Tá Falado

March 18, 2007

Lesson 22: Epenthetic Vowels (wow, fancy word!), Fast Food

Filed under: Pronunciation — @ 7:27 pm

Epenthe … what? Epenthetic Vowels. We know, it sounds like a tropical disease, but it’s really the linguistic feature that produces such great Brazilian words as “piquenique” for picnic.

Valdo isn’t sure he can bring himself to say “hoti doggie” for “hot dog,” but he has no problem with “fasti foodi.”



  1. This was a great lesson. I thought I was hearing the words incorrectly until I listened to the “podgecaste”. Now I even have a name for it…….epenth…..something
    Thanks again. These lessons are fantastic

    Comment by DL — March 18, 2007 @ 10:17 pm

  2. Hi DL. no, your ears were not tricking you, Brazilians really do say piquenique, not to mention, “podegecaste”!

    Comment by orkelm — March 19, 2007 @ 6:16 am

  3. I loved this lesson. It was so fun hearing all those words that we all know in the unique Brazilian style. “Piqui-niqui’ was very familiar to me. Myself and a lot of people I know say it refering to the English word but giving it a funny sense when we go on a “dia de campo” – I didn’t know Brazilians actually say “piquenique”!
    As a native Spanish speaker, I just think it’s kind of cute and funny to say “pingue-pongui”, “fasti-foodi” and “vipi vaporubi” – I loved that one.
    BTW, most Spanish speakers say pizza, not “pisa”, like Jose Luis does. Also “hot dog”, although “perro caliente” is also used often.
    Great lesson.

    Comment by Emmanuel — March 19, 2007 @ 7:47 am

  4. We all identify with your comments. This is clearly part of the charm of Portuguese. What a fun language!

    Comment by orkelm — March 19, 2007 @ 8:52 am

  5. Great lesson. I laughed.

    I have a fellow pilot who married a lady from Campinas. He’s been speaking Portuguese for years. He told me about this sound, but he used the example of the English word, “rap.” He said a Brasilian would say it, “happy!”

    Comment by Steve Mayer — March 19, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

  6. Steve, I was just in Brazil with a person named James Rapp and we called him “happy” too!

    Comment by orkelm — March 19, 2007 @ 8:19 pm

  7. Sou estudante de português brasileiro. Gostei muito dos Podcasts. Estes Podcasts me ajudam muito. A minha pronúncia é muito melhor. Também aprendi muito sobre a cultura diferenças entre o Brasil e os Estados Unidos, e as vários sotaques no Brasil. Muito obrigado!

    Abraços para todos,

    San Francisco, California

    Comment by Toby — March 19, 2007 @ 11:25 pm

  8. Wow Toby, você está falando português de verdade!!!

    Comment by orkelm — March 20, 2007 @ 7:44 am

  9. This one was among the best yet! I also kept thinking I was mistakenly hearing certain syllables and just had to mark it up to an accent, although cases like “advogado” really had me hopelessly confused (that’s a difference so notable you can’t explain it away as an accent). On that same them, I really find it fascinating how these two languages, Spanish and Portuguese, look so much alike on paper but have such different rules of pronunciation. And its good to see that these really are “rules” and not just “funny accents” as some people seem to consider to be the only difference between the two. Keep it up (ahh, and the suggestion that idiomatic expressions and other topics may get coverage in the future? Sounds great, please do it).

    Comment by Jon R. — March 20, 2007 @ 10:15 am

  10. Hi Jon, you know, I was relistening to this lesson myself and it really was one of the most enjoyable to record. I believe that the word “ritmo” exemplfies so well the tendency of Spanish speakers, who almost elminate the “t” compared to the tendency of the Portuguese speakers who add a whole new syllable, “ri chee mu”. What a contrast! I hope you’ll like lesson 23 that will be on “funny little words”.

    Comment by orkelm — March 21, 2007 @ 9:40 am

  11. Hi, Steve asks the following:

    One of my friends laughed at me saying Hot Dog, like Michelle said in an earlier lesson; “hoti dogi.”

    Then they said I need to say “cão quente.” (They laughed again because I didn’t not get my lips correct for “cão.” Part of that problem is too many cervejas..)

    Did I miss something about this particular lesson? If I want to order a hot dog in Brazil, do I ask for “cão quente?”

    Is the “hoti dogi” only what I can expect my Brazilian friends to say if they are trying to speak English?

    Comment by Steve Mayer — April 5, 2007 @ 5:04 pm |Edit This

    OK, the truth is that Brazilians will say both “cachorro quente” as well as “hot dog”, depending on the person. I personally, and Valdo too, generally say “cachorro quente” but we often hear others who say “hoti doggie”. I’m trying to think of an English example, and the closest that comes to mind is how some people say “coke” when they mean any “soda” or “pop”. Probably not the best comparison, but all I’m saying is that both versions are OK, but “cachorro quente” is probably more common. As to “cão” instead of “cachorro”, I’d suggest you go with “cachorro”. Technically “cão” is hunting dog and “cachorro” is the generic word for dog. I’m sure most would agree that cachorro quente is more common than cão quente. Hope that helps.


    Comment by orkelm — April 5, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

  12. It does help.

    Pardon the mis-translation. I use Google language translator for quick copy and paste text. I don’t know Portuguese well enough to try to spell a word they are saying. “Cachorro” is what my friend said. “Cão” is what Google gave me.

    This is so helpful.

    Comment by Steve Mayer — April 6, 2007 @ 8:08 pm

  13. Hi there!

    First things first: I love your podcasts. I found it on the Internet by chance and I must say that this is the best I’ve ever heard on Portuguese.
    I love this lesson specially because as Emmanuel said, as a native Spanish speaker (I’m from Spain, Europe)I found pretty funny to hear “vipi vaporubi”, “fasti foodi” and so on… so I had a good laugh listening to the podcast (for I was on the bus while listening to this podcast, people on the bus should have thought that I was mad or something)

    I agree with Emmanuel when he said:
    “BTW, most Spanish speakers say pizza, not “pisa”, like Jose Luis does. Also “hot dog”, although “perro caliente” is also used often.”

    Actually, I understand that in Venezuela (or South America in general) the pronunciation is different from the pronunciation we have here in Spain so I don’t think this is so important. I just want to remark that we say “perrito caliente” instead of “hot dog” or “perro caliente” (dialectic matter?).

    Comment by Angel — May 22, 2007 @ 2:09 am

  14. Hi Angel, thanks for joining us. BTW what part of Spain are you from?
    Nothing brings a smile to my face more than hearing Brazilians pronouncing some of these words. I totally relate to your cracking up on the bus!

    Comment by orkelm — May 22, 2007 @ 8:07 am

  15. Hi Orlando,

    I’m from Madrid and I just started to study Portuguese a month ago (self-study; i’ll attend some classes next year). Thanks to your podcast now I can pronounce Portuguese pretty well and what’s more important, now I can listen to and understand Brazilian Portuguese. It is very difficult for a Spanish speaker to understand a Portuguese even though our languages are so alike (not to mention Brazilians). This brings up a question I wanted to pose: What are the features of the European Portuguese? I was said that it was similar to the Rio de Janeiro accent but I couldn’t find any podcast about EU Portuguese explaining this.

    Comment by Angel — May 23, 2007 @ 2:44 am

  16. Hi Angel,
    Ah Madrid, talk about a city that never sleeps!
    OK, European Portuguese, true most of what we do is Brazilian. Try the Camoes Institute, they have some recordings of Continental Portuguese on their web pages (no podcast that I know of however)
    My Portuguese Communications Exercises has a few speakers from Portugal, take a peek there too.
    Boa sorte,

    Comment by orkelm — May 24, 2007 @ 6:19 am

  17. Hi there again!

    Woah! Everybody should check your Portuguese Communications Exercises, they are very dinamic, they deal with many subjects and you can check different accents which I find very interesting and useful.

    Regarding Epenthetic Vowels, I heard Ilana Grimberg talking about “asking if an item exist in a store” (Intermediate 17) saying “lapi topi”.

    Urges to say that you did and you are still doing a great job, keep it up 😀


    Comment by Angel — May 24, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

  18. ”Technically “cão” is hunting dog and “cachorro” is the generic word for dog.”

    in Brazil, ”Cachorro” is still considered a ”popular” word, so it is avoided not only in zoology and veterinary medicine literature, but textbooks too. There are many times when the word ”Cachorro” cannot replace the word Cão, for example the expressions like ”Cão de guarda” (never Cachorro de guarda) or ”Quem não tem cão caça com o gato” (never ”Quem não tem cachorro…)

    I’ve noticed that people in the South and São Paulo like using the word CÃO, even in informal contexts…

    In Rio and Northeast, the word CACHORRO is preferred in informal contexts because the word CÃO means DEVIL.

    Both Houais and Aurélio dictionary label CACHORRO as an informal word and redirect you to the word CÃO. Francisco Borba’s Dictionary says: ”CÃO is more formal than CACHORRO”…

    It’s kind of sad the fact that this Brazilian word cannot replace the Portuguese word CÃO, unlike CAMUNDONGO (mouse) that replaced the popular RATINHO (little rat) in Brazilian zoology/scientific literature/usage, so DOG AND MOUSE is translated as ”cão e camundongo” in Brazilian technical literature and as ”cão e rato” in Portuguese technical literature.

    Comment by Milton — August 2, 2007 @ 6:28 pm

  19. Ate agora a minha palavra “epenthetica” favorita é “laptop” = “lapitopi”! e também “psicologia”

    Comment by cynthia — November 15, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

  20. “Nossa comida é digna dos deuses.” RSRSRSRS!!!!!!! AND “WALK TALK?!” HOHOOOOO!!!!!

    Comment by Lisa Martinez — November 20, 2007 @ 8:43 pm

  21. Estava sorrindo durante toda a licao! Eu adoro isto do portugues.

    Comment by Monica Mitre — November 20, 2007 @ 11:17 pm

  22. Acho esse tema engraçado. Meus irmãos e eu brincamos que se você não sabe uma palavra no português só tem que adicionar o som de “i” no fim da palavra em inglês. Como interneti…frontideski…

    Comment by Elisa — November 21, 2007 @ 2:34 pm

  23. (Posting many months later)


    I was hoping this lesson would answer whether the extra [e] at the start of words falls under similar rules. For example, the name Smith tends to be pronounced “ezmeech”.

    I love these lessons!

    Comment by Doug — July 1, 2008 @ 4:20 pm

  24. Nunca sabia quando devesse agregar um ‘i’ entre dois consonantes, mas agora entendo o conceito de “obstruent clusters.”

    Comment by Ebony Jackson — October 25, 2008 @ 1:35 am

  25. Este som é a causa de muitas ocasiões de equívoco para mim, especialmente com a pronúncia de verbos com este fenômeno. Alguém me dizia ‘obiservar’ ou ‘subistituir’ e eu pensava que nunca tinha ouvido a palavra antes, que era outra palavra, e a maioria do tempo a pessoa usava um sinônimo para explicar, e eu não saquei. Por isso essa lição me ajudou muito.

    Comment by Clyde Sheble — November 10, 2008 @ 2:40 pm

  26. é porque nós brasileiros adoramos alongar tudo…

    Comment by Liana Depew — November 13, 2008 @ 10:27 am

  27. Gosto muito desses sons no português, mas estava um pouco decepcionada no Brasil quando vi anúncios na televisão para King Kong. Não diziam “King-i Kong-i” – diziam só King Kong 

    Comment by Erin — November 13, 2008 @ 11:04 pm

  28. Eu nao gosto de comer fast food. Eu odeio fast food, e nunca como nao.

    Comment by Eduard Keller — November 13, 2008 @ 11:38 pm

  29. Haha, o pronunciacao em brasil para PingPong e muito engracado!!

    Comment by Kyle — November 13, 2008 @ 11:39 pm

  30. Eu estava falando com minha amiga hoje e eu falei “fashione”…mas ela falou que a pronuncia é fashion (igual que em ingles)…o porque os Brasileiros não colocam o “e” depois da palavra fashion? Exite muitas mas palabras assim???

    Comment by Lorena — November 14, 2008 @ 12:44 am

  31. Eu sempre gostei a frase para “Western” – “Filme do Bangue Bangue.”

    Só para pronunciar a letra “t” numa palavra como “ritmo” existe este fenomino?

    Comment by Eric — November 20, 2008 @ 9:07 pm

  32. Pingue-Pongue e Kingui Kongui foram minhas palavras favoritas!

    Comment by Eduardo Gonzalez — November 20, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

  33. Lorena, eu acho que isso e assim porque os brasileiros falam muitas palavras em ingles com esse “shion,” mesmo se nao devem. No cerebro do brasileiro, toda palavra ingles termina com “shion.”

    Comment by Shannon Zamora — November 23, 2008 @ 10:14 pm

  34. Eu realmente adoro esse jeito de falar. É uma razão porque eu gosto do português.
    Também origada pela clarificação de quando pronunciar palavras assim.

    Comment by Golden Dale Oehlke — November 23, 2008 @ 11:28 pm

  35. Absolutely love your podcast. Only wish I had discovered it earlier!

    This habit of Brazilians to add ‘extra’ syllables sounds so wonderful to my ears. I’m an American living in Brazil, and I’m always amazed at some of the great words I hear.

    But I’m curious… I know you try to avoid technical topics, but how do phenomena such as epenthetic vowels occur/grow/begin?

    Secondly, just a couple days after your very own example, my friend asked me about Walk Talks… rsrsrs I couldn’t stop laughing — and it took forever to convince my friend that I wasn’t joking, and that we actually say walkie talkie in English!


    Comment by Nick D'Agostino — April 3, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

  36. Just today, Valentino said “Hipe Hope” [hippi hoppi] (I’m not sure how you would write it…) to say Hip Hop. Love it!

    Comment by Mary Slosar — June 29, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

  37. I always wandered why Portuguese speakers seemed to have a hard time with English words ending in consonants. It is like us Spanish speakers pronouncing /es/ in words like “spirit” or “stream.”

    Comment by Carlos Barrera — July 6, 2009 @ 10:37 am

  38. I always wondered why Brazilians would end certain words with “ee.” Very interesting.
    I guess this is similar to the “intrusive R” in english speakers (as in, idear)

    Comment by Kanitra Fletcher — July 18, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

  39. E interessante porque eu não ouvia o vogal epententico nas palavras como “observar,” mas e certo que tem um som pequeno que muda muito o ritmo da palavra. No pdf tem obvio, mas nesse não ouço o som. O que mas ouço e uma demora no “b.” Que será?

    Comment by Josh Starks — April 13, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  40. Que tipo de fasti foodi está lá no Brasil? É o mesmo que aqui? Ou há uma grande quantidade de alimentos regionais na rua? (Eu gosto muito da comida de rua) Qual é a sua comida favorita no Brasil?

    Comment by Benjamin Echelson — April 13, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

  41. Que legal. Gostaria de saber, existe pronúncias diferentes por causo da sotaque ou fica consistente?

    Comment by John Alexandre — April 13, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

  42. os Brasileiros mudam a pronunciacao de outras palavras estrangeiras (por exemplo zeitgeist do alemao, etc?)

    Comment by Christina Skaliks — April 13, 2010 @ 11:14 pm

  43. A comida era uma coisa o que é que adorei….no Brasil você não come fast food nunca porque você come na casa para cafe dá manha e almoçar e jantar também.

    Comment by Lindsey Hernandez — April 13, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

  44. Todos os brasileiros me chamam “Lan-ee”. É estranho porque eles conseguem dizer “Justin” corretamente, mas não conseguem dizer “Lin”. Então quando viajo, me chamo Paloma!

    Comment by Lynne Lee — April 13, 2010 @ 11:33 pm

  45. Uma das minhas palavras favoritas epenteticas é Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Não sei se eu acordo com Uvaldo, os hot dogs lá são gostosos demais. Também os brasileiros falam Nike como os ingleses falam, por quê? Há pessoas que falam essas epenthetic words diferente?

    Comment by Joe Gutierrez — April 13, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

  46. Eu sempre achei interessante e engraçado como falantes de Portuguêsvpronunciam palavras em Inglês que adotaram. Em Espanhol, palavras adotadas de Inglês são pronunciadas igaul que em Inglês.

    Comment by Jorge Maldonado — April 13, 2010 @ 11:51 pm

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Brazilpod  |  2023-05-29, 02:48:40 PM