In this pronunciation lesson, we take a look at Portuguese vowel sounds
|a||/a/ → pato, sábado, vaso|
/ɐ/ → sábado, amar, patins
|e||/ɛ/ → pétala, lego, pele|
/e/ → pera, meter, alameda
/ɨ/ → pecado, mente, quente
|i||/i/ → apito, litro, acima|
|o||/ɔ/ → bola, cola, avó/o/ → bolo, tolo, miolo/u/ → bolo, tolo, miolo|
|u||/u/ → tudo, mudo, peludo|
a → stands for either (1) the open /a/-sound, typically in stressed syllables; or (2) the more closed /ɐ/- sound, typically in unstressed syllables.
e → stands for (1) the open /ɛ/, typically in stressed syllables; (2) the /e/-sound, often in stressed syllables as well; and (3) the nearly muted /ɨ/-sound, always in unstressed syllables (not least when e comes at the end of words).
i → always stands for the /i/-sound.
o → stands for (1) the open /ɔ/, typically in stressed syllables; (2) the /o/-sound, often in stressed syllables as well; and (3) the /u/-sound, always in unstressed syllables.
u → always stands for the /u/-sound.
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Reading tips! We’ll have many more lessons devoted to pronunciation. However, just by reading the following article, you’ll get a fairly good idea of the Portuguese sound system as a whole: European Portuguese Pronunciation – A Guide to Portuguese Phonology and Spelling-Sound Patterns.
Now, if you really want to dive deeper into it, consider enrolling in Sounds of Portuguese.
Finally, explore the International Phonetic Alphabet (if you are nerdy enough).