Regional variation

I am in Porto and was ordering coffee to finish out a meal. My wife wants an American descafeinado. I hit that no problem. I ask for a meia de leite. I pronounce it roughly as it’s been pronounced in the course. The waiter looks at me and I repeat the order. He understands but repeats it with pronunciation that is close to may-a de leite as in the month of May.

Is the pronunciation of “ei” closer to hey or say in the north or did I just totally whiff here?

@MeuDeus, yes, the pronunciation of ‘ei’ is different in the north of Portugal (and other regions), exactly as you described, more like a ‘hey’. This also happens to be how Brazilians usually pronounce it:

Feira (northern pronunciation):

Regions such as Lisbon, Leiria or Coimbra would pronounce it more like an ‘uh-y’ (which is how you usually hear it in Practice Portuguese materials):
A feira (The fair)

Ok thanks. I guess if I intend to spend more time in Porto, I’ll have to get used to it and adapt.

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