Tim and Sim: Cheeng and Seeng

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First Published: 3rd of March, 2021 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: March 4, 2021 at 18:07 pm

A remarkable number of words in the Portuguese language are nasalized. That is, to pronounce them, you have to make the air come through the nostrils. In some English countries, they might say you’re “talking through your nose.” Well, Brazilians “talk through their noses” a lot!

Here is one example.

Sim: The word “sim” in the Portuguese language means “yes,” but the pronunciation is not what most English people might attempt. First of all, the “i” is very soft, like the “ee” sound. Second, the “m” is pronounced as an “ng” and third, the word is nasalized.

Try it: Sim–seeng.

Do you know how to nasalize sounds? You may need some practice if you don’t.

Here is another example: Tim

In the English language, the word “Tim” is the name of a male person. However, in Brazil, “Tim” is the name of a popular mobile phone company. In the same way, if an English person attempts to pronounce the word “Tim” in Portuguese, they might get it wrong.

First of all, the “i” is really soft, like the “ee” sound. Second, the “m” is pronounced like an “ng” sound, and third, the word is nasalized.

Try it: Tim–cheeng.

Do you know to nasalize sounds like the Portuguese? If not, you may need some practice!

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