Portuguese Pronounced Like English But Spelled Differently

Portuguese words pronounced like English but spelled differently are pronunciations that you already know from English that apply to Portuguese.

This is the Easiest Portuguese Pronunciation even though the word is spelled differently in Portuguese than in English.

When you see a foreign word spelled slightly differently from English, you might assume that it is also pronounced slightly differently from English. But in many cases a foreign word spelled slightly differently from English is pronounced the same as in English -- or can be pronounced the same as in English and be understood.

Some parts of these Portuguese words pronounced like English are spelled the same way as in English.

Sometimes the difference in spelling of words pronounced alike is the result of a word being borrowed from another language, and then reproducing the original pronunciation by adapting whatever letters of the borrowing language that will approximate the original pronunciation. For example in Portuguese: sandwich -- sanduíche -- [‘sandwich’]

In the following pronunciation guide, the the pronunciations of Portuguese words pronounced like English are enclosed in single quotation marks, as in: bikini -- biquíni -- [‘bikini’].

To keep Portuguese pronunciation easiest, Portuguese words are shown to have a similar pronunciation to English if the stress is on the same syllable, and the letters are pronounced enough alike that Portuguese people will probably understand what you mean if you pronounce those words as you do in English. You may merely sound like you have a ‘English accent’ in Portuguese.

Later you can listen to how Portuguese people pronounce them, and try to mimic any small differences in pronunciation to make them sound more authentically Portuguese.

Most likely not to be understood are short words of one syllable. The more syllables a word has, the less likely it is to be misunderstood, because the adjoining syllables help clarify the meaning of any one syllable that might sound ambiguous, and might be mistaken for a different word by the listener.

A famous funny example of French being misunderstood is “Je t’adore!” -- three syllables pronounced [zhuh tah-DOHR]. It means ‘I love you!’ -- but to an English-speaker it can sound like ‘Shut the door!’

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Portuguese Pronounced Like English But Spelled Differently:

ENGLISH -- PORTUGUESE -- [SAY]

accident -- acidente -- [‘accident’]

baby -- bebê (Portugal) -- [‘baby’]

basketball -- basquetebol -- [‘basketball’]

beef (steak) -- bife (Portugal) -- [‘beef’]

bikini -- biquíni -- [‘bikini’]

Brazil -- Brasil -- ['Brazil']

cashew -- caju -- [‘cashew’]

cathedral -- catedral -- [‘cathedral’]

club -- clube -- [‘club’]

coffee -- café -- [‘coffee’]

control -- controle -- [‘control’]

crystal -- cristal -- [‘crystal’]

detergent -- detergente -- [‘detergent’]

diarrhea -- diarreia -- [‘diarrhea’]

distant -- distante -- [‘distant’]

dollars -- dólares -- [‘dollars’]

elevator -- elevador -- [‘elevator’]

excellent -- excelente -- [‘excellent’]

filet (steak) -- filé (Brazil) -- [‘filet’]

golf -- golfe -- [‘golf’]

heterosexual -- heterossexual -- [‘heterosexual’]

identification -- identificação -- [‘identification’]

infection -- infecção -- [‘infection’]

innocent -- inocente -- [‘innocent’]

intolerant -- intolerante -- [‘intolerant’]

kilo -- quilo -- [‘kilo’]

lemon -- limão -- [‘lemon’]

mango -- manga -- [‘mango’]

mayonnaise -- maionese -- [‘mayonnaise’]

melon -- melão -- [‘melon’]

night -- noite -- [‘night’]

nights -- noites -- [‘nights’]

no -- não -- [‘no’]

omelet -- omelette -- [‘omelet’]

packet -- pacote -- [‘packet’]

phone -- fone -- [‘phone’]

Portuguese -- português -- [‘Portuguese’]

protestant -- protestante -- [‘protestant’]

racket -- raquete -- [‘racket’]

repellent -- repelente -- [‘repellent’]

restaurant -- restaurante -- [‘restaurant’]

sandwich -- sanduíche -- [‘sandwich’]

shampoo -- xampu (Brazil) -- [‘shampoo’]

sweater -- suéter (Brazil) -- [‘sweater’]

telephone -- telefone -- [‘telephone’]

tennis -- ténis (Portugal) -- [‘tennis’]

tennis -- tênis (Brazil) -- [‘tennis’]

train -- trem (Brazil) -- [‘train’]

urgent -- urgente -- [‘urgent’]

vermouth -- vermute -- [‘vermouth’]

vinegar -- vinagre -- [‘vinegar’]

volleyball -- voleibol -- [‘volleyball’]

yogurt -- yogurte -- [‘yogurt’]

yogurt -- iogurte -- [‘yogurt’]

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