In a lesson I did, the synthesised voice pronunced the word 'restaurante' with the initial R like it'd be in English. Isn't it supposed to be more like the H in English? That's how I've always heard it before - with initial 'r's and mid-word 'rr's being like the English H.
welll... if the "r" is at the begining of a word, it's ALWAYS like "H" in English!!! so, restaurant = the first r = h (english), second r = r (spanish)... there's a variety of pronunciation if "r" is at the end of a syllable, for example: PORTA (DOOR) POR-TA...in this case there are lots of ways of reading this, as anomalocaris stated :)
yes... as I said, the first "R" in a word or in a syllable is the same in almost all Brazil regions RestauRant. The first "R" is always pronounced like in French or H in english because it is at the beginning. The second is always pronounced like "R" in Spanish because it is at the beginning of a syllable (RES-TAU-RAN-TE) yeap? but as I said, in the word PORTA there are many ways of pronunciating. here it goes some of them: São Paulo (capital) = Spanish "R" (as in actor) São Paulo (countryside) = English "R" (as in car, far, ...) Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Recife = French "R" (as in pourquoi)
Hope I could help :)
It's a regional thing--the rule you described is common in most of Brazil, especially in the Carioca (Rio de Janeiro) accent. In São Paolo (and Portugal I think), they use a "Spanish" rolled R at the beginning of words. Here's some more info on the "French" R (the H sound): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guttural_R#Portuguese