Page ID: 33

The /ɐ/ sound is not used in standard English, as there's no single vowel sound in standard English that is exactly equivalent to the /ɐ/ sound in Brazilian Portuguese.

The following English words that have a vowel sound that is similar to the /ɐ/ sound when pronounced as a near-open central unrounded vowel:

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The IPA symbol /ɐ/ represents the open-mid central unrounded vowel sound in Brazilian Portuguese. It is a mid vowel, meaning that the tongue is positioned halfway between high and low, and it is unrounded, meaning that the lips are not rounded.

In many dictionaries, both online and printed, the /a/ IPA symbol is often used instead of the /ɐ/ symbol in Brazilian Portuguese. This substitution is due to the fact that although the /a/ and /ɐ/ sounds are not exactly the same in Brazilian Portuguese, the difference between them is so subtle that it can be difficult to distinguish them in certain cases.

To understand the difference between /a/ and /ɐ/, it's important to know that the main technical distinction lies in the fact that the /ɐ/ sound is lower and more centralized compared to the /a/ sound. This means that when pronouncing /ɐ/, the tongue is lower in the mouth and the lips are not rounded.

It's worth noting that the use of the /ɐ/ or /a/ sounds in Brazilian Portuguese varies between different regions of Brazil. Although they have distinct IPA symbols and technical descriptions, in practice, they can be quite similar and interchangeable.

As a student learning Brazilian Portuguese, it's important to be aware that the choice between the /ɐ/ and /a/ sounds is primarily driven by regional differences. However, you shouldn't worry too much about using one sound over the other. Both /ɐ/ and /a/ are widely understood by native speakers throughout Brazil, and the slight variation in pronunciation is generally accepted. As long as you aim for clear and accurate pronunciation, you will be well understood by native speakers.