First Published on 13th of February, 2022 by Patrick Carpen.Last updated: February 13, 2022 at 17:31 pm
Email, as you know, means electronic mail. It has long replaced the antiquated post office mail, or paper mail. The word for email is the same in Portuguese and English. Why? Because the word was first coined in the United States and then adopted into the Portuguese language.
But it’s not that simple. While the word “email” is spelt the same in both Portuguese and English, the pronunciation is very different. I went to the printshop a very days ago needing to print a document. So I asked the girl if she had an email address where I could send the document to. She didn’t understand me the first five times, then she said…ah….ee-may-ew.
And that’s how Brazilians pronounce email: ee-may-ew.
That is because the “l” in Portuguese, when it comes at the end of a word or syllable, approximates the English “w.” “ai” is pronounced “ay,” and the pronunciation of “e” varies. In this case, the “e” in email is pronounced “ee.”
Let’s try this again. Say “ee-may-ew.”
Now you are qualified to ask somebody in Portuguese if they have email. Give it a try!
Você tem email?