Learning The Portuguese Alphabet

By OptiLingo

If you want to learn Portuguese, you’re going to have to pick up the Portuguese alphabet. Pronunciation of the Portuguese alphabet is not much different from Spanish, but there are some differences that still might be a bit confusing. In order to avoid the confusion, here’s a summary of the Portuguese alphabet.

Portuguese alphabet:

A =                   ah

B =                   beh

C =                   ceh

D =                   deh

E =                   eh

F =                   ehfee

G =                   zheh

H =                   ah-gah

I =                   ee

J =                   zhota

K=                   cah – kappa (in Portugal)

L =                   eh-lee

M =                   eh-mee

N =                   eh-nee

O =                   ow

P =                   peh

Q =                   keh

R =                   eh-rree

S =                   eh-ssee

T=                   teh

U=                   oo

V =                   veh

W =                   dableeyou – dooplo veh (in Portugal)

X=                   shiss

Y=                   eepsolon – i grego (in Portugal)

Z=                   zeh

Prior to 2009, the letters K, Y and W did not formally exist in the Portuguese alphabet. With the advent of the Internet and the introduction of so many loan words, these three letters were officially added to the Portuguese alphabet in 2009.

Apart from the alphabet you also need to know that there are graphic signs, or symbols, located just above or under the letters. There are several of them, which appear in various circumstances.

The acute accent – [ ´ ] The acute accent is used to represent the open vowels as /á/, /é/, /ó/ and also /í/ e /ú/. Like in the words: água, época, índio.

The tilde – (~) Indicates nasalization. If the letter has this symbol, it must be pronounced by the nose. Like in the word “Irmão”

Cedilha – Ç / ç is pronounced as the “s”. What lies beneath the “c” is a cedilla. As in the word “criança”

Circumflex accent – [^] It is used over the vowels a, e, o; marks the closed pronunciation of e and o (/e/ and /o/).

The crass – [ ` ] is used only in the letter ‘a’, for the purpose of contraction only. The “a” can represent both an article and a preposition. Thus, when they meet, the “à” is formed. For example: “I went to the city”. The “à” in Portuguese is only used to express emphasis, such as accentuation.