pronunciation of o at the end of a word?

Discussion in 'Português (Portuguese)' started by HollyH, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. HollyH Senior Member

    Austin, TX
    US - English
    Olá, amigos.

    I have a small question (the first of probably very many)... I've seen some pronunciation guides that indicate an "oo" sound, as in the English "boo", and others that indicate an "o", more like the Spanish. Is an o at the end of a word always the same? Or is there a rule to follow? I'm thinking, for example, of the words "prato" or "braço".

    obrigada!

    -holly
     
  2. ronanpoirier

    ronanpoirier Senior Member

    Porto Alegre
    Brazil - Portuguese
    Hello.

    Yes, the "o" in the end of a word sounds like "oo" in "boo" as you said. But that only happens when the last syllabe is unstressed (like "braço" or "prato"). :)
    If it is stressed, it will have an accent over it to indicate if it is a closed or an open pronunciation.
    Sometimes an unstressed "o" in the middle of a word can sound like "oo" but that's another story. ;)
     
  3. HollyH Senior Member

    Austin, TX
    US - English
    That's lovely, thanks very much. This may be remedial, but what is an open or closed pronunciation?

    cheers!
     
  4. ronanpoirier

    ronanpoirier Senior Member

    Porto Alegre
    Brazil - Portuguese
    Open O - it is indicated by the acute accent and it is something like the "o" in "more". It happens in words like avó, sorte, pobre, viola, só, cólera, etc.

    Closed O - it is indicated by the circumflex accent and it is something like the "o" in "show". It happens in words like avô, couve, roxo, porto, econômico, etc.
     
  5. morphine New Member

    Brazilian Portuguese
    I'm no expert in any aspect of the language, but I'd like to point out that the ending "o" sound is very short and even subtle. Thus stating that it sounds like "boo" might be a problem.

    If I'm correct, "boo" has a (sort of) long "oo" sound.
    A word like "roberto" would sound like (caps for stress) "row-BEAR-too" then, but it's more like "hoe-BERT(u)".

    As with any language, I'd advise to listen to a song or get a "novela" chapter on Youtube.
     
  6. avok

    avok Senior Member

    Yes it is like the "u" sound in Look/Book, not the one in Luke.

    But

    Many Brazilians (all of them ?) pronounce "do" (along with "o") as "dô" rather than "du" as in European Portuguese. I have yet seen only one Brazilian who actually pronounced "o" and "do" as "u" and "du" respectively.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  7. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    Avok, you have confounded nations' pronunciation, most of us say du.
     
  8. HollyH Senior Member

    Austin, TX
    US - English
    Wow, thanks y'all! I'm delighted to have some more concrete ideas about pronunciation. It's tricky starting out, I really want to have the correct sounds in my brain (and subsequently my mouth). :)

    Morphine, I think getting a novel chapter seems like a winning idea -- obrigada!

    Cheers!
     
  9. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    You'll find lots of pronunciation resources here.
     
  10. HollyH Senior Member

    Austin, TX
    US - English
    Thanks, Vanda. The WordReference is so great!
     
  11. avok

    avok Senior Member

    What? :eek: Hmmm I might have "o" and "do" confused...I know, for a fact, that Brazilians have "ô" whereas the Portuguese have "u" but I still think Brazilian "do" does not sound like European Portuguese "du". Hmmm Vanda how do you pronounce the article "o"?
     
  12. Denis555

    Denis555 Senior Member

    Cracóvia, Polônia
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Avok, I think we all (Brazilians) pronounce the article "o" as oo in boo. The combination "do" (de+o) is pronounced "doo" or like the word "do" as in "how do you do?"
    I also think that in this case there's no difference in pronunciation with that of Portugal...
     
  13. Ricardo Tavares Senior Member

    Português - Brasil
    I Agree. :thumbsup:
     
  14. avok

    avok Senior Member

    Then how come my friends pronounced "o" (the article) as "oh" but not "u"? They were from Sao Paulo.
     
  15. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    If I am saying the vowels alone, like a e i o u, I surely pronounce ó, but in the end of a word, me and the rest of Flamengo's fans would pronounce it as Dennis explained above, /du/.
     
  16. Frajola Senior Member

    Braz Portuguese
    You are definitely on to something there, ModTeresa, I mean, Vanda. I think this is the source of the confuson for Avok.

    Avok, you probably had your paulista friends sound out the alphabet vowels, and sure enough they said 'oh' for 'o'. Have them sound it out in a string of words instead, something like:

    Onde é o banheiro?

    And you'll sure hear 'oo' for 'o' there.

    :)
     
  17. HollyH Senior Member

    Austin, TX
    US - English
    it's interesting that y'all native speakers have some dissension on the pronunciation... that makes me hope that even if I don't do it 100% correctly, nobody will know the difference. :) tee hee.
     
  18. Ricardo Tavares Senior Member

    Português - Brasil
    I doubt it !! we can smell a gringo miles away of distance.... :D
     
  19. avok

    avok Senior Member

    No, they pronounce the article "o" as "oh" not as "oo". This was the first difference I had noticed. (vs European Portuguese). But when they speak fast, "o" becomes closer to "u".
    Even one of my friends from Sao Paulo pronounced "pouco" as /poko/ like in Spanish whereas the other Brazilians said /pok(u)/.

    The Brazilians who pronounced "o" and "do" as "oh" and "doh" respectively came from "Curitiba, Sao Paulo and Belem" and the only one who pronounced them as "u" and "du" came from "Brasilia".

    Bye
     
  20. Denis555

    Denis555 Senior Member

    Cracóvia, Polônia
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Very strange, indeed.
    The only explanation I can think of for what you've just mentioned is that your Brazilian friends (with the exception of the one from Brasília) are trying to speak slowly with you and making clear that they pronounce each letter almost as they are in the alphabet in order to let you know how you should write the words...
    Often this "method" is used to teach small children how to write the words.

    If you're still not convinced, the only thing I can say is that we've been exposed to thousands (or rather millions) of times to the way people speak in Brazil through close contact or television, music, radio, etc as we're Brazilians, too. And in that case we would have heard or noticed something of the kind as statistically you're talking about 3 cities (or people) out of 4 would pronounce this way.
     
  21. Frajola Senior Member

    Braz Portuguese

    Denis, your assumption seems very likely I think. Pronouncing /po-ko/ rather than /po-ku/ for 'pouco' sounds way odd, maybe more robotic than saying /e-ve-ry/ for 'every', rather than the usual /e-vry/ of everyday speech (no pun intended!)

    :)
     
  22. Macunaíma

    Macunaíma Senior Member

    Um ninho de mafagalfinhos
    português, Brasil
    Not even when I try to say pouco very slowly the last o comes out as a proper o sound. The only difference is that I say /pouku/ instead of the usual /poku/. The ending o is always (more or less) like o in do, as Denis said.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  23. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I would say that it's like the "o" in "do". It's a short sound, and can become very short indeed in casual speech.

    This may not apply to all dialects, though.

    As long as there are no diacritics on it, it's always pronounced the same in isolation. When words are strung together, sometimes it's shortened to the point where it becomes a semivowel [w], or merges with a vowel that follows it. See this recent thread.
     
  24. Alandria Senior Member

    Brasil - São Paulo
    Português
    In the São Paulo Capital, they pronounce like "oo", but in parts of interior (sorocaba, limeira) they pronounce "oh". IN southern Brazil the "o" pronunciation like "oh" is very common.

    Example of non-reduction of final vowels in southern Brazil.


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2008
  25. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Which voice in the video do you mean, Alandria?
     
  26. Alandria Senior Member

    Brasil - São Paulo
    Português
    I mean the two old women at 00:20 and the teacher of geology at 02:36.

    He says (at 02:36):

    "na região litorânea Paraná e São Paulo tem uma zona sísmica... sismogênica. Ali tem falhas geológicas, e uma dessas falhas, chamada falha Santos, se movimentou. Os blocos formaram, então, uma onda dê choque, cuja magnitutodos conhecem agora dê cincô pontô dois. É um fenômeno geológico pra esta região relativamen comum, o quê nos espantou até agora foi a magnitudê dê cincô ponto dois, foi o que significou o sexto maior terremoto ocorrido no Brasil desdê os registros longô tempô."
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2008
  27. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I agree about the "ê"s, but I honestly can't hear the "ô"s. They all sound pretty much like "u"s to me...
     
  28. avok

    avok Senior Member

    Hi,

    Thanks for the video, especially one of the women has a very strange accent, she rolls her double r's just like some Portuguese people do!

    To make things a little bit clear.

    - theres no problem about the pronunciation of "o" at the end of a word. It is "u", my problem is the pronunciation of the article "o" and "do". To me, Brazilian pronunciation of these two is closer to "oh" and "doh" respectively unlike in European Portuguese.

    Here you can listen to the guy saying "o dia todo" : "oh dia todu" : 01:57.

    Here you can listen tothe guy saying "onde fica o banheiro": "onde fica oh
    banheiru" : 04:50
     
  29. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    Hello guys,

    Quando forem colocar links para vídeos, por favor, certifiquem-se de que sejam sem problemas de copyright e me mandem uma mensagem confirmando isso, para que eu não tenha o trabalho de ficar procurando por direitos infringidos ou não. Nem sempre tenho tempo de procurando e enviando PMs para todos. A partir disso vou deletá-los simplesmente!
     
  30. olivinha Senior Member

    Los Madriles
    Português, Brasil
    Those examples are extracted from a Brazilian Portuguese lesson, where people are pronouncing the words very slowly to make sure the students are able to listen/understand them. But, as you know, nobody talks like that.
    I do say "u dia todu" and "onde fica u banheiru."
    Please believe us! :)
     
  31. avok

    avok Senior Member


    Ok.. This is , to me, how Brazilians pronounce "o" and "do". It is not "u" and "du".

    Vanda, I think this attachment is Ok because it is me :)
     
  32. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Avok, that sounded like [u du] to me! :D
     
  33. avok

    avok Senior Member

    Hahaha maybe...those Brazilians scared me! I could not open my mouth for "ohhhhh" and "dohhhh" :)

    Actually my "do" is like a bit "du" in the attachment , I admit it. But "o" is like "oh"
     
  34. olivinha Senior Member

    Los Madriles
    Português, Brasil
    Geez, to me too.
    :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  35. morphine New Member

    Brazilian Portuguese
    Well, you see, just like there's a different accent in NY than in TX, there are different accents in Brazil. Those accents present in the video are characteristic from the southern region of the country. Even there, though, most words ending in "o" are spoken with an "u" sound, as "e" words sound as ending with "i".

    That is, as the "o" in "do" (EN)... "e" as in "me".

    Using olivinha's example, in Sao Paulo we usually say (well, I do and I usually hear people saying): "u djia todu" and "ondji fica u banhêru?"... and "mi dah um djinheiru aí".
    I guess that the "de" usually sounds like "dji" here... as "te" are "tji" or "tchi" em "Pra te fazer feliz" > "Pra tchi fazê felís".


    Okay, I might be starting to complicate things now, putting the "is" in discussion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2008
  36. Alandria Senior Member

    Brasil - São Paulo
    Português
    Nossa, Out. Então eu não sei pronunciar um "ô", porque todos esses exemplos que cito, além do de Avok, soam "ô"... :eek:

    Com esse critério, se eu pronunciar "dor", "amor", "favor", "loira", "moita". Vão te soar "dur", "amur", "favur", "luira" e "muita". :D
     
  37. avok

    avok Senior Member

    Sim! the "o" in "o" and "do" sounds like the "o" in "por" and "amor"
     
  38. olivinha Senior Member

    Los Madriles
    Português, Brasil
    Only when you read it carefully (or are teaching a lesson, as in the videos you provided above); however, on everday speech the "o" in "o" and "do" sounds like "u".
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
  39. morphine New Member

    Brazilian Portuguese
    I don't really know if there's a rule for this sort of thing, but:
    "por" (meaning by or through, not put) = "pur" OR "pôr"
    "amor" = "amôr".
     
  40. Denis555

    Denis555 Senior Member

    Cracóvia, Polônia
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Yes it's true. It's interesting that people really use this much inappropriate "method" to teach foreigners. The only thing they're doing is confusing students...
    The "o" at the end of word is NEVER pronounced /o , ɔ / unless it's got an accent on it ->ô, ó


    This /o/ sound for the letter "o" at the end of word is wrong and for me it's a crime to teach this imaginary /o/ sound. It's simply a mispronunciation of the Portuguese language, a disrespect for all Portuguese native speakers including the person who teaches it like that.


    It's almost like saying or teaching that the English word "thing" should be pronounced with a "t-sound" and not a "θ-sound" but somehow it's mispronounced in everyday speech and foreigners should learn the "right" way...
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
  41. coolbrowne Senior Member

    Bethesda, MD - USA
    Português-BR/English-US bilingual
    You meant confused, not confounded. The latter implies malice (to cause confusion on purpose). I am sure Avok's confusion was innocent :)

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  42. avok

    avok Senior Member

    Maybe Vanda meant I caused confusion on purpose!! :)
     
  43. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    No, I haven't, Avok. Simply I have misused the English word. When I am in a hurry I don't check the unusual words, so...
     
  44. avok

    avok Senior Member

    I know Vanda don't worry :)
     
  45. avok

    avok Senior Member

    Yes your right. As I already explained above it is always "u" at the end of the word. But if the word is short "o, do, rio, etc.." (esp."o" and "do") this "o" becomes less like "u" which I never hear in European Portuguese speech. Maybe it is "w" "dw" I dont know.
     

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