In this post, you will learn the different ways the letter R can be pronounced in Portuguese words.
It's also important to note that the R is sometimes pronounced slightly different in certain regions of Brazil, but we're not going to go over that now. What we're interested in here is a more neutral and standard way to pronounce the R that is correct and will be understood by Brazilians wherever you are. Let's start by breaking it down into four sections - by the end of this article, you'll know exactly how to pronounce the letter R in Brazilian Portuguese!
What do I mean by that? It's just a way to remember that whenever a double R appears in a word, the sound you're aiming at is the 'h' sound as it occurs in 'happy' (or horse, house, etc.) or the Scottish 'ch' in Loch. For Spanish speakers, the equivalent is the 'j' at the beginning of a word ('José', 'jamón', etc.).
Eu corro (I run)
carrinho (little/small car/toy car)
Rio (the short for Rio de Janeiro, and also 'river')
This is where it gets a bit tricky, but let's see
** Did you notice anything here? Compare these words with the examples with a double-R in number 1. This shows how important it is to get the pronunciation of the R just right because if you get it wrong it might have a totally different meaning than what you originally intended to convey.
Well, it varies quite a lot, you might not hear it at all:
You might hear it like a light trill:
or you might hear it like the English h sound in some English words like we saw before. This is how Cariocas (Brazilians from Rio) will normally pronounce it a the end of a word.
It's up to you which one to choose! But personally, I would suggest a more neutral 'trill'.
Try to say the following words aloud: