Learning English for anyone can be difficult, and usually, each mother tongue will cause the same errors and the same mispronunciation over and over. Brazilians are no exception to this and always tend to make the same mistakes.
Typically mistakes come from when people try to translate directly from their native language which at times can be done, but usually using this technique can lead to a lot of mistakes as translating Portuguese straight to English is not always possible.
We will discuss some examples of where Brazilians typically tend to go wrong and common pronunciation errors made by Brazilians in English which you should be careful of when learning English.
Have a look!
Double negatives are very common mistakes made by non-native English speakers in general. Basically, the rules are simple; if you have got a negative word at the beginning of your sentence, then you can’t have another one at the end of the sentence. Here is an example, “there wasn’t nobody there yesterday.“
Which is incorrect, it should be “there wasn’t anybody there yesterday.” This mistake is something you should really concentrate on when learning English as it is a prevalent mistake and something that when spoken sounds incorrect immediately so if you want to speak English fluently, you will need to perfect this.
Had and made?
Common occasions for Brazilians are barbecues and parties and things alike, and when Brazilians are talking about these situations, typically they will say “I made a barbecue at my house yesterday” whereas in English that’s incorrect and do is an example of translating directly. In English, we would say “I had a barbecue at my house yesterday.”
Normally this is quite difficult for Brazilians to get to grips with because they have to use a different verb, and for them, it doesn’t sound right. But you must remember, you are learning a new language so you have to adjust to this and merely play by the rules. People will understand what you are saying; however, it is incorrect and sounds wrong, so, learn the correct way.
To or for = means the same in Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilians are normally taught that ‘para’ = for. This is correct, however when we need to give a reason for something we use ‘to.’ Here is an example, “I go to the gym regularly for keep in good shape.” To a native person, this sounds really bad; however, this is another example of what translating literally from a language to another can lead to.
It is correct to say “I go to the gym regularly to keep in good shape “.This is an important one for you to remember because almost all of the time ‘para’ does mean ‘for,’ however when giving reasons you must use ‘to.’
There is another situation when people typically mix up ‘to’ and ‘for.’ Verbs about transferring usually require ‘to’ while normally Brazilians can mix it up with ‘for’. Examples of transferring Verbs are, give, bring, explain, and say. An example of this is, “I said for John yesterday”. This is incorrect, and you should say “I said to John yesterday.” Here is a quick-fire way to remember that rule, repeat this to yourself regularly, “say it to me, give it to me, explain it to me” and “bring it to me.”
Overall Pronunciation errors
- The letter ‘r’. The letter ‘r’ is a common pronunciation error by Brazilians in English students as the letter ‘r’ In Portuguese can be pronounced as a ‘h’ in English as we know it. A word like remember can be sometimes pronounced hemember which people will of course understand but is incorrect. So try to keep that in mind with words that start with ‘r’.
- The silent ‘r’. In English, we also have a silent letter ‘r’. A silent ‘r’ is when the letter ‘r’ is then followed by a consonant. Typically Brazilian students pronounce the r which will obviously still be OK, but if you want to become fluent and sound natural, I would recommend perfecting this.
- Another common pronunciation error by Brazilians in English are the vowels. There are two close vowels in English ‘i’ and ‘¡’ whereas in Portuguese they have one sound which is similar to the ‘i’ in English. Here are examples of common mistakes in pronouncing the following words, ‘grin’ sounding like ‘green’, ‘live’ sounding like ‘leave’ and ‘did’ sounding like ‘deed’.
- ‘Th’ sound. A common mispronunciation by Brazilian students is the ‘th’ sound. This sound is one that never occurs in Portuguese and can be difficult for Brazilian students when they talk to someone depending on that person’s particular native accent.
- The letter ‘l.’ A lot of Brazilian students can produce a ‘w’ sound when trying to pronounce the letter ‘l’ or a double ‘l.’ Words such as ‘small’ and ‘poll’ can come across as ‘smaw’ and ‘pow.’
Pronunciation error is very common when people are learning English, and they only get better if they practice it regularly. Don’t give up and keep going!