Elementary 09: Learning Portuguese Is Difficult

MP3 Audio (Lesson) | MP3 Audio (Dialog)

Is it so frustrating to learn how to pronounce words in Portuguese. There are different sounds for all of the vowels and there don’t seem to be any rules. And those verb endings, it’s crazy! Never fear. In today’s lesson will give you a few hints along the way, and we’ll let you know that it’s really no big deal.

Lesson audio

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Dialog audio

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 A: Você está estudando o português?
Are you studying Portuguese?
  B: Estou, mas a pronúncia é muito difícil, viu?
I am, but the pronunciation is difficult, you know?
  A: Como assim?
What do you mean?
  B: Esse tal de ‘avô - avó’, ‘pode – pôde’, eu não ouço a diferença.
This deal with ‘avô - avó’, ‘pode – pôde’, I don’t hear the difference.
  A: Sei, inicialmente causa problemas, mas você vai pegar, não se preocupe.
I know, initially it can cause problems, but you’ll get it, don’t worry.
  B: ‘Não se preocupe’ ou ‘Não se preocupa’?
‘Nao se preocupe’ or ‘Não se preocupa’?
  A: Tanto faz, qualquer um dos dois
It doesn’t matter, either of the two.
  B: Te disse, não é? O português não é fácil não.
I told you, you know? Portuguese is not easy.


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  1. Sam

    Is it possible for you to dive a little more into the 4th line… “Esse tal de…”
    My understanding is that this is, sort of, slang or loose term like, “This stuff that…”
    Por exemplo… “Sabe, eu não gosto ‘desse tal de’ lixo na cada rua em Manaus. É horrível não é? Vamos proteger a Amazona.

    I was hoping to get a little more clearificatin on the phrase “esse tal de.”

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Orlando Kelm

      You have found one of those golden nuggets of cool Portuguese phrases. So, just a couple of other observations:
      1. Brazilian will use “e tal” to mean “and such.” So, it’s common to hear sentences like, Ele comprou a comida, preparou o almoço, comeu tudo e tal… (He bought the food, made the lunch, ate everything and such…
      2. Added to the “e tal” Brazilians also say “tal e tal” similar to the English “such and such”
      3. Given that, Brazilian also use the phrase “esse X de…” where X could be a ton of words: esse negócio de…. esse problema de…. esse sonho de… esse dia de… And so it’s not surprising that Brazilians will also add, “esse tal de….”

      1. sam

        Perfect explanation, thank you Orlando! I am actively studying lingua da gente, please forgive my active questioning. 🙂