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Brazilian Portuguese (Lonely Planet Phrasebook) Paperback – 1 Oct 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 3rd Revised edition edition (1 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1864503807
  • ISBN-13: 978-1864503807
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 9.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,084,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bel Ludovic on 15 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
At first sight, a useful book despite a dictionary at the back that contains some glaring omissions of basic words such as 'from' and 'please', as well as other useful words such as 'sting'. Its culinary reader is threadbare too, with plenty of omissions - annoying when tried to decipher a menu.

But the real flaw is in the phonetic spellings of the Portuguese words. The author uses 'ng' to indicate the nasal vowels that characterise Brazilian Portuguese, but this only works about half the time. The rest of the time you're just mispronouncing the word.

The biggest omission of all, though, is as follows. In Brazilian Portuguese, when a 't' is followed by an 'e' or an 'i', this means the 't' is pronounced like the 'j' in jam or 'ch' in church. It soon transpired that this is a key and crucial part of Brazilian Portuguese speech and it's not mentioned anywhere in this book, thereby rendering several phonetic spellings inaccurate and useless.

Interestingly I later discovered that the Lonely Planet guide to Brazil, published two years later than this book, does include this bit of information in its few pages devoted to the language - but if they now know this to be the case they should really have withdrawn this Brazilian Portuguese phrasebook and published a new edition with the correct phonetic spellings. Given that this is the third edition of the book, the fact that it will have taken Lonely Planet four editions of the book to include a fairly rudimentary aspect of pronounciation does not inspire confidence that they know what they're doing. As it is, the book is devalued and my confidence in the Lonely Planet brand weakened.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Anthony P. Collins on 24 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
We were lucky enough to visit Brazil and found this book and absouloutley invaluable guide! The phrasebook was dead useful, and when we managed to lose it after a boozy night on the town it felt like our we'd lost our bestest companion. Good book, great country! Buy the book, visit the country!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 May 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great also tells you the history of brazil like the european settlers and Africans as well and also the Nigerian language that influenced it it's great stuff ... you won't be dissapointed ...i sure wasnt
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
New edition is full of spelling errors 14 Mar. 2005
By Grigoriy Strokin - Published on
Format: Paperback
One of earlier reviews was titled "Hardly a page not packed with mistakes". It was refering to the first edition, but it seems that the authors did not correct any errors since then. Nor did they even tried to find them.

Otherwise, it would be impossible for them not to notice 10 errors on the first 27 pages of the book. I was not looking for errors, I just read those first pages and the errors affronted my eyes.


p. 15, "rapazess bonitos" instead of "rapazes bonitos"

p. 17, "pasagem" instead of "passagem"

p. 18, idem

p. 20, "amanha" instead of amanhã (missing ~ sign)

p. 27, "eu fala (inglês)" instead of "eu falo (inglês)"

p. 27, "eu não fala (português)" instead of "eu não falo (português)"

I don't mind a lot of errors when explaining pronunciation rules. With such a number of errors they are just useless and of course no one will speak as a "true brasileiro", as the authors pretend.

Do they really think that "o" in "gato" is pronounced like "o" in English "go" (p. 9)?!

Although my Portuguese is far from perfect, my modest knowledge allowed me to encounter so many errors. Thus bearing in mind that the book lacks any accuracy, I can no longer trust the book when learning more advanced things: I know that practically any page could contain an error, so I could learn a phrase or word incorrectly.

I was always deligted by Lonely Planet guidebooks (Spain, Egypt, Syria), but the phrasebook is awful. Why didn't they hire a Brazilian proof-reader to correct the errors?!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Very helpful -- definitely worth getting! 10 Sept. 2005
By SkiGal103 - Published on
Format: Paperback
This phrasebook was really helpful on my recent trip to Brazil. I don't speak any Portuguese, so it was nice to have a little help with common words & phrases. It has pronounciation guides, which was great, and my new-found (English speaking) Brazilian friends were impressed with it too. It's small enough to carry around easily, and I highly recommend it for anyone traveling to Brazil.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Well worth the 7 bucks 2 Jan. 2005
By Eric W. Schiller - Published on
Format: Paperback
I actually bought this book not as a tourist, but simply to communicate better with a Brazilian friend I have. I wanted a quick start to supplement what I'd been picking up from her.

So far, it's been far more helpful than I'd expect out of such a tiny book. The grammar tools are very helpful in using something other than the canned phrases in most books of this type, as I can usually piece together a new sentence when necessary. Some of the more generic, non-touristy sections are also very helpful in terms of the canned phrases, as knowing simple things like greetings and such comes in handy.

There do seem to be some pronunciation issues as noted in other reviews, but only so much can be expected from a book. It helps to have a native speaker nearby to clear up trying to say some of the harder words. These could also be regional differences, as well.

Overall, it's been very helpful as a starting point, and I've surprised my friend by occasionally springing a phrase on her she didn't expect me to know, or understanding a sentence or two. It's not the same as a proper course, but it's a very good start. Probably invaluable to a tourist.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Passable 13 Mar. 2006
By Bracken MacLeod - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beware of serious pronunciation errors in this book. Although it was overall pretty useful, there were some glaring errors in areas where there likely shouldn't have been. Case in point, the phonetic pronunciation for tchau (goodbye) in the book is spelled out as "tee-show." At least in Bahia, it was pronounced by the locals just like the Italian "ciao." The word "vinte" (twenty) is spelled out "veeng-te" in the book, while again everyone we encountered in Bahia pronounced it "veen-chay." I don't know if these are regional differences in Brazilian Portuguese, but if so, they need to at least be addressed in the book. Take care when using the phrasebook to listen to the local speakers as well.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent except for the pronunciation guide 20 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
(This is for the 3rd edition Oct. 2003) An excellent pocket guide to Brazilian Portuguese. Good use of color and illustrations rarely seen in a foreign language dictionary. Begins with important grammar points, then covers various subjects (accommodation, shopping, etc.) and concludes with English-Portuguese dictionary (& vice-versa) in the back. The entire dictionary section has a purple color tab, making it hard to find where English-Portuguese ends and Portuguese-English begins.
My only real sore point is with the pronunciation. They seem to have forgotten this isn't Spanish!! Letter 'D' changes to something between the English "DZ" and "J" sound when followed by vowels E, I, and ÃO. In Brazilian Portuguese "Pode" sounds like "POO-jay" and "cidade" like "see-DAH-jay". Yet this book has you pronouncing them as if they were Spanish words. Direct pronuncation quote: "" (with "daa" in italics which are hard to see--CAPS for stress would be better.)
Overall, a great book at $7.99 list--just remember the 'D' rule!!
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