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I dunno how the robot voice is like, but here is how we pronounce them (not very close since its through the keyboard...) nâo = /nãw/, or the "ã" sounding similar to the first A in afraid, (but nasal sound) and O like UM in portuguese. So we have naum. Nós = this ó is similar to the letter A in "saw", so we would have "naws" |laws| . Got it? As i said, dunno how the robot pronounces that...
Its probably the robot voice, but to help you out (and put a little of my input :)), não to me, as a native English speaker, as close as a written explanation can get is like saying "Now" with a more nasaly sound in the middle. Its not perfect, but it should be understood. Its best to listen to some audio to really get it right. As for nós, you can take the "No" like in the name "Nottingham" and then the s should be like a regular "s".
I don't hear the same "o", maybe because I'm French and I get used to recognize different "o" sound. The "o" in "nós" is like the "o" in "old", the "não" sound is a bit nasalised, not as strong as in French, but it's a nasalisation, you have to pronounce it though your nose, you can hear a short "a" sound. If you're able to pronounce the French "non" (=no), it's like "naon", with a "a" in the middle. http://translate.google.fr/#pt/en/nos%0An%C3%A3o
If you don't know how to nasalise a "an" sound, try to pronounce "a" though the nose, or the "ang" but without the "g".
Actually, the "o" sound in "nós" is different from the one you hear in "old". As said above, it is just like the "aw" sound in "law". And about de ç, it is not a vocal, the cedilla makes the "c" sound before "a", "o" and "u" becomes "s" instead of "k" (the same in French, isn't it?).
Well, not really :-) At least I know one word in Turkish (Behçet, a Turkish doctor that described a disease) and in that language the "ç" sounds like "ch" in "china". But that's not important... I believe the French "non" is not a good example because it has a nasal "o" = nõ. "Não" (and all the many words with "ão" in Portuguese) sounds more like a nasal "a" followed by a subtle nasal "u" = nãun (the final n here represents a mild nasalisation, not a real N sound, so your tongue only touches your palate in the first letter n). Probably one of the most dificult sounds to learn (the other is certainly "muito"). For native English speakers the example given few posts above is very good except for a detail: "não" sounds like "now" with a nasal sound in the middle AND a very subtle nasal u at the end.
Yes! About "ç" I forgot Turkish! I was talking about romance languages. It's a bit different, because Turkish imported its letters and changed their sounds and usages to fit with its own sounds. I know there's also a difference with "ç" in occitan, where it can be at the end of the a word, but didn't mention it to avoid confusion.
You're probably right too about the differences of nasal sounds in French and Portuguese, but I think it's very easy to adapt, French speakers (even if they're not native), can "catch" this sound probably very easily and vice versa for Portuguese speakers with French.
Yes. Boys is usually the best literal translation, BUT....
Portuguese takes the plural masculine words for a mixed gender group too.
So meninos can mean youg people of mixed genders, thus children.
The literal translations are:
- Menino = boy / Meninos = boys (can be children if mixed genders)
- Filho = son / Filhos = sons (can be children if mixed genders)
- Criança = child / Crianças = children (criança is a feminine noun, but it says nothing about the gender of the child).
When saying "my children" (or others' children), you really mean a group of sons and/or daughters, in that case, "filhos" is better than "crianças".
I am finding the audio sometimes very hard to understand. I have a hearing disability and the 'a' and 'o' sound just the same so I have to guess if it is MENINOS or MENINAS for example. I think I will find it easier when the words are used in context so I am more likely to make a correct guess!