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Sep 17

Pronunciation focus: Brazilian Portuguese “R”

Capoeira Roda

MÚSICA

A roda é boa, a roda é boa

Eu falei pra você que a roda é boa

A roda é boa, a roda é boa

Lá na Bahia a roda e boa

A roda é boa, a roda é boa

Em São Paulo a roda é boa

A roda é boa, a roda é boa

The roda is good, the roda is good

I told you that the roda is good

The roda is good, the roda is good

There in Bahia the roda is good

The roda is good, the roda is good

In São Paulo the roda is good

The roda is good, the roda is good

Explanation: You can put the name of your own country, city, or capoeira group into this song: "Em Nova Iorque a roda é boa" or "Em ABADA a roda é boa" etc.


PRONÚNCIA (PRONUNCIATION)

You probably already know that roda is pronounced HO-da. But what about "R" in other words?

Situation: Sounds like: Examples:
R at the beginning of a word

R at the end of a word

H

H

roda, rasteira, reco-reco

jogar, tocar, bater, cair, amor

R between two vowels

R between a consonant and a vowel

Short, slightly rolled R

Short, slightly rolled R

berimbau, pandeiro, capoeira

mestre, cobra

R between a vowel and a consonant H arte, corpo
RR H carro, terra, sorriso, arroz

 

You can see that in most cases, R and RR are pronounced H.

There are only two exceptions: when an R is between two vowels, as in the word capoeira, or when an R is after a consonant but before a vowel, as in the word mestre. In both these cases the R is short and slightly rolled - it almost sounds like a "D" if you're not used to hearing it.

Brazilian Portuguese also doesn't have the long rolled R like Spanish does in the word perro (dog).

The R sound we use in English is not used in most of Brazil (although people from the south of the country tend to pronounce R a little "strong" like we English speakers do).


PRATICAR (PRACTICE)

Here are some capoeira words with R for you to practice - complete with audio!

Agora

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Now
Amor

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Love
Aprender

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To learn
Arame

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The wire on the berimbau
Bananeira

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Handstand / banana tree
Bateria

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Orchestra of capoeira
Brincadeira

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Playfulness
Cantar

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To sing
Corrido

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Call-and-response songs in capoeira
Dentro

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Inside
Formatura

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Graduation
Jogar

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To play (capoeira)
Lembrar

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To remember
Mar

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Sea
Morrer

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To Die
Obrigado

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Thank you
Quero

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I want
Raça

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Race
Rua

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Street
Sempre

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Always
Sereia

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Mermaid
Terra

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Land / country
Tocar

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To play (instruments)
Voar

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To fly
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