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By Marcia Pinheiro | Published  02/16/2014 | Miscellaneous | Recommendation:
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Marcia Pinheiro
English to Portuguese translator
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Portuguese is one of the easiest languages in what regards pronunciation because it has got plenty of graphical accents.

English, on the other hand, is one of the hardest because it does not have any graphical accent.

Why can we not change that?

Why having to guess that for is (foː), as we see in (FOR, 2013), if we can write fór instead of for?

Why having to guess that memory is (mĕm′ə-rē), as we see in (memory, 2003), if we can write mêmory instead?

Cão is the Portuguese word for dog, and it can only be read (kŭō): how wonderful it is not having doubts as to how to say this word when reading it from a piece of paper?

Graphical accents do make communication easier...

Even Portuguese has words that could be made much clearer through adding graphical accents: amor is pronounced (ä-mōr), but that is not immediately evident.

Why not writing amôr instead?

The fact that these rules have been out there for ages does not mean that we cannot change them...

A good conjecture is that people who were born speaking a language in which graphical accents are highly used and valued would take longest to learn languages from the other extreme, so that people who were born in Brazil would be the slowest learners of the English language in a group that only had people who were born in countries in which the official language has no graphical accents.

The converse would not be verified, since having the graphical accent is better than not having: a person born in the United States of America would probably think that learning Portuguese is easier than learning English.

Simplifying communication is the objective, and simplifying it in all senses.

Silent letters (Pinheiro, 2012), and rejection of graphical accents are unwanted phenomena.

All hs should be pronounced in the same way in both languages, so that hotel and honours should sound the same in what comes to the h (hotel is pronounced (hō-tĕl′), as we see in (hotel, 2003) and honours is pronounced (ˈɒnəz), as we see in (honours, 2003)).


FOR. (n.d.) K Dictionaries. (2013). Retrieved February 15 2014 from

memory. (n.d.) The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. (2003). Retrieved February 15 2014 from

Pinheiro, M. R. (2012). There to make it beautiful or to be pronounced? Retrieved February 17 2014 from

hotel. (n.d.) The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. (2003). Retrieved February 16 2014 from

honours. (n.d.) Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged. (1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003). Retrieved February 16 2014 from

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