Tá Falado

March 28, 2007

Lesson 24: Intonation

Filed under: Pronunciation — @ 9:30 am

Today’s lesson is totally different. Instead of listening to a dialog and comparing the sounds to Spanish, our team discusses a number of audio clips that illustrate Brazilian Portuguese intonation patterns. Do not worry about understanding what they clips are saying.

The objective of today’s lesson is to listen to the music, rhythm, and pitch of Brazilian Portuguese. And yes, Brazilians do think of Halls Mentho-Lyptus as candy!



  1. This comment is not really related to Lesson 24, but it seems as good a time as any to note … to give credit where it’s due.

    The Tá Falado website contains some nice photos of Rio, which just happened to inspire the design and color scheme used in the site itself.

    Not noted elsewhere is the fact that these photos were take by Orlando Kelm! So props to the photographer – photos of whom allowed us to design a website to deliver all those wonderfual Tá Falado podcast lessons.

    Thanks, Orlando.

    Comment by s.palomino — March 28, 2007 @ 9:34 am

  2. This one made me literally laugh out loud! (Not the first time, either) Brazilians arguing is fun. Although correct me if I’m mistaken, but clip number six (the one about Halls!) we never got to actually hear! Sad face.

    Thanks for a fantastic podcast and keep it up!

    Comment by Staci — April 1, 2007 @ 1:00 am

  3. Not only is this site excellent but I am learning a tremendous amount from the links to other site, particularly those to Mr Kelm’s projects featuring videos of Brazilians discussing various subjects and business studies. Fantastic stuff, a real service to students of the language and the language itself. Muito Obrigado! By the way, I came back from two weeks in Rio de Janeiro to listen to the most recent podcasts and have a laugh at the reference to Hall’s being candy. While in a movie theater in Ipanema I looked in entertained bafflement as a young woman in her 20s repeatedly elbowed her boyfriend in the ribs every couple of minutes
    and hissed “bala” in his ear — at which point he would hiss something back and give her a Hall’s menthol cough drop.

    Comment by Jon R. — April 6, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

  4. The topic-comment construction thing sure has solved a mystery for me. So I guess that’s correct grammar in Portuguese? All the time in my english class (which consists solely of Brazilians), I ran into:

    My mother, she is very nice.

    I would always say this is wrong in english and in portuguese grammar, oops. My brazilian wife did this all the time back when she started school and I was correcting her essays. Do you have any references for this topic-comment construction? Very interesting.

    Comment by Jason Weden — April 14, 2007 @ 9:53 am

  5. Hi!
    Como vai, como vai, vai, vai? Muito bem, muito bem, bem, bem!
    Yes I am allways gald to listen to this podcast. Thanks is a Great job.

    Encuentro que este es un excelente lugar para personas que conocen de los idiomas Inglés y Español y están interesados en Portugués.
    Es divertido, entusiasta y con algo de teoría.
    Felicitaciones y gracias por entregarlo ala comunidad.
    O brigado.

    Comment by Marcel — April 16, 2007 @ 7:43 am

  6. Staci – nice to hear that you really did laugh out loud because Valdo and Michelle totally cracked me up during this lesson. And you are correct, some of the things that you heard were never actually talked about during the lesson.
    Jon – thanks for the plug on our other Portuguese materials, the videos are neat in that they show real people really talking about actual topics. For everyone else, the word “bala” is a great one to add to your vocabulary, meaning “candy” in general.
    Jason – your comment, it was right on! Just this week I was talking to a Brazilian who noticed that her boyfriend uses topic/comment patterns when speaking English.
    Marcel – Gracias, y pronto tendremos nuevas lecciones de gramática también.


    Comment by orkelm — April 16, 2007 @ 8:37 am

  7. Here is a great example of intonation at its best:

    um bom exemplo practico deste licao:


    Comment by Jason Weden — April 17, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

  8. Hi to everyone,
    Looking forward to hearing the new podcasts. Thanks.

    Comment by Erik — April 19, 2007 @ 11:26 am

  9. … and those new lessons should be coming soon!

    Comment by orkelm — April 19, 2007 @ 11:30 am

  10. Great. How does one say “suffering from withdrawal” in Portugues?

    Comment by Jon R. — April 19, 2007 @ 1:41 pm

  11. Estas lições são muito interessante. Também é grátis. Vale a pena!!

    Obrigado por tudo.

    Aprendi muito.

    Orlando, Valdo, Michele e Jose Luis:
    Se vocês estejam em San Francisco, quero comprar jantar para todos.

    Oi Michelle, conheço a sua cidade Limeira. È muito bonita e calma lá. Gostei muito.

    Um abraço,


    estudante de português brasilero

    Comment by Toby Rappolt — April 23, 2007 @ 11:25 pm

  12. Toby,
    Oi, concordo, essas cidades no interior de São Paulo são fantásticas. Uma das minhas favoritas é uma que se chama Pirassununga.
    Sabe, eu estudei na Universidade da California, Berkeley, adoro essa região também.

    Comment by orkelm — April 24, 2007 @ 7:55 am

  13. O que aconteceu? Hope y’all are well.

    Comment by CJRiss — May 3, 2007 @ 9:32 am

  14. CJ, our next lesson should be up in a few days! We’re making the switch from pronunciation to grammar.
    Aquele abraço,

    Comment by orkelm — May 3, 2007 @ 9:43 am

  15. Oi Toby, tudo bem?

    Então você conhece Limeira? Que legal!!!

    Apesar de ser uma cidade pequena, Limeira é realmente encantadora… muito tranqüila, sem falar nas ruas de pedra que dão um charme a parte à cidade!

    Abraços e até breve,

    Comment by Michelle Lima — May 8, 2007 @ 6:54 pm

  16. Muito Obregado…!! I really enjoyed this lesson…! Que Legal…!! I am very new to speaking Brazilian Portuguese and the “Relaxed” conversation was helpful. Also understanding the intonation is something I have noticed but did not fully appreciate until you spoke on the issue today. I do not speak Spanish either but I am learning a lot from your podcast and the pdf files…Muito Obregado…I will be listening…Michelle please watch the pitch my speakers nearly popped on that high note you hit….!!! Lee

    Comment by Lee — June 5, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

  17. Lee,
    Wow, I’m actually pleasantly amazed that a non-spanish speaker can get something out of the lessons. Cool! Of course, I can see where just hearing Michelle’s pitch would help in this lesson. Welcome to Ta Falado.

    Comment by orkelm — June 5, 2007 @ 6:42 pm

  18. the intonation patterns are very different in Brazil, from one region to another…
    people from Northeast and Minas have the ”singing” intonation (but ”singing” is different, Minas/Bahia/Pernambuco…intonation is very different, even thou differences in pronunciation between Juiz de Fora (Southeast of Minas) and Salvador are minimal)…

    the accent of the city of São Paulo (paulistano) has an Italian intonation, so people from outside the city call this accent ”sotaque macarrônico” 🙂

    and in the Paraná state, each city has different intonation/accent 😉

    It’s just like in the USA. A person from Chicago doesn’t have the Valley Girl intonation ;0)

    Comment by Milton — August 2, 2007 @ 6:38 pm

  19. Bom eles falam muito rapido ne?!!! eles sao expressivos mesmo! Acho que esse jeito de falar mostra porque é que a gente acha que os brasileiros sao pessoas muito alegres

    Comment by cynthiaz — November 29, 2007 @ 11:37 am

  20. Quando eu ouvi essa lição lembrei de um dos meus atores brasileiros preferidos que se chama Wagner Moura. A voz e o jeito de falar dele é como o de Michele.
    Eu sei que escrevi errado mais mesmo assim dá pra entender, né?

    Comment by Lisa Martinez — November 29, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

  21. Argh, that should be “mas” and not “mais.” Sorry. 🙁 Argh.

    Comment by Lisa Martinez — November 29, 2007 @ 2:52 pm

  22. Gostei muito dessas gravações! Teria gostado de que meus professores de espanhol tivessem falado de “little words and nicknames” mais. Os nicknames brasileiros também podem referir às características opostas, né?

    Comment by dmonzingo — November 29, 2007 @ 7:10 pm

  23. Super interessante e divertido!Parabens Orlando!!! O que voce tem feito com Ta Falado e os videos e incrivel. Faz a lingua muito mais viva que se tivessemos que aprender dos livros so.

    Comment by Monica Mitre — November 29, 2007 @ 7:39 pm

  24. Eu imagino que ha muitas palavras de origen ingles que mudam em varias maneiras quando se fala em portugues. Espero que eu podria viagar a brasil no futuro para aprende-las.

    Comment by ryanc — November 30, 2007 @ 12:10 am

  25. Esse podcast me ayudou muito. No meu mprimeiro semestre de português, eu usei para me ajudar com a pronuncia das vogais nasais e abertas. obrigada.


    1. Achei que seria para onde você anda, mas ouvi Por onde você anda?

    2. Pra dizer que alguem é “close to you”, usaria perto ou proximo?

    3. usando PARA antes de infinitivos. alguem disse “fico sem jeito corrigir você” quando é necessario usar para?

    4. quem me dera?

    5. o suficiente – é um sustantivo? “nao sou forte o suficiente.”

    6. usando DE antes de infinitivos. Quando é necessário?
    you are learning the brazilian way to arrive ficou “”vc tá aprendendo o jeito brasileiro DE chegar tarde”
    pq é errado dizer “”vc tá aprendendo o jeito brasileiro chegar tarde”?
    “sabe DE una coisa?”

    Comment by Ebony Jackson — November 16, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

  26. Eu acho a musicalidade da língua portuguesa uma das melhores partes. A entonação é linda, e o jeito de expressar o significado com essa também é elegante. Posso ver que se pode aprender o idioma em pouco tempo, e passar a vida inteira aprendendo esse jeito de falar.

    Comment by Clyde Sheble — November 19, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

  27. Concordo com Clyde, que a musicalidade da língua portuguesa é uma das melhores partes da idioma.

    Comment by Kyle — November 19, 2008 @ 8:09 pm

  28. Para mim, é muito impressionante como falantes de português podem falar muito rápido mas ao mesmo tempo incluir todas essas vogais longas.

    Comment by Elena Bessire — November 20, 2008 @ 6:18 pm

  29. Fazem a mesma mudanças de intonação em Portugal, em paises na Africa (Mosembique, Angola, Capo Verde) como fazam em Brasil? Voce sabe de onde veio às intonações (porque existe em Brasil)?

    Comment by lorena — November 21, 2008 @ 12:11 am

  30. I have been talking Spanish with Portuguese’s accent and it really sounds as if I am over excited or mad. I also sound like a Brazilian who is learning Spanish.

    Comment by Eduardo Gonzalez — November 21, 2008 @ 12:12 am

  31. Uma mais boa ta falado profesor kelm. Muito brigado.

    Comment by Eduard Keller — November 21, 2008 @ 12:26 am

  32. Acho muito gostosa a pronuncia e a entonação brasileira, mas sinto que estou exagerando muito quando tento fazê-lo.

    Comment by Erin — November 21, 2008 @ 9:31 am

  33. Eu concordo com Erin. Eu sei que eu falo o portugues com sotaque de espanhol porque ainda nao sinto normal usando as intonaçoes. Me parecem exageradas.

    Comment by Shannon Zamora — November 23, 2008 @ 11:10 pm

  34. Eu acho bacana a intonação que usam os Brasileiros quando falam. Acho que faz um ritmo quase musical.

    Comment by Golden Dale Oehlke — November 23, 2008 @ 11:39 pm

  35. Hi Guys!
    I’ve been thinking of picking up Portuguese for some time now and started to do so about a month ago while preparing for an upcoming trip to Brazil (next week). As a speaker of French, English and Spanish I got pretty confused at first while trying to figure out what the correct pronunciation was in Brazilian Portuguese (especially with all regional variations of it). I think your podcast is absolutely fantastic! I believe it explained pretty much all the doubts I had about Portuguese pronunciation. I’m starting the grammar lessons now and they’re great too!
    Thanks a lot for the excellent work and for sharing that with the rest of us!

    Comment by Jerome — March 22, 2009 @ 11:27 am

  36. Actually, now that I think of it, there is one thing you didn’t address in the podcast (or did I miss it?) it is where to put the stress while pronuncing Portuguese.
    Do you have any hints?
    Maybe another lesson…? 🙂

    Comment by Jerome — March 24, 2009 @ 7:50 am

  37. Hi Jerome,
    OK, here’s the short version

    Words in Portuguese are always stressed on the second to last syllable unless:
    a. a marked accent (e.g. está, café, estão)
    b. the word ends in L,I,Z,R,U (e.g., Brasil, comi, rapaz, falar, urubu)
    c. the word ends in a diphthong (e.g., falou, falei)

    Note also that an accent mark is the way of saying that the word doesn’t follow the normal rule. For example, “está” needs an accent because it is not second to last syllable. Another example, “nível” takes an accent to show that it is not stressed on the last syllable, because it ends with “l”.

    Comment by orkelm — March 24, 2009 @ 8:58 am

  38. I got it was somewhat similar to Spanish but not quite.. Now I know why!
    Thanks a lot Orlando!

    Comment by Jerome — March 28, 2009 @ 5:34 pm

  39. raising one’s voice on an unstressed syllable = impossible for me. i don’t think i can ever “sing” like a brazilian… i’ll aim for just correct grammar right now 😉

    Comment by Mary Slosar — July 1, 2009 @ 9:17 am

  40. I think that after hearing Brazilians speak for a while, their intonation becomes very contagious. It is easy to pick it up unintentionally.

    Comment by Carlos Barrera — July 12, 2009 @ 3:50 pm

  41. Hi Guys,

    Your lessons have been an inspiration that has improved my portugues alot. I finally made the trip to brasil after 4 years of wanting.

    The pronounciation and grammar lessons were very helpful. I feel very comfortable here.

    Muito obrigado pela ajuda.

    Comment by jimmy berkeley — December 11, 2009 @ 9:51 pm

  42. Acho que entonação é difícil para alunos americanos, especialidade o tom mais alto de voz.

    Comment by Swetha Nulu — April 20, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

  43. porque a “pitch” das palavras muda tanto durante a fala normal (como o tono alto que Michelle usa que não signfica uma muda de emoção), ainda pode usar a ‘pitch” medir a emoção da pesso com quem esta falando?

    Comment by Barbara Fox — April 20, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

  44. Acho que essas entonações sao engraçados quando eu as faço, mas elas fazem o meu português mais natural.

    Comment by Jorge Maldonado — April 20, 2010 @ 11:08 pm

  45. First off, I loooove you guy’s podcasts! They are so helpful and so much fun. I am taking Portuguese here in Florida International University in Miami, Florida so the fact that you guys integrate Spanish in your lessons makes it very helpful, allows me another lever of understanding. I have a couple requests/suggestions to improve your lessons:
    1. Can you guys record at a higher volume? I have to put my car volume and iPhone volume at maximum to be at a comfortable listening level. I’m not deaf but I like to hear clearly to understand better and sometimes that requires me to increase the volume by a lot.
    2. Can you make the PDF transcript link open in a new page and allow to actually download as a PDF? This would be so helpful!

    Thank you so much for your efforts! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Comment by Elisa — October 24, 2011 @ 9:30 am

  46. omg, your trilingual conversation is an inspiration! I hope to be that fluent in Spanish and Portuguese one day!

    Comment by Sam — December 30, 2012 @ 7:25 am

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Brazilpod  |  2022-12-09, 12:13:35 PM