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Portuguese Language/How to Pronounce Carvalho?


Elena with Atlantico Books wrote at 2009-11-12 16:23:55
Hi Dominic!

The LH in Carvalho can be pronounced like the "ly" sound in "million." The H is not pronounced as an H, but actually adds the Y sound.

Um abrašo,

Elena with Atlantico Books

Maran wrote at 2010-05-29 23:08:12
'LH' in Portuguese never sounds like 'LL' in English 'million'. As it was formerly said here by other, Portuguese 'LH' sounds ALWAYS like Italian 'GL', or (I add) Russian and other Slavic languages "╦˙", thus a really palatalized sound, besides the fact that French 'll' is NOT the same as Spanish one (that has variations!) . As for the previous answer, the responder should have chosen at least Iberian or Brazilian standards, as some sounds (especially, vowels) may be really different according to diverse regions. So pronunciation of 'A' in 2 syllables of the name 'CARVALHO' in Portugal has two distinct sounds, the mouth keeping more closed in the 1st and a bit open in the 2nd, whereas in Brazil, in that word ('CARVALHO') in the most regions both sound the same, open. As for 'R', it is impossible to compare it with English (either British or North-American); it is like Russian or Italian 'R' in some regions (mostly in Portugal and other countries and just a bit of South of Brazil), or like French 'R' in the most others, such as in almost whole Brazil. Moreover, the final 'O' does NOT sound like English 'OU' or 'OL', but like a common 'U' as in Spanish, Italian, German and many other languages.

In my first search for the kinds of answers, I have yet  found so much strange  information, that I feel, I would not be at the same level or mentality of the experts of this site. Maybe I cannot help a lot, as perhaps I am making mistakes (?).

Thank you!  

Anne wrote at 2012-12-03 20:04:25

My family name is Carvalho, and according to my parents, the name is as common as the American "Smith" or "Brown" in Brazil. My family and everyone I have heard who speaks Portuguese, pronounces this name as "car-VOLley-oh," just as that reads. The accented syllable is the second one, at "-val-". One of the biggest issues we have with people mispronouncing our name is the reading of the "h" sound as it would be read in English, so that the name sounds like "car-val-ho."

If you're still curious, look into the pronunciation of the L/H combination in Portuguese. My family has always explained it as "the H becomes a Y sound after an L...."

Hope this helps!

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Erika Carvalho


Portuguese, I can help people in Portuguese Language - my native language, and in questions related to my country related to its costumes, geography and history.


One year experience as an English teacher in Brazil.

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