Portuguese Grammar/Alphabet

Portuguese alphabet, like in other Romance languages has a natural evolution from latin and so it is not strictly phonetic and has some features inheirited from its history. Although, compared to English or even French it is easy to read and not so hard to write.

LettersEdit

The sounds are better explained in the next chapters.

Letter Name of the Letter Sound (IPA) Sound (compared to English) Example
A a a a as in american father fado fate
B be b b as in bee (no aspiration) beber to drink
C ce k c like in account coisa thing
s c like in since cedo early
D de d d as in dozen dois two
E e e é as in French fiancée or e in Spanish negro bela beautiful
ɛ ai as in french Palais or e as in English bed ferro iron
F efe f f as in fine folha sheet
G ge g g as in ago Gótico Gothic
ʒ s as in pleasure or j as in French Jean geográfico geographic
H agá soundless hora hour
I i i ee as in bee but shorter or i as in spanish mina mito mith
J jota ʒ s as in pleasure or j as in French Jean joia jewel
L ele l l as in lamb, never as in jungle letra letter
M eme m m as in mother morteiro mortar
N ene n n as in never nada nothing
O o o o as in French mot or o as in Spanish no total total
ɔ a as in ball or aw as in law lorde lord
P pe p p as in people; not aspired pata paw
Q que k c like in account querer to want
R erre ɾ dd as in ladder caricatura caricature
ʁ more or less, r in French patrie carro car
S esse s s as in since sela saddle
z z as in zoo casa house
T t t t as in tongue tropas troops
U u u oo as in boot, but shorter or ou as in French fou utopia utopia
V ve v v as in victory vitória victory
X xis ʃ sh as in she xílofone xylophone
ks x as in oxyde óxido oxyde
s s as in since explosão explosion
z z as in Brazil zero zero
soundless exceção exception
Z ze z z as in Brazil azimute azimuth

Note: the letter q is always preceded by a u.

DigraphsEdit

Digraphs is a pair of letters used to sign one sound.

Digraph Sound (IPA) Sound (compared to English) Example
ch ʃ sh as in she achar to find
lh ʎ aprox. ll as in million or gli as in Italian figlio filho son
nh ɲ aprox. ny as in canyon or ñ as in Spanish mañana amanhã tomorrow
qu k c like in account questão question
rr ʁ h like american hello carro car
ss s s as in since passo step
sc s s as in since descer go down
s s as in since desça go down!

DiacriticsEdit

In Portuguese, a letter with no or with Diacritics are considered the same thing. So, in alphabetic order, we have: entender, ética, Europa.

Letter with diacritic Name Sound (IPA) Sound (compared to English) Example
á a com acento agudo stressed a a as in american father cálice calix
à a com acento grave (Crase) a a as in american father Fui à cidade. I went to the city
ã a com til ã a as in american what não no
ç ce cedilha s s as in since moça girl
é e com acento agudo stressed ɛ ai as in french Palais or e as in English bed patético patetic
ê e com acento circunflexo stressed e é as in French fiancée or e in Spanish negro bêbado drunk
í i com acento agudo stressed i ee as in bee or i as in French midi Líbano Lebanon
ó o com acento agudo stressed ɔ a as in ball or aw as in law próprio proper
ô o com acento grave stressed o o as in French mot or o as in Spanish no tônico tonic
õ o com til õ aprox. on as in French bon canções songs
ú u com acento agudo stressed u oo as in boot, but shorter or ou as in French fou múltiplo multiple

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Last modified on 26 July 2012, at 20:56