Tips for Perfecting the Portuguese Accent
The accent is an undervalued art form, yes you can learn the words but can you sing the speech? It’s what gives the language it’s character, it’s charm, it’s life; and you’ll need to know how to use it to become truly one with your new found Portuguese language.
The road to the perfect accent starts at pronunciation, whatever level you’re at you’ll never master it without getting this under wraps. Portuguese is a language that can easily trip you up here, there are many different vowel sounds represented by different accents on the letters: á, â, ã, à, ç, é, ê, í, ó, ô, õ, and ú; many people also have problems with certain combinations of consonants such as ‘nh,’ ‘lh,’ ‘ch,’ and ‘rr.’ Suffice it to say you practice them a little to get hang of each one.
So rather than just put a damper on your excitement of mastering Portuguese, I should offer you some tips and tricks right?
For starters, the best way to learn the ropes of pronunciation is to listen to others speak it, which naturally leads us to the likes of television, music, and human interaction. Television is great because you can have subtitles, which will help improve not only the accent, but also your spelling and grammar; music lets you get your groove on while practicing the accent through singing, it also helps to learn slang and local phrases that are often used; then there really is no substitute for talking with real people, you’ll get personalized help and be able to ask questions, it doesn’t get much better.
“Great” you might say, “but where do I find all of this? I’m not living in Brazil.” Valid point, really the best option is through the internet, there’s a multitude of options available out there with a little Google search. You can rent Portuguese movies and turn on the English subtitles, I highly recommend, ‘City of God,’ it’s one of the best. There are too many places you can listen to music these days, some popular Brazilian genres are Samba and Bossa Nova, you can find plenty of free online radio stations that play Portuguese music, or search for a band in the particular style you’re into. Talking to people is the difficult one, you can try to find local Portuguese speakers through expat groups or though sites like Couchsurfing; or there’s the highly recommended option of online tutorship, like the classes Language Trainers offer — they’re personally tailored to you and taught by people who’s job it is to teach the language, there’s no more effective option, send an inquiry for any more information.