Let’s look at one big group:
Words ending in –tion in English usually become words ending in –ção in Portuguese:
• information = informação
• competition = competição
• administration = administração
• celebration = celebração
Easy, isn’t it! You have a go … what do educação, exclamação, vegetação and porção mean?
(The answers are at the end of this post).
Now we also need to pronounce these words correctly – the pronunciation is the part you will need to work on most here.
For words ending in -ção, remember the ç (c with a little squiggle down there) is always read as ‘s’ , then the ‘ão’ bit is ‘ouw’ as nasal as you can get it (try pinching your nose while saying it to get an idea of the nasal sound). So, we pronounce the ending ‘sauw’. This ending is always emphasized in these words, this is the most important thing here. Let’s compare:
• in.for.MA.tion – in.for.ma.ÇÃO
• com.pe.TI.tion – com.pe.ti .ÇÃO
• ad.min.is.TRA.tion – ad.min.is.tra.ÇÃO
• ce.le.BRA.tion – ce.le.bra.ÇÃO
Syllables are separated by dots and emphasized syllables are capitalized.
(answers: education, exclamation, vegetation and portion)