The problem is that you wouldn't say that you wouldn't say that in the present tense. It's just one of those things that comes with the feel of the language. I am learning Portuguese now, but I am a Spanish speaker and it's the same--you just wouldn't say "Yo conozco..." to mean "meet", but to mean "know (be acquainted with)." I hope this helps!
I agree with you cazort and only hear the article if there is a choice of a slow speed audio. My dictionary suggests the definite article is used more broadly in Portuguese than in English and gives some generalizations including with a title followed by a name - 'O doutor Oliveira não está → Doctor Oliveira is not in' - which is the closest I could find.
Perhaps this will help:
http://www.netplaces.com/brazilian-portuguese/important-verbs-to-know/to-know-saber-and-conhecer.htm - unfortunately, now a dead link!
Try this instead: http://www.funwithportuguese.com/saber-and-conhecer-two-ways-of-knowing/