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Hoje o podcast vai focar na pronúncia de algumas palavrinhas do inglês: focus, closet e chocolate. Por que estas palavras específicas? Por que na minha opinião estas três são as que as pessoas mais erram na pronúncia, incluindo gente que lida com inglês no dia a dia. Se você gosta do assunto, já fiz outros podcasts focando em pronúncia de outras palavras: o primeiro deles gira em torno de blew, o passado de blow.
Hi, how have you been? What kinds of interesting things have you been up to? Today we have a new episode of the inglesonline podcast, as usual. To download or just listen to other episodes and download transcripts, go to inglesonline.com.br and click Podcast Inglesonline. On this episode, we’re going to talk about three specific words: FOCUS, CHOCOLATE and CLOSET. I’m sure at least one of these words is no stranger to you even if you’re a beginner. Why am I focusing on these three words? Because throughout my life what I’ve noticed is that these are probably the three words I hear Brazilians mispronounce the most. Did you get that? Mispronounce… that means, pronounce incorrectly.
Here’s the first time I heard the pronunciation “choco-leit” for chocolate: when I was a kid I went to Disneyland as part of a group, and our guide was a woman who spoke English, of course. One day I saw her chatting with an American and she asked him some question about “chocolate”. But the thing is, she didn’t say chocolate; she said choco-leit. The American guy didn’t understand what she was talking about. She repeated the word choco-leit two more times, I think, until someone realized what was going on and said “Oh, she means chocolate!” And then the American guy finally got it and gave our guide the information she was looking for.
So there you have it: not chocoleit, no. We say chocolate. Again, chocolate. It’s not really “chocoláte”, and it’s not “chocolet” either… it’s chocolate. Chocolate. Fortunately it is extremely easy to find numerous examples of how the word chocolate is used, since it’s such a popular snack (or delicacy) everywhere! Do you like hot chocolate? White chocolate? Brazilian chocolate, or imported chocolate? I have never liked white chocolate, I don’t know why… I just don’t like how white chocolate tastes. Do you? Also, I used to eat a lot more chocolate when I was a kid than I do now. I still love chocolate, don’t get me wrong… I just don’t eat it as often now. How about you? Are you one of the few people in the world who doesn’t like chocolate? Or are you a chocolate-eater like me?
Let’s talk about the second word: focus. Yep, focus. F-O-C-U-S. Focus. Remember that car called Focus? OK, so that’s not how we pronounce focus. We don’t say fócus, and we don’t say fókius either. We say focus. Again: “fôu-câs”. How do we use this word? The meaning is about the same in Portuguese and English, so… Sometimes when a group of people is having a meeting and people start to get disctracted and start talking about something unrelated to the subject of the meeting… When that happens, someone may say “Focus, people, focus!” That means, let’s concentrate, let’s focus on the topic of the meeting. When you focus on something, you put all your attention on that thing, right? And when someone says “Oh, Mary is very focused… she’s a very focused person” that means that Mary has a very clear idea of what she wants and probably a clear idea of what she has to do to get what she wants, and so she’s very focused on getting there. How focused are you? Are you determined, driven and focused?
And last but not least we have the little word closet. C-L-O-S-E-T, closet. In Brazil, it is common to hear people say clôset. However, that is not the correct pronunciation. People do not “clôset” in English-speaking countries. They say closet. Again, closet. What is a closet? Well, it’s a space in a bedroom where people keep their clothes and other stuff. It has a door, or two doors, a few drawers, and it’s usually made of wood or some plastic material. When someone is trying to sell a house, they may say “The bedrooms have a lot of closet space”. That means that the closets must be very large, there’s a lot of room inside them, a lot of space, and therefore residents will be able to store lots of things inside them. Do you have a lot of closet space at home? Are your closets small or large? I have to say, there’s not much closet space in my bedroom. My closet is not big. It’s not small either, it’s just average.
OK, so here’s a sentence that contains all three words we focused on today:
Keep your focus on the chocolate in the closet
Let’s pretend there’s a chocolate bar inside the closet and for some reason you have to keep an eye on it… Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense but it puts all of those words in the same sentence, so there you have it: keep your focus on the chocolate in the closet. Talk to you next time!
is no stranger to you = não te é estranha
did you get that? = entendeu (isso)?
delicacy = iguaria
don’t get me wrong = não me entenda mal
driven = empenhado, motivado
last but not least = por último, mas não menos importante
keep an eye on = ficar de olho em
doesn’t make much sense = não faz muito sentido
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