally occur in Brazilian Portuguese, but when it does, it sounds like a v.  The only places you will see w is in someone’s name
xgenerally has a sh sound in Portuguese

Test your understanding of pronunciation using the flashcards below. Click on the card to reveal the answer and click on the arrows to move between questions:

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