By Prof. Claudia

Part 1 – The lh” sound

One of my dear pupils has been having a hard time trying to speak words with the “lh” sound properly. Thinking of him, and also of others who may have the same difficulty, I’ve prepared today’s lesson. Prepare your tongue, and put your shyness aside, please!

Activity 1
Read this song, “Melhor pra mim”, by Leoni.

Olhando as estrelas
Nada no espao
Fica parado num lugar
Olhando o relógio
O tempo não passa
Quando eu me afasto de voc
Olhando pro cu
E a tudo muda
Penso em voc e eu”

(Looking at the stars
Nothing in space
Keeps still
Looking at the watch
Time doesn’t go by
When I’m far from you
Looking at the sky
Then everything changes
I think of you and me)

Activity 2
There is an “lh” underlined word, repeated three times to give you a chance to start your practice slowly. You should pronounce “olyandu”, separating the l from the h, because l and h together is like an l plus a strong i, giving us a ly sound, as in happily.

Some more examples:
Falha: falya
Escolher: escolyer
Milho: milyu
Entulho: entulyu
A little clearer now?

Activity 3
I’ve made a table with all possible combinations containing the “lh” sound in Portuguese.
Read my table out loud, as many times as necessary, ok?

alha: alya elha: elya ilha: ilya olha: olya ulha: ulya
alhe: aly elhe: ely ilhe: ily olhe: oly ulhe: uly
alhi: aly elhi: ely ilhi: ily olhi: oly ulhi: uly
alho: alyu elho: elyu ilho: ilyu olho: olyu ulho: ulyu
alhu: alyu elhu: elyu ilhu: ilyu olhu: olyu ulhu: ulyu

As you can perceive, there isn’t much difference between the pairs i-e and o-u, at least not in the Portuguese spoken in São Paulo.

Activity 4
I’ve also prepared a word list.
Read it too, with the same effort of the previous exercise, will you?
1. Falha
2. Talher
3. Telha
4. Joelheira
5. Milha
6. Folha
7. Olhinho
8. Molho
9. Pampulha
10. Mulher

Activity 4
Now, to finish our lesson, read and understand a piece of “Faltando um pedao” by Djavan.

“O amor um grande lao
Um passo pra uma armadilha
Um lobo correndo em crculo
Pra alimentar a matilha
Comparo sua chegada
Com a fuga de uma ilha

(Love is a great tie
A step into a trap
A wolf running in circles
To feed its offspring
I compare love’s arrival
To an island’s escape)

See you next class!
Teacher Cludia

To read previous articles by Prof. Claudia click below:

Portuguese Tip: Verb Tenses
Portuguese Tip: The Mystery of Seu, Sua
Portuguese Tip: Interjections and Expressions
Portuguese Tips: Plurals – Part 2
A Brazilian custom: Kissing the Cheek
Portuguese Tips: Regular Verbs – Simple Past
Portuguese Tips: Plurals – Part 1
Portuguese Tips: Regular Verbs – Simple Present
Portuguese Tips
Portuguese Tips: Adverbs in Portuguese
Portuguese Tips: Comparative and Superlative
Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes

Prof. Claudia is available for private classes in São Paulo. She can be contacted at

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