If you’d like to say “congratulations” in Portuguese, you would say, “parabéns.” But “parabéns” is even more useful, because it’s also a common way to say “happy birthday,” “good job,” “well done,” and “it’s great.” Essentially, anything you want to seem excited about may very well deserve a “parabéns.”
Rosetta Stone designs language-learning programs that build confidence in speaking and understanding Portuguese. Whether you’re a beginner, or an intermediate Portuguese speaker looking to advance your fluency, Rosetta Stone can help. With a time-tested immersive approach that focuses on contextualizing learning, Rosetta Stone uses an award-winning mobile app to deliver bite-sized lessons that help you learn Portuguese anytime and anywhere.
The native language of millions of people around the world is Portuguese. To converse with these individuals, you will need to learn Portuguese. In fact, Portuguese is one of the most powerful languages in the world. Known as “Lusophones,” Portuguese speakers are in good company among other global economic heavyweights including speakers of German (ranked seventh) and speakers of Japanese (ranked eighth). When you learn to understand and speak Portuguese, you will join the estimated 250 million Lusophones who make Portuguese the second most commonly spoken Romance language in the world.
Many native English speakers make the pleasant discovery that learning Portuguese is not as difficult as they might have initially thought. Portuguese grammar and sentence structures are actually less complex than their counterparts in the English language. In fact, many beginning Portuguese learners come to find that the Portuguese accent is easier to replicate than a Spanish accent. This relative ease of learning Portuguese is due to the fact that the English and Portuguese languages share common Latin roots. These shared roots mean that you’ll soon find that many Portuguese words sound much like their English counterparts, and share the same meaning as well. These shared words are referred to as cognates. These cognates can get you off to a fast start to learning to speak Portuguese comfortably and with confidence.
As an example, here’s a common Portuguese sentence: “Animais não são permitidos no restaurante.” Reading this sentence, you can see that it’s made up almost entirely of Portuguese-English cognates. Looking at the sentence word by word, we have:
• Animais = Animals
• não são = are not
• permitidos = allowed (permitted)
• no = at the
• restaurante = restaurant
Putting these words back together into a sentence gives us, “Animals are not allowed in the restaurant.”
So you can see, not only may you find Portuguese to be quick to pick up and begin speaking, you may also find that an understanding of Portuguese can give you a strong head start to learning other widely-spoken Romance languages—including Spanish, Italian, and French.
One of the first things new Portuguese learners must tackle is the Portuguese alphabet. The good news is that the Portuguese alphabet is Latin-based and has 26 letters, just like the English alphabet. However, one of the challenging elements to learning the Portuguese alphabet is recognizing that the symbols above each letter actually change the pronunciation of the words. The Portuguese language includes 14 vowel sounds. Specific accent marks above letters are used to show the pronunciation of these vowel sounds. Those accent marks are: á, â, ã, à, ç, é, ê, í, ó, ô, õ, and ú.
Portuguese accent marks also indicate which syllables are to be stressed when you pronounce the spoken words. For example, here are 3 words and their pronunciations as indicated by the accent marks: café (coffee); você (you, formal); and mãe (mother). In spoken Portuguese, nasal vowels are quite common and are represented by the tilde accent mark (~) over the vowels a and o. Here are 2 examples: canção (song), and maçã (apple). And finally, the cedilha (ç) before -a, -o, and -u indicates that the letter is meant to be pronounced the same as s.
It’s important to note that the letter h is silent in Portuguese. Additionally, the letters r, s, z, and the combinations nh, lh, ch, and rr may prove quite challenging to learn. Some common examples of these letter combinations and their pronunciations include: rádio (radio), cozinhando (cooking), chaves (keys), mulher (woman), and cachorro (dog).
Each Rosetta Stone language lesson includes our patented TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine, because honing your Portuguese pronunciation depends on getting immediate and accurate feedback on your efforts. This real-time feedback will allow you to correct and fine-tune your pronunciation. Then you will want to practice, until you can comfortably shape the sounds that make up spoken Portuguese. This powerful tool delivers instant feedback that will help you align your accent to the accent of fluent Portuguese speakers. It was developed by carefully scanning and closely analyzing the speech of native and non-native Portuguese speakers. TruAccent can be a significant help to you as you learn to speak and understand the Portuguese language.
Once you have acquired the basics that make up the building blocks of speaking Portuguese , the next step is to move on to learning the longer phrases. Rosetta Stone’s brief and bite-sized, 10-minute language lessons are built to lead you naturally on your journey to comfortably understanding and confidently speaking Portuguese.
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.