Portuguese pronunciation: Joao

How do I say the name Joao in Portuguese properly?

It’s a two-syllable word:

Jo + ão

The second syllable is strongest.

The J sounds like a soft G.
The ão is nasal (kind of say it through your nose).

So you get something like this: “Jo-OW” with the ow being quite nasal.

Gee. I guess that’s as clear as mud.

I’ve heard it similar to how m7b5 said, only as one syllable, kinda like “j-OW”, the “j” of course, like a soft “g” mixed with a “dz” type sound.

The ‘J’ is actually pronounced more like ‘zh’: zho-ow’, but can differ regionally.

I’d call it more like zhoo-OW.

Odd. I’ve heard it pronounced as Hoh-Ah, too. maybe is a dialectical distinction?

alimarx, If you hear it as one syllable, that’s likely because they’re saying it fast, swallowing the first syllable turning it into something like 'jwOW"

They do the same thing with “Jose” (btw, it’s pronounced with a soft G, as opposed to the H in Spanish); in this case, the shortened version has turned into a nickname in its own right:“Ze”

Here in the Portuguese capital of the northeast, southeastern Massachusetts, where roughly 50% of the locals are of Portuguese descent, it’s pronounced Zho-ow as indicated byCher3, but it virtually always sounds like one syllable. It rhymes with Wow.

BTW, it’s going to make a difference if you are talking to a Brazilian or a Portuguese citizen. Brazilians tend to have a softer and ‘slushier’ pronunciation of many words. The Portuguese tend to ‘swallow’ word endings and to ‘talk inside the mouth’ (as one of my teachers said). My teachers were all Brazilian, so I tended to use that pronunciation even though living in Lisbon.

Since it’s what my grandfather (a native of the Azores) used to call me, I can say: zh-wow-n. (one syllable) The “ao” ending gets nasalized to where it almost sounds like an “n”.

I have a good friend with that as a last name. He pronounces it JO-AH

I guess there are many dialectical differences.