Sound Brazilian

Portuguese is a fascinating language. Spoken by over 250 million people in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, it is one of the ten most spoken languages on the planet. And Brazilian Portuguese, spoken by three out of every four Portuguese speakers, is growing both in popularity and influence as Brazil increases in economic and political importance. Brazilian Portuguese is the language of samba and Bossa Nova, futebol (soccer) and carnaval.

As someone who either grew up speaking Spanish or learned to speak Spanish later in life, you have probably noticed just how similar Portuguese and Spanish are. Most likely, you have even found yourself saying, “Yeah, I understand 50 to 75 percent of what they are saying when I hear Portuguese.”

Because you already speak Spanish, the Portuguese you do understand is a great foundation on which to build. But, let’s face it. It’s that other 25 to 50 percent that you don’t understand, or worse yet, that you think you understand but don’t, that forces you to speak that clumsy mishmash of Portuguese words mixed with Spanish known as “portuñol” (Brazilians call it “portunhol” and speak their own version of it when they try to speak Spanish with equally comical results).

That’s where this website comes in. Sound Brazilian provides you with more than 50 of the most tricky words and phrases in Brazilian Portuguese that have been carefully selected from the 500 most frequently used words in Portuguese, as found in the Corpus do Português, a database of authentic language maintained by Professor Mark Davies at Brigham Young University. Each tip explains the difference between Portuguese and Spanish and provides you with real-world examples that you can easily incorporate into your portuñol to make it sound more like Brazilian Portuguese. Master these 54 tips and you’ll be well on your way to sounding like a real Brazilian Portuguese speaker.