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How to Pronounce the Letter X in Portuguese

July 10, 2018

Compared to some other languages, Portuguese pronunciation is relatively consistent, once you learn and follow the basic rules. A huge exception to this idea lies the letter X, which is one of the most challenging sounds – even for more intermediate learners.

That’s because this letter makes a several different sounds, and it varies unpredictably… for the most part. To get started, let’s see what Sherlock has to say on the topic:

(A special thanks to our friend Wayne Wilson for not only writing and animating this video, but for also providing the voice of Sherlock! Please help us thank him below or in the YouTube comments!)

As you saw in the video, there are 5 different ways to pronounce X in European Portuguese. But when you see a new word that contains this letter, how will you know which of the 5 pronunciations to use?

The only way to be fully sure is to memorize the individual words. But to hopefully give you a head start, let’s explore some of X’s common pronunciation patterns:

05:47

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Attention Practice Portuguese podcast subscribers! This is not a regular podcast episode, but a special announcement to tell you about a 3-part video series we’re launching starting today. Check out the first lesson now: practiceportuguese.com/words. In these 3 lessons, we aim to solve a few of the biggest challenges our members run into when learning European […]

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Many learners find European Portuguese natives much more difficult to understand than Brazilians – mainly because when spoken, it sounds much more closed. In some cases, there are even vowel sounds that are barely audible! (Make sure you already saw the Mystery of the Disappearing Sounds as an entertaining 2-minute introduction!) In this 2nd of our 3 video lessons in this […]

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