How to Do a Brazilian Accent?

Conveying foreign accents in an accurate manner is one of the greatest challenges that every voice-over artist has to face. Case in point, the Brazilian accent has many features and details that can generate a great degree of confusion. Hopefully, this guide can help you add a genuine Brazilian accent to your performance.

To get fully on board with the Brazilian accent, you must first have an overview of how they tend to speak in their native tongue so that you may “reprogram your brain” with these speech patterns.

Without much ado, let’s dive into some of the core traits of Brazilian Portuguese that you should keep in mind as we advance towards attaining the “perfect Brazilian English accent.”


Portuguese has five oral vowel sounds: “a” (ah), “e” (eh), “i” (ee), “o” (aw), and “u” (ooh). With some notable exceptions (which we’ll explain below), the pronunciation of these vowels remains the same.

Brazilian Portuguese is also characterized by its strong nasalized vowels. These are, among others: “ã” (e.g., “mão,” “são,” “João,” etc.) and “o” (e.g., “som,” “longe,” “onte,” etc.)

Nasalized vowels are called such because the focal point of the sound is located between the nostrils and the back of the tongue, and the air flows almost exclusively through the nose. There’s also a lowering of the palace that impacts the sound production.

In the case of the “o,” this sound is not written but inferred according to the context. Generally speaking, if a vowel is followed by “n” or “m,” it would sound nasalized.

The “R” Sound

Regarding the “r” sound, it will depend on its placement within the word.

1. The “r” sound in Brazilian Portuguese is regularly pronounced as a voiced alveolar flap when between two vowels or preceded by a consonant. It roughly resembles the American pronunciation of “t” in words like “bottom” or “butter.”


  • Areia: Adeia (sand)
  • Praia: Pdaia (beach)
  • Trabalhar: Tdabalhar (to work)

2. In words that begin with “r,” the pronunciation is drastically different. Instead of the soft “d” sound, you’d use the equivalent of “h” in English. For example:

  • Rio: Hio (river)
  • Ropa: Hopa (clothes)
  • Rato: Hato (mouse)

The same rule applies in words with double “r” (“rr”), such as:

  • Cachorro: Cachoho (puppy)
  • Carro: Caho (car)
  • Morro: Moho (hill)

Note: For the record, there are no Portuguese words that begin with “rr.”

3. It gets a bit more complex with words that end with “r” or where the “r” is followed by a consonant, for it would ultimately depend on the dialect.

This might be the only instance where a rolling “r” may be used (at times even similar to the American /r/), but only in select regions. The other alternative pronunciations would be the same ones we outlined above (“h” or soft “d”). Unless you’re bound to emulate a specific dialect, you can go with whichever variant you deem more comfortable but try to stick with the one you initially chose for believability purposes.

Let’s illustrate with some examples:

  • Porta: Po⟨r⟩ta / podta / pohta (door)
  • Flor: Flo⟨r⟩ / flod / floh (flower)
  • Parque: Pa⟨r⟩que / padque / pahque (park)

The “S” Sound

Just as with the “r” sound, the “s” sound will hinge upon several variables, to wit:

  • The position within the word
  • Whether it’s “s” or double “s” (“ss”)
  • The dialect

1. If it’s the first letter of a word or syllable, it will sound just like a regular “s” would in English. Below are some examples:

  • Sozinho: Sozinho (alone)
  • Sapato: Sapato (shoe)
  • Pulsar: Pulsar (pulsate)

Double “s” is pronounced the same way. To exemplify:

  • Pessoa: Pesoa (person)
  • Progresso: Progreso (progress)
  • Acessórios: Acesorios (accessories)

2. If the “s” is between two vowels, it’d be like the English “z.” Thus:

  • Casa: Caza (house)
  • Rosa: Roza (pink)
  • Casal: Cazal (couple)

3. When the letter comes before an unvoiced consonant or at the end of a word, the sound rendered will vary according to the dialect. Some might pronounce it as “s” or “sh,” depending on the region. The vast majority of Brazilians stick to the former, while the latter is found in the Carioca accent (the one spoken in Rio de Janeiro) and a few others.


  • Esquinas: Esquinash / esquinas (corners)
  • Brincos: Brincosh / brincos (earrings)
  • Vestido: Veshtido / vestido (dress)

The “T” Sound

The “t” likewise differs on the basis of which letters accompany it, as well as the geographical context. The rules for the “t” sound could be summarized as follows:

1. When the “t” is situated before “a,” “o,” or “u,” the sound is that of a soft “t.” However, this is not the same as the alveolar “d” utilized in American English or even dental “d.” Rather, it’s a drier “t” with the airy aftereffect curtailed.

This is, admittedly, a tad difficult to nail since the sound does not exist in most “mainstream” English variants. For the sake of keeping it simple, we will represent this sound as “t,” hence:

  • Tudo: Tudo (all)
  • Apartamento: Apartamento (apartment)
  • Porto: Porto (harbor)

2. When the accompanying vowels are “e” or “i,” the sound would be dependent upon the position of the syllable and the local parlance. Therefore:

A) If the syllable “te” is at the end of the word or when not stressed (with written marks on it), you ought to pronounce it as either “tchee” or “teh.” For example:

  • Forte: Fortchee / forteh (strong)
  • Excelente: Excelentchee / excelenteh (excellent)
  • Futebol: Futcheebool / futehbol (soccer)

B) With regards to the syllable “ti,” it could be pronounced “tchee” or “tee” regardless of its location. Consequently:

  • Castigo: Castcheego / casteego (punishment)
  • Tinta: Tcheenta / teenta (wall paint)
  • Ventilador: Ventcheelador / venteelador (fan)

The “D” Sound

The “d” in Brazilian Portuguese follows essentially the same rules as “t,” though the sounds obviously differ in terms of phonetics:

1. When put before “a,” “o,” or “u,” you should use the dental “d” (e.g., die, adapt, etc.) Case in point:

  • Dor: Dor (pain)
  • Duna: Duna (dune)
  • Pedaço: Pedaço (chunk)

2. The syllable “de” would be either “djee” or “dee” whenever it’s the last syllable of the word or not part of a stressed syllable. Examples include:

  • Bondade: Bondadjee / bondadee (kindness)
  • Saudade: Saudadjee / saudadee (melancholy)
  • Verdade: Verdadjee / verdadee (truth)

3. Lastly, the syllable “di” would be rendered as either “djee” or “dee,” irrespective of its position. Words that follow this rule include:

  • Dia: Djeea – deea (day)
  • Diz: Djeez – deez (it says)
  • Decidir: Decidjeer – decideer (to decide)

The “L” Sound

The last consonant we’ll be addressing here is “l.” As usual, the letter’s position will play a significant role in its phonetic characteristics. The rules are as follows:

1. When at the beginning of the word or syllable, it is pronounced as a regular “l” (e.g., lord, land, lawnmower, etc.). Examples:

  • Malas: Malas (bags)
  • Limão: Limão (lemon)
  • Bola: Bola (ball)

2. It would sound like “w” (at times followed by a very slight “l”) when followed by a consonant other than “h.” To illustrate:

  • Penalti: Penawti (penalty)
  • Filme: Fiwme (film)
  • Palmeiras: Pawmeiras (palm trees)

We’d follow that same rule in cases where the “l” is at the end of the word. To wit:

  • Futebol: Futebow (soccer)
  • Arraial: Arraiaw (camp)
  • Animal: Animaw (animal)

3. When “l” is accompanied by “h,” it’s pronounced “li.” Examples:

  • Vermelho: Vermelio (red)
  • Olhos: Olios (eyes)
  • Orelhas: Orelias (ears)

The Brazilian English Accent

Brazilians who attempt to speak English tend to insert some of the particularities of their own language. Now that we know some of these particularities and provided that you only care about “sounding Brazilian” without speaking the language, you might want to get acquainted with these common errors:

1. When saying long words, shift the primary stress towards any of the last three syllables. Here are some examples:

  • Comfortable: Comfortable
  • Vulnerable: Vulnerable
  • Exasperated: Exasperated

2. Replace the “th” with the dental “d.”


  • This: [d]is
  • Bother: Bo[d]er
  • Father: Fa[d]er

When rendering these “d’s,” remove the “puff” of air at the end.

3. Unrounded vowels like æ are generally merged with the /e/ (eh) in the mind of a Brazilian Portuguese. Hence, words like “head” and “had” could end up sounding almost identical.

In a similar fashion, in Brazilian Portuguese, you don’t have a relaxed “ee” sound (as in “ship”). Hence, you could find that, for example:

  • Ship = Sheep
  • Clip = Cleep
  • Mint = Meent

The same phenomenon happens with the relaxed and tense “oo” sounds. In American English, the words “pull” and “pool” are distinguishable by the subtleties in the vowel sound. In Brazilian Portuguese, these subtleties are absent. As a consequence:

  • Pull = Pool
  • Tull = Tool
  • Mutt = Moot

4. Brazilians have a tendency to add a vowel (albeit a very short one) at the end of words that end with a consonant letter or sound. So, you could say:

  • Kite: Kitee
  • Skype: Skypee
  • Sleep: Sleepee

The reason for this is that, in the Portuguese vocabulary, you won’t find as many words that end with a stop consonant (like /p/ or /k/) as you would in its English counterpart. In light of this, Brazilians instinctively try to add what they find “lacking” in the word (at least from their standpoint).

5. When you read words with two “t’s,” use the strong “t” without any “puff of air.”


  • Matter: Mater
  • Hottest: Hotest
  • Battery: Batery

6. Some Brazilians pronounce the “t” as a strong “t” with a soft “ch” effect. Accordingly, when “t” is present at the beginning of a word or syllable, you could make it sound like this:

  • Two: Tchwo
  • Tea: Tchea
  • Together: Tchogether

7. When you stumble upon a word that ends with an “m” sound, replace that sound with an “n” or “ng.”


  • Pam: Pan / pang
  • Mom: Mon / mong
  • Game: Ga(in) / ga(ing)

The reason for this is that, as hinted at towards the first half of this guide, words that end with an “m” sound in Brazilian Portuguese have a more nasal sound.

8. Replace the “t’s” and “d’s” at the end of words with the more fricative “dj’s” and “tch’s.” Thus:

  • Cat: Catch
  • Dad: Dadj
  • Flat: Flatch

This falls in line with what we elucidated earlier concerning the way Brazilians rendered the syllables “te” and “ti” at the end of words. It also evinces the notion that, as mentioned above, words with stop consonants at the end need a follow-up vowel in the Brazilian person’s mind (coincidentally, they use “e” and “i” for the most part.)

In some scenarios, Brazilians would outright add the actual vowel sound instead of simply ending with the fricative. So, revisiting the most recent examples:

  • Cat: Catchee
  • Dad: Dadjee
  • Flat: Flatchee

9. Substitute the dark “l” sounds at the end of a word or syllable with a “w” or “ow.” Let’s exemplify:

  • Maple: Mapow
  • People: Peopow
  • Ball: Baw

10. As a bonus, you could replace the American “r” sound with a trilled “r” or an “h,” bringing to mind the rules we summarized in the first half concerning the Brazilian “r” sound.


  • Rat: Hat / ⟨r⟩at
  • Pearly: Peahly / Pea⟨r⟩ly / Peadly
  • Robbery: Hobbery / ⟨r⟩obbery


The Brazilian accent’s musicality is perhaps one of its most popular and distinguishing facets.

When you hear a Brazilian speak, you may notice that their utterances are filled with tonal upshifts. Typically, when making affirmative or negative statements, they’re prone to raise the pitch towards the middle of a sentence and lower it as they reach the end, with pronounced upward inflections in the last two or three syllables (though you’d naturally find variations of this trend).

Needless to say, not every Brazilian speaks the same way, but they seem to follow a similar pattern in this regard. Non-Brazilians usually describe this accent as playful and amusing. By contrast, the European Portuguese accent is flatter and more somber across the board (especially Peninsular Portuguese).

The best way to capture the essence of the Brazilian accent’s melodic qualities is to practice with a fellow Brazilian or watch videos made by Brazilians in their own language.

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