Na Cidade Maravilhosa Obama Fala
Portuguese is not an easy language (ask any Spaniard), but in his speech to the people of Rio, Obama captured the soul of the Rio idiom. Cariocas talk funny. The most prominent thing about carioques is th “chiado,” the placing of a “j” between a consonant and a vowel. So, futebol becomes futjebol, and normalmente becomes normalmentje. Normal is pronounced normohw.
It takes a bit of practice getting one’s ear around some sounds. When I was first learning Portuguese I had a hard time looking up a word I heard often; the word was “oinch.” That was a tough one.
Finally I discovered that the demon word everyone spoke was part of a word. Words like function (ending in -tion) is função (pronounced -sow) in Portuguese. The plural of função is funções (pronounced -oinch).
Portuguese may sound like russian with a french accent in N Portugal but by the time the language travels ultramar to places like Rio, soa tão bom (it sounds soo good) from the lips of Gal Costa and other singers.
If you can stay with the language this far, know that Portuguese has a literature and poetry that mirror the people who speak the marvelous idiom.
sotaque = accent; giria, calao = slang;