Tag Archives: Rio de Janeiro

Pronunciation tip: São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro

Learning to pronounce Portuguese – and especially Brazilian Portuguese – is straightforward: Whatever you think it should be, it isn’t, and whenever you try to say something, you’ll make a mistake.

OK, that’s a slight overstatement, but only slight. The odds are good that for a long time you won’t be able to get through a sentence without slipping up. That’s because it looks like Spanish with maybe bits of French or Italian, but it’s not like any of them. I’m not going to try to get you pronouncing it all smoothly, but I can start you with the two Brazilian place names you’re most likely to want to say. Ready?

Exotic city names that are actually pretty dull

TheWeek.com has posted another article by me, this one on city names that may sound exotic but actually mean something rather plain in the language their residents speak:

14 exotic city names that sound boring when translated

Kuala Lumpur just doesn’t sound as magical when you translate it to Muddy Confluence