How To Pronounce The Brazilian Portuguese “R” & How The Sound Varies By State
The “R” – A lot of people seem to have trouble with the Portuguese “R” but the good news is that it can be pretty much pronounced however you wish because the sound of the letter “R” changes from state to state in Brazil. One word that is famous for being pronounced differently depending on which state you are in is the word for door, “porta.”
I pronounce the mineiro “R” that sounds like an h or sometimes just a wind of breath. So I say pó-h-tá. It’s one of those sounds that’s almost like your blowing your breathe from the back of your throat.
RIO DE JANEIRO
Cariocas (people from Rio de Janeiro) tend to extend their r’s a little further and say pó-hhhh-tá. The R is pronounced almost like the beginning of the word “Chanukah”.
Then there are paulistanos, whose R’s are almost Spanish speaking where they roll it off their tongues. Paulistas & Paranaenses make it easy for Americans to pronounce their Portuguese R’s because they say “porta” as an American English speaker would say it. Except maybe it sounds more like “pour-tá”.
*Note that double R’s in Portuguese are pronounced with an “H” sound!