If you’d like to say, “How are you?” in Portuguese, you would generally say, “Tudo bem?” (All well?) Another common way to phrase the question is, “Tudo bom?” (All good?)
Rosetta Stone specifically focuses on teaching Brazilian Portuguese, also known as Português do Brasil. It’s spoken by virtually all of the 200 million inhabitants of Brazil and spoken throughout the Brazilian diaspora, today consisting of about two million Brazilians who have emigrated to other countries.
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 of 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 it would be. Portuguese grammar and sentence structures are actually less complex than their counterparts in the English language. And 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 have 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:
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).
Honing your Portuguese pronunciation depends on getting immediate and accurate feedback on your pronunciation efforts. This real-time feedback will allow you to correct and fine-tune your Portuguese pronunciation. Then you will want to practice, until you can comfortably shape the sounds that make up spoken Portuguese.
Each Rosetta Stone language lesson includes our patented TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine. This powerful tool delivers instant feedback that will help you align your accent to the accent of fluent Portuguese speakers. TruAccent 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 beginning Portuguese learners 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 that are the backbone of so much of everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s brief and bite-sized, 10-minute language lessons are built to lead naturally to comfortably understanding and confidently speaking Portuguese.
Surround yourself with Portuguese (Brazil) whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
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.