pronounciation: "João"

Discussion in 'Português (Portuguese)' started by johnL, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. johnL Senior Member

    NC USA
    USA, English
    Hello, everyone.
    Can someone please give me some idea of how to pronounce the name "Joao"?
    Thanks very much.
  2. Macunaíma

    Macunaíma Senior Member

    Um ninho de mafagalfinhos
    português, Brasil
    The J is pronounced like the French J in jour, bijou, jeunesse. The first syllable is unstressed and therefore the first o sounds pretty much like a w in English (i.e., a semi-vowel). The stressed syllable is the final ão which is a nasal diphthong. You could try pronouncing the ow in cow with a nasal sound. It's tricky to get it if you can't hear it - actually it's tricky even if you can hear it. Try saying Jwaong quickly remembering what I said about the J sound in Portuguese and with the stress on the nasal a.
  3. spielenschach Senior Member

    Portugal . Portuguese
  4. Dom Casmurro

    Dom Casmurro Senior Member

    Brazil Portuguese
    As Macunaíma put it, this is a very tricky one indeed, and I would go as far as saying that non-native speakers should be proud of themselves if they manage to pronounce "João" exactly like a native one. I have nothing to add to what Macunaíma has said, save for a slight remark on the fact that the ão syllable is a diphthong. It is a diphthong all right, but the three vowels uttered together (o+ã+o) may make them sound like a triphthong most of the time.
    Good luck,
  5. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In this forum's Resources sticky, there are links to some websites where you can type a word, and listen to how it's pronounced in Portuguese. Look them up here.

    If you are familiar with phonetic notation, "João" is pronounced [ʒwɐ̃u̯] (the [ɐ̃] should have a tilde on it, which stands for nasalization). As the other posters have noted, the "j" is pronounced the French way. The "ã" is a nasal vowel similar to the way you pronounce the interjection "Huh?" in English. Each "o" is short, with a sound similar to the vowel in the English word "do".

    I hope this helps.
  6. Desastre

    Desastre Senior Member

    Limoges, France
    Brazil, Portuguese
    Just another bit of info: the ʒ Outsider was talking about, or the French j, is also the sound of "s" in "vision": /ˈvɪʒən/.
  7. johnL Senior Member

    NC USA
    USA, English
    Thanks, everybody. I went to one of the "voice demo" websites, and found the most amazing thing: I've been saying it right!:D I know some French and a little Spanish, and between the two, I got lucky!
    Thanks again.
  8. spielenschach Senior Member

    Portugal . Portuguese
    The most similar sound to ão is the bark of the dog: ão...ão...ão
    Sample text in Brazilian Portuguese
    Todos os seres humanos nascem livres e iguais em dignidade e direitos. São dotados de razão e consciência e devem agir em relação uns aos outros com espírito de fraternidade.
    Listen to a recording of this text [​IMG]
  9. Archimec Senior Member

    Montreal, Canada
    Portugal, portuguese
    Since I live in Montreal, Canada, and my name is João, some people have shown interest in knowing how to pronounce it. I tell them "relax, say 'juin' (June, in French), then place your mouth as if to pronounce 'ou'(F), or 'w'(E), without actually pronouncing it, or hardly.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008

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