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How to say Azores like a Portuguese

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How to say Azores like a Portuguese

The Azores are pronounced and mispronounced in many ways. When we first learned of them, we said "The Azores" like most North Americans, The "Ah-zo-r-eez". Then we heard the British say, The "Ey-zo-rs". Then we moved here, and understood, the actual name is: Açores, and pronounced "Ah-ssor-esh" - the "ç" is like a snake hissing. 

The Açores, an archipelago of nine volcanic islands--and now our home, is an autonomous region of Portugal (similar to what the Balearic Islands are to Spain). 

Learning Portuguese on the island is not without its challenges. Most learning materials out there are geared for Brazilian Portuguese. The local accents differ on all nine islands (and sometimes even within each parish of an island), not to mention the nuances of those from the mainland.

Even something as simple as "boa tarde" (good afternoon) is pronounced differently by just about every person we meet. Other words, such as "boas" meaning "hey there" or "ja" meaning "now" or "yes" depending on context, are more colloquial, slang, and used in various occasions and mean a plethora of things. But now we know to answer the question: "are you coming?" with "ja" (yes, coming now). Or if someone greets us in the morning, we can casually reply with "boas" instead of "Ola, bom dia". Remembering that in Portuguese the "S" is prouncouned as "SH" so "boas" is said as "bo-ash" or simply as "bosh" depending on who you stumble into :)

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