Estas são questões importantes!

This is my favourite pronunciation sentence: estas são questões importantes! - sounds like an “art of hissing&swallowing” :slight_smile: could you please advice how to understand all “estas”, “quest…” that are extermelly short in PT pronunciation? it looks like Portugese are too hungry to say it full, like it is in Brasil :slight_smile:

@barbara.amber, I’m coming from a native’s perspective, not a student’s, but I’d say it’s not the hardest sentence to understand, because words like “questões” and “importantes” are not easily mistaken for any other words. So, once you memorize how they sound, you’ll hopefully be able to recognize them with some consistency.

On the other hand, what doesn’t help is that most of the vowels aren’t open. I suppose that’s why the sentence feels mostly swallowed to you. You have to hold on to the consonants as anchor points. I can give you some tips, but listening to audio examples/real people speaking is always the best recommendation, I guess:

  • Listen for the open E in estas and note that the ending S of this word shouldn’t merge much with the starting S in são. We usually pronounce them as two different S: estash / ssão . The S of estas might stand out more to you anyway.
  • Listen for the nasality in são and questões.
  • Keep in mind that the final S in questões might sound like a Z in regular speech, because it’s between two vowel sounds: the E just before and the I of importantes. So, it might sound like “questõe[z] importantes”. More on that here: The Letters S and C