Guess the times really are achangin' as the old saying goes. It wasn't just my Portuguese girlfriend who spoke in that way, all my other friends from Portugal and Açores did too. I'm actually pleasantly surprised by your information that Brazil is having such a linguistic effect on Portugual. Just love that cool tidbit of news. Thanks a bunch!

James Experts Team

Really helpful and simply explained, thanks!

I am new at Brazil and trying to learn portuguese so i need your collective information about language learning. send me all information about language portuguese. my email is ***
I will wait your reply
thank and take core of your self
Aneeq Ahmad Khan

Moderated by Priscilla last year
Reason : do not post personal contact details here for your own security

Can someone who James has sent the list(s) he mentions in this thread to please private message me or just sent them to me? My email address is rivermikerat[at]

Also, I wanted to point out that while the pronunciations mentioned on the first page here are, by and large correct, Nordestinos prnoounce things quite a bit differently.

Even when the letter "r" appears in the middle of the word, the "h" sound is used in combination with a very soft "r" sound. The "de" letter combinations is pronounced as they would be in English. "Cidade" is not pronounced "see-dah'djee" as it is in São Paulo and other locations. It is pronounced "see-dah-de" as we would in English.  Likewise with the "di" combination. She says "dia" the way my family does in Spanish.

Also, the letter "s" will quite often have the soft "sh" sound, no matter where it appears in the word, but not always.

There's also the "te" especially when at the end of a word. She pronounces that letter combination the way we would in English or Spanish. "Firmamente" has the hard "tee" at the end of it.

I've found quite often, especially at the mercado or a restaurant, that quite a few Brazilians will pretend that they don't understand me when I'm talking with or to them.

The açugueiro will look at me in confusion when I ask for "um kilo de bacon defumado" or "dois kilos de frango a passarinho." This is even if I'm pointing at what I'm asking for. This drives me nuts.  I had a similar problem when I first got here in the city of São Paulo with the cook at a "lanchonete." I'd ask for a "X-tudo com bacon." and he'd look at me as if I was speaking Greek with a Venutian accent. After three attempts at getting my order across, one of the restaurant's regular who just happened to be an expat from Minnesota said the exact same thing I said, with the same exact accent, and the cook "understood" him.

This gets infuriating especially when you KNOW you're pronouncing everything properly. They just want to make things difficult.

Albertan :

You need to be honest about this, unless your addressing someone who is multi lingual, or of much higher intelligence, of which neither  apply to me personally.
I've been here for four years, and it's a struggle!  I can barely carry a conversation!
Being from Canada myself, I thought there would be schools teaching PSL (derived from ESL), but that does not exist.  Only schools that teach to "estrangeros" are 3-4 times the price of an english class.  With so many portuguese speaking people here, I can't understand the outrageous price.
Other than that, anyone and everyone who speaks some english wants to only speak english with me.  Where does that leave my portuguese?  Nowhere?   I'm so starved for conversation, I stop mormons in the street, just to have someone to talk with!   (i'm serious).
I am very ashamed about my "lack of" ability to speak, so I lie to people when they ask how long I have been here.
Where do I turn?  What do I do to get out of this rut?
I want to live a "normal life".  I want to be able to understand the news, carry a conversation.
Converse with my neighbors.  But ... I cannot, and life is not so good.
only a few "hundred" words from turning things around, but no where to go.
Every time I learn a word, and don't get the opportunity to use it within 10 minutes ... it's gone.
As for internet (aside from english), there are more opportunities to learn Chinese, German, French, Japanese or Spanish than Portuguese.
What do you recommend?
Please don't say "watch tv"..  please!  20 minutes of blah blah blah, drives me crazy!! 
I am serious.
Maybe i'm just stupid. 
Thanks for your patience.

Oh, by the way.  I read something you posted some time ago about having documents with your parents names on it.  Canada is about the only country that does not do this.  I found out the hard way!

Livemocha is awesome. It helped me quite a bit in my studying of Brazilian Portuguese. There are also numerous groups on Facebook where people will be happy to help you with your Portuguese.

Hi Mike....I used to have the same is pretty awful, but it has stopped now and rarely happens these days....It's all down to accent and intonation, especially on the O vowels at the end of words.....many English speakers will subconciously say Mesm-O with a very english o sound while the true pronunciation is more like Mesmoooo , also the A sound can be a problem as we tend to say "ah" and not the heavy "Uh" that Brazilians do

A few things helped me.....having to use Portuguese in work enviroments and actually teach people to do things in Portuguese, having to phone and speak to parents at English schools, work meetings in Portuguese etc
I'm not sure what your situation is, but I've noticed a lot of the gringos here have some money and do not need to actually go out and work in Brazil, which kind of keeps them in a bubble and slows down the intergration process as they mostly operate in familiar or controlled situations

A few classes with a private teacher who pointed out my Pronunciation

And finally teaching English to big classes of Brazilian teens who would laugh and make fun of me every time I spoke Portuguese because of my Pronunciation shaped me up fast too, also been asked a million translations a minute by 20 kids at once helped...they still make fun of a lot of my pronunciation even though to me it sounds fine...Also something interesting I got from working with kids and teens was that, not of course having had the experience of growing up in Brazil, it kind of substituted that in a weird way and gave me a strong exposure to that part of the experience that I missed out on

It is also sadly a Brazilian thing that people are shocked when they hear a Foreigner speaking Portuguese, but I have found when you reach a certain level of Fluency they stop paying attention asnd just act normal.....It has been a weird cycle, but I did notice a gradually change of how now new people I meet in shops and things just speak to me normally assuming I can understand where as a year ago they would seem afraid to speak or simply assume I wouldn't understand

I'm an ESL teacher and a freelance writer. I'm expanding my freelancer reach into the Brazilian auto industry, as well. My fiancé is Brazilian and her English vocabulary contains maybe 100 words in total.

Hi James, as someone trying to perfect their Portuguese, this is really useful, thank you

Very nice and It is very usefull for us who are learning Português from basic and dont know single sentance of portugese.


Do you have any advice with regard to learning two languages at the same time? I want to learn both Spanish and Portuguese, because I'm not yet certain whether I'll be moving to Portugal or Spain. Is this a bad idea? Should I focus on one first?

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