Anyone with experience of the Mimic Method?

(I hope this is ok to post…)

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with the Mimic Method?
https://www.mimicmethod.com/elemental-sounds-checklist/european-portuguese/

I am Italian, which is helpful for sure when learning Portuguese but last August I visited Portugal and I was shocked to realise how little I understood of the spoken language (compared let’s say to Spanish or French). So I find myself able to read (or guess the meaning) quite a bit but if I listen to podcasts and so on, it is a completely different story.
I found interesting to notice how (European) Portuguese has 54 elemental sounds (according to the mimic method) compared to Italian (32)… so maybe that explains why Portuguese seems to understand us better than we understand them?

That’s why I am looking for something to complement Practice Portuguese that focuses on sound and pronunciation…

Thank you for reading!

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Hi Giusi!

I went to a presentation by the founder of the Mimic Method in Lisbon.

I don’t have experience using the course. Everything he presented seemed to make perfect sense - he is very focused on pronunciation and mimicking (as you would expect!). So, if pronunciation is your focus it might be worth a try. I was interested in giving it a go - the price tag puts me off, personally!

I have found the book Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fluent-Forever-Gabriel-Wyner/dp/0385348118/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=) to be very useful for pronunciation in general. A very large part of the book is dedicated to pronunciation and it all comes at the beginning, as he believes pronunciation is fundamental.

(A small aside: From what I’ve heard and read from language learning ‘gurus’, it is important to get pronunciation right from the start as it is very difficult to go back and correct bad habits in this area - although, you can be much more free and easy with other aspects of language learning).

In the book, he instructs you to make your own flashcards specifically for pronunciation and ‘training your ear’ (if you can’t hear the difference between sounds, you will not be able to produce those sounds faithfully).

‘Minimal pairs’ is a big part of the training - it might be useful to do a little Google search to understand the concept. (If any of the PP team are reading - some content on minimal pairs might be a nice addition to the site.)

I found this book good for going deep into pronunciation and really deepening general understanding around the topic.
(The book will even help you learn the International Phonetic Alphabet - depending on your style of learning this could be useful for Portuguese and any other language you chose to learn).

I remember an old video on pronunciation with Rui and Joel that really fits well with this.
This is the video I’m thinking of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AueYstylt2o (it’s just vowel sounds, but very useful).

In producing the flashcards with Fluent Forever, you will need to find your own resources. These are the resources I used:

Minimal pairs: https://european-portuguese.info/minimalpairs

Sounds: https://european-portuguese.info/
https://european-portuguese.info/vowels

Linguee online dictionary (https://www.linguee.com/) is a great resource as well - it’s just a translation dictionary, but you can listen to the word being pronounced in European Portuguese or Brazilian Portuguese (someone has even made a Chrome extension to help you easily download the sound files from this site).

Wikipedia is a good resource as well:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA/Portuguese (This will give you an idea of the ‘54 elemental sounds’)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_phonology

I’ve probably written too much already!
I can’t comment specifically on the Mimic Method course - the ideas behind it seem sound and I’m sure it will be presented well.
I would recommend Fluent Forever for a more ‘self learning’ style deep dive into pronunciation - you’ll learn a lot of things along the way (including how to make and use flashcards) that might help you with your language learning.

Hope this has helped in some way!

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Wow! What an amazing reply!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to share all those resources…

I actually took a beta version of Mandarin mimic method a few years ago when it was all still in its infancy… and it was very good already (I remember finally being able to distinguish certain tones) … but significantly cheaper and mandarin being a tonal language… well it was a no brainer… things can go so wrong in terms of pronunciation & meaning :rofl::rofl:… so I don’t feel like I’m quite in that situation with Portuguese but I agree with you… better to get it closer to right at the beginning :slightly_smiling_face:

Again thank you… will go and check your suggestions out!

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Hi,
I followed the Mimic method for Spanish and found it excellellent. Fine tuning your ear to what you really hear makes sense, but seems to be forgotten by most classical methods
If they adjust it to European (and not the Brazilian - so nice, but that you can find everywhere) - Portuguese, it will be a perfect complement to Practice Portuguese.
Kind regards,
Patrice

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Hi Patrice

Thank you for your input! They actually have 2 versions for European and Brazilian Portuguese … so there you go! A future investment:-)

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Just wanted to post this link to a minimal pairs video Rui posted recently on the Practice Portuguese Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PracticePortuguese/videos/vb.600183043342265/1242414799251348/?type=2&theater

It focuses on the difference between the pronunciation of “mau” and “mão”. Maybe if you leave a comment he will do more like this… :upside_down_face:

Also some other videos from the site that were helpful to me with pronunciation:

The Letter X

Disappearing Sounds

Vowels (This one has a video on vowel pronunciation and then at the bottom of the page there is an interactive guide where you can click around to hear all the vowels pronounced within different words.)

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Thank you Molly! will check those out!

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