In portuguese its usually translated as ouvir=hear, escutar=listen to. But thats not a rule. In english we use hear to sounds that come to our earswithout us necessarily trying to hear them or wanting to. (They heard a strange noise in the middle of the night) we use listen to describe paying attention to sounds that are going on, we pay attention to that intentionally (last night i listened to my new cd). In short -- did you hear what i just said? --no,sorry, darling. I wasnt listening.