I’m sure I’m not stupid but when it comes to Portuguese diphthongs and general pronunciation, I feel like a dipstick with a brain that’s dissolved into a mushy mess. I know that eventually I’ll get this right but for the life of me, I’m having the greatest of difficulty remembering how to pronounce these little horrors. For the image above, the diphthong EI, should sound like the letter ‘A’ as in tAme or so it appears. For this one, I’m trying so hard to remember that the E is like a very light ‘eh’ sound and that the ‘I’ becomes an E sound in Portuguese. Remembering that, we have an extreme softly voiced ‘eh’ sound followed by ‘e’ so together an eh-e that becomes a near A as in tAme.
I will persevere and I will get there but for others that are having difficulty, rest assured, you’re not alone. On a brighter note, I’m please with my progress so far even if what I say to most people is not yet understood where I know, it’s simply because I’m not pronouncing Portuguese words correctly.
Diphthong EI is just an example where I’m having fun with most not to mention the nasal vowels. Mind you, in that respect, I appear to be doing a little better. Not so however with the double RR. It’s all fun though, talking to yourself, even if people think your’re a fruit cake when reading shop and street signs aloud.
PS. As a reasonable guide, others could try the following. In google type in ‘Learn Portuguese Aprender Português – Letter A part 1’ and you will come across a Youtube poster called PortugalForYou. It’s helpful if you download his listed files. Good luck all and remember, it takes time for us new people to the Portuguese language. But please, don’t loose heart like so many others. We owe it to Portugal and her wonderful people to at least make the effort.