Fayseebookee: this is how the name of the social network sounds with a Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation.
In this post we’ll look at how some English words are pronounced with a Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation and how that can help you with improving your own pronunciation.
The Portuguese language has absorbed many English words like these one:
Brazilians have a unique way of pronouncing them, especially when we are speaking Portuguese and then an English word pops up.
Say for example, if I want to ask someone if they have a facebook account, I can say
Você tem facebook?
However, my Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation of facebook will sound like fayseebookee
If I pronounce it correctly the person I’m talking to would probably think that I’m begin pedantic and snobbish about speaking English correctly.
I’m not saying that it’s fine to ‘mispronounce’ English words – when Brazilians speak English it’s important to try and pronounce all the words correctly.
But, let’s have a look at some English words and how they change with a Brazilian Pronunciation ‘twist’!
Le’ts start with these two words and I would like you to say them out loud like I represented them phonetically here (my own phonetic system!):
download = dawnglodjee
internet = eentayrnehchee
The ee sound
As you can see, I’ve added an ee sound at the end, and the reason for that is that the words download and internet end with a consonant sound and it’s very hard for us Brazilians to pronounce that hard consonant sound at the end of words.
This is because Portuguese words don’t end with a consonant sounds, they end with vowel sounds, so we automatically add an ee sound there to make it sound more natural when we say them.
The palatalization of the t and d
Now, another thing that I have to mention here is that when Brazilians add an ee sound after t and d, it makes these consonants palatalized.
This means you pronounce them softly, not like a heard t and d sound, but as a soft ch and dj sound, respectively. So, te sounds like chee, as in the world cheese, and de sounds like djee, a bit like the je sound in jeans.
The palatalization of t and d always happens when these consonants are followed by an ee sound in the same syllable.
The ee sound is always produced by the vowel i and sometimes by the vowel e, specially when it’s at the end of words:
noite = noeechee
cidade = seedahdjee
gente = zhayngchee
dia = djeeah
Let’s have a look at some other English words and how Brazilians pronounce them:
laptop = lehpeetohpee
website = ooehbeesaheechee
The words laptop is actually formed of two words: lap and top, and that p in lap is a problem for Brazilians to pronounce, so an ee sound is added there in the middle of the word as well.
The same thing happens with the word website it’s formed of two words: web and site, and even though the word site is spelled with an e at the end, it’s actually silent, so Brazilians will also force an ee sound there as well.
So I hope this post helped you understand a bit more about how Brazilians apply Portuguese phonetics when pronouncing some English words and how this can help you when pronouncing Portuguese words that end with de, te, di and ti, like cidade, gente and dia.
Other posts about Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation:
And check out the my Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation playlist on YouTube.