This Learning Note will teach you how to spell using the letters of the European Portuguese alphabet, which will likely come in handy if you ever travel or move to Portugal. Receiving packages, making phone calls, and setting up services often require you to spell your name or other personal information, such as the name of the street you live on.
While the Portuguese alfabeto alphabet contains practically the same letters as the English one, and the original Latin alphabet for that matter, the names for each letter and the sounds (also called fonemas phonemes) associated with each letter are quite different.
The Letters of the Portuguese Alphabet
There weren’t always 26 letters in the Portuguese alphabet. Only recently were Kk, Ww, and Yy officially integrated into it, as they’re only present in certain words, such as foreign people’s names, foreign places, units of measurement, symbols, and acronyms. They are also present in estrangeirismos foreign loanwords, foreignerisms like “software”, “whiskey”, “yoga”, “baby”, “megawatt”, and many others, which have found their way into daily conversations.
As with any other alphabet, the Portuguese letters also have names and are divided into vogais vowels and consoantes consonants. We’ll take a look at each group below.
- ` (grave accent) – Àà;
- ´ (acute accent) – Áá, Éé, Íí, Óó and Úú;
- ^ (circumflex accent) – Ââ, Êê and Ôô;
- ~ (tilde) – Ãã and Õõ;
You can read more here about how to pronounce the sounds associated with each vowel of the European Portuguese alphabet.
Now we can practice how to spell in Portuguese letters. See if you can answer the following questions (you can make up the answers!), with some help from the Portuguese alphabet audio above. Here are a couple other words that may come in handy: maiúsculo uppercase, capital minúscula lowercase
- Como se soletra o seu nome? How do you spell your name? / Como se soletra? How is it spelled?
- Em que rua mora? What street do you live on?
- Qual é o código de reserva? What is the reservation code?
- Qual é a palavra-passe? What is the password?