In this post we’ll learn the different ways you can pronounce the letter o in Brazilian Portuguese words.
Many students of Brazilian Portuguese often tell me they find it difficult to pronounce the letter o in Brazilian Portuguese, mainly because they can’t actually hear the difference between the open and closed sounds of it.
1. Open sound
Like the o in the English word ‘bought’. examples:
(It’s quite common for Brazilians to just say vó without the a)
Note that when the o is under the acute accent [ ´ ] it is always pronounced as an open sound, no matter where it is in the word.
2. Closed sound
It’s a short ‘oh’ sound, similar to the o in the English word no:
(It’s quite common for Brazilians to just say vô without the a)
Note that when the o is under the circumflex accent [^] is is always pronounced as a closed sound, no matter where it is in the word.
3. oo sound
If the o is the last letter of a word, it is pronounced more like the oo in food.
4. Diphthongs (vowel pairs) with the letter o
-> at the end of a word: both vowels blend into [ee-oo] as in you
-> not at the end of a word: normal closed sound.
closed o sound combined with ee
The o is pronounced with the oo sound
voar (to fly)
(as in cow)
closed sound (not at the end of a word)
closed sound – the u is silent.
Ele chegou. (He arrived.)
Sou (I am)
5. Nasal sounds
Brazilian Portuguese has many nasal vowel sounds. They happen when a vowel is followed by the letter m (and sometimes n) or when the vowel combination has a tilde accent [~]. The sound produced is similar to the sound in English words ending in -ng (song, ping) but when the g is barely pronounced. Let’s have a look at some examples of nasal sounds with the vowel o.
I’ve written a post, with a video as well on how to pronounce words with -ão. Click here to be taken to that post.
Similar to the -oing sound in boing
Ele põe (He puts)
Similar to the -ong sound in gong
Now that you know the different ways of how to pronounce the letter o in Brazilian Portuguese try this post: Difficult Sounds in Brazilian Portuguese