Need some help with a Portuguese accent

I’ve got an upcoming production in which I’ve been given several roles to play. One of them is supposed to speak with a Portuguese (from Portugal, not Brazil) accent, and I’ve having a difficult time finding good examples that I can use as a model. Any suggestions?

Come to work with me. We have tons of native Portuguese people working some positions here. I can’t help much except to tell you that Portuguese looks like Spanish when written but sounds almost nothing like it when spoken. It is a little hard to describe. Do you have to speak Portuguese with the right accent or speak like a Portuguese American in English? The latter sounds like foreign accent English a little similar to the way native born Italians (not Italian Americans) speak but I don’t know if that helps.

A Portuguese friend told me that the Spanish accuse them of sounding like Russians and I thought it sounded like tosh until I heard her conversing with her friend.
Surprisingly, they did sound rather a lot like Russians :dubious:

Are the accents of English-speaking Portuguese and Brazilians different? A friend of mine is from Brazil and the comment above, that the accent is somewhat similar to a native Italian accent, is fairly accurate. Just put a lightly enunciated ‘ee’ on the endee of everyee wordee. If the Brazlian accent is not the same, disregard.

Actually I often think Portuguese and Polish sound similar, because both have nasal sounds (Russian does not) and palatalize a lot.

I lived in Lisbon for two years, and the comment about an English-speaking Lisboan sounding somewhat like a Russian speaking English is fairly accurate. I would soften it a bit and sort of “talk inside your mouth”, for lack of a better term. When Brazilians speak Portuguese, it generally sounds bright and lively. When the Portuguese do it, it sounds like they have a mouth full of marbles.

This video gives a bit of an idea.

I currently live/work in Angola where the official language is the European flavor of Portuguese. To my ear, the speakers sound like they are speaking Spanish but drag some sounds out. An example is “Bom dia” which is “good day” and/or “good morning.” It is pronounced “bone di ya” with the “di” dragged out just a bit. In Brasil it is spelled the same but pronounced “bone she a”.

Since you live in Austin, Texas - and a trip to Luanda is probably out of the question - you might look around in the local university ( UT ) since several oil companies with operation in Angola send national employees to study there. They would most likely be in the Earth Sciences or Petroleum Engineering departments.
Feliz Natal e um ano novo próspero !!

Look up ‘Jose Marinho interview’ on YouTube. He’s a Portugese football (soccer) manager who speaks fluent english and likes to talk. A LOT.

Here’s some memorable interviews.

How did ANYBODY end up working in Angola? I’ve only known people who’ve fought there, or got arrested there.

All the recommendations are very much appreciated. It’s only a couple of lines for a character who’s there and gone, but I’d like to make at least a reasonable effort at artistic verisimilitude.

A small nitpick: Brazilians would actually pronounce the second word as “jee-ah”, rather than “she-ah”. My language training teachers were all Brazilian, which made understanding the version spoken in Lisbon difficult to understand (for me). Pronunciation of the words bom and sim (good and yes) are difficult to describe, and the closest one can come is probably “bone” and “sing”. There is definitely a back of the throat thing going on with these two.

A much better description of the sound. I could not figure out how best to put it into text. :smack:


I work for an oil & gas company which has a significant investment here. It is quite an interesting assignment and there is a fairly large expat community as well. There are good restaurants and beaches, and several bars that our band ( The Turbo Kings ) will play at on occasion. We have even get the occasional embassy gig. :cool:

When friends and family remark that it is dangerous to have a family there I point them at the local evening news in their city. Violent crimes are fairly rare against expats and gun deaths are unheard of. The biggest threat here is food poisoning and malaria.

Pois nao!

I have two Portuguese guys (from the Azores, to be specific) I work with. I would have sworn they were Russian when I first met them, and I’m pretty good at picking out accents.