Brazil accents – Pronunciation differences of the R letter in several parts of Brazil

Brazil accents

Brazil accents – Pronunciation differences of R letter in several parts of Brazil

Hello there and welcome to our Portuguese Basic Tips 61 called Brazil accents – Pronunciation differences of R letter in several parts of Brazil

On today’s episode, we are going to speak about the pronunciation differences of the “R” letter in several parts of Brazil. You know, Brazil is a big country, it is a country of great dimensions. We have been colonized by several people, throughout history. And this people left great differences of accents in the regions of Brazil.

Listen to our previous episode called Changing the meaning of adjectives in the sentences in Portuguese

For instance, sometimes you can hear the word “porta” (door) being pronounced as “porta” (listen to the audio recorded). Today we are going to exercise those pronounces, so that you can chose which one fits you best.

Brazil accentsR retroflexo or “R caipira”– This is something as “country r”

People call it “r caipira” in Brazil, because this is something you find most in country regions of São Paulo and Minas Gerais here.

Most Portuguese scholars agree that this pronunciation comes from ancient languages, as the Tupi-Guarani. They say that people had a few problems to speak the “l” letter correctly, so that the “country r” became popular those days. For instance: instead of saying “falta” they pronounced “faRta”. Over time, they learned how to pronounce it correctly, however this pronunciation way of words containing the “r” letter remains the same in some country regions.

This is very similar to the “r” pronunciation people use in American English.

Repeat with me:

  • Porta (door)
  • Corta (cut it)
  • Torta (cake)

Brazil accents – R guttural 

This is something that comes directly from your throat. See the differences between the two: porta (country r) and porta (guttural).

Most people say that this sound is natural from the French language: au revoir, Ribery. Forget about my French pronunciation. What I want you to know is that this sound is very similar to the one we use in some parts of Brazil. You’ll find the “guttural r” in places as Rio de Janeiro and in the Northeast region, in general.

Repeat with me:

  • Porta (door)
  • Corta (cut it)
  • Torta (cake)

Even when you find words written with double “rr”, the sound will be pronounced the same way. For instance: carro (car), morro (hill) and so on.

Brazil accents – Mute r

In the Northeast region, you’ll also find what we call “the mute r”, that is, precisely, not to pronounce the r letter at the end of the words.

For instance:

Instead of saying “Salvador” (city)  people say “salvadô”. Instead of saying “amor”(love) people say “amô”.

Repeat with me:

  • Eu vivo em Salvadô, meu amô! (I live in Salvador, my love!).

In those cases, I suggest you also pay attention to the end of verbs in Portuguese: fazer (to make / to do) turns into fazê, trazer (to bring) turns into trazê and so forth.

Brazil accents – Pronouncing the r letter like a Spanish speaker does

Our last tip today has to do with the pronunciation of the r letter as the Spanish speakers do.  I’m speaking about this sound here: rrrrrr.

People from São Paulo, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul usually speak like that: português, porta, torta. At the end of words, they say: amor, salvador, fazer, trazer.

There’s another thing to pay attention here: sometimes you will hear older people saying “rrrio”, “rrrua” in the beginning of words, while younger people speak “rio”, “rua”, in those cases.

Repeat with me:

  • Porta (door)
  • Corta (cut it)
  • Torta (cake)

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Click on the link to watch a video about the R letter pronunciation in Brazil.

That’s enough for today!

See you next time.

Thanks!

Marcos Sales

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