In this lesson Valdo and Michelle can’t figure out why it is so difficult to get medicine from a pharmacy in the United States. This whole idea of going to a doctor first to get a prescription seems to complicate things a lot. It took them a while to get used to it, but it doesn’t mean that they have to like it.
As to pronunciation, today we look at diphthongs. It’s a fancy word, to be sure, but it basically means that we are talking about Portuguese vowel sounds that come one right after another.
PODCAST LINK: Lesson 06
Unlike the regular podcast lessons, we’ve included some other supplementary lessons. Think of these as a sort of Appendix to the regular lessons. In this first supplementary lesson we provide an audio sample of all of the vowel sounds in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. We’re sure it will help listeners get a feel for each of the sounds.
PODCAST LINK: Supplementary Lesson 01
There is a tendency for almost every vowel in unstressed syllables in English to turn into what is called a “schwa”. It is the sound like “uh”. Listen, for example the “e” in “delivery”. When learning Spanish, one of the great challenges is to stop saying “uh.” “It’s “nada” not “naduh”! However, in Portuguese Brazilians also pronounce unstressed /a/ as a schwa. You see, all this time you thought you had bad Spanish and you really just have good Portuguese.
As to the cultural situation in this lesson, both Michelle and Valdo had to get used to the self-checkout lines at the supermarket.
PODCAST LINK: Lesson 05
Spanish speakers learn to sing “a, e, i, o, u, el burro sabe más que tú” and it’s a way to show that there are only 5 vowel sounds in Spanish. Portuguese, however, complicates things with what are called “open” and “closed” vowel sounds. In this lesson we learn about open /ó/ and closed /ô/.
Culturally, Michelle and Valdo talk about how different it is to ride a bus in the United States. All we can say is that at least they don’t have to cram as tightly into limited space and then wonder the whole time how they are going to get off the bus!
PODCAST LINK: Lesson 04
Welcome to one of the great challenges of Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation. Sometimes “e” sounds similar to the English sound in words like “get, met, set.” Other times Brazilian “e” sounds like the Spanish “e” in words like “bebe, vive, lleve.” Valdo and Michelle help us out.
Culturally, they also help us understand how different it is for Brazilians to have to worry about personal health insurance.
PODCAST LINK: Lesson 03
The good news about Lesson #2 is that we’re back. It must be that Lesson #1 gave us hope to move on. In this lesson we listen for the sound /u/ in Portuguese. The tricky thing is that many times it is spelled with an “o.”
Culturally, Valdo and Michelle talk to us about not slamming car doors. It’s really true, Brazilians are amazed at how hard Americans slam car doors!
PODCAST LINK: Lesson 02
There’s only one Lesson #1. We’ll never have a first again. Today we introduce listeners to the team: Orlando, Valdo, Michelle, and José Luis. Pronunciation wise, we’ll look at when Brazilians say words with the sound [i].
Culturally, Michelle and Valdo talk about what it was like to get the bill in restaurants in the United States. Tune in, join our discussion, download the lesson notes, and become part of Brazilpod.
PODCAST LINK: Lesson 01