From the Wikipedia article on Portuguese orthography:
For example, the Roman alphabet can't distinguish between mid-open and mid-closed vowels: the word selo is pronounced with mid-open ɛ when it means I stamp, but is pronounced with mid-closed e when it means a seal. Likewise, the letter o is pronounced as mid-open ɔ in ovo novo, but as mid-closed o in ovos novos!
And why did the orthographic reform of 1990 eliminate the trema from tranqüilo? Because it's pronounced like quilogram?
A third problem is that Portuguese can be hard for foreigners to read, since some letters have unusual values, e.g. x, and some readings require rules that foreigners don't know, as in bem or Brasil. The Musa alphabet solves these problems, and also does away with digraphs like ch lh nh ss rr. When writing Portuguese in Musa, we also show vowel reduction explicitly, which makes Musa spelling somewhat more phonetic than the Roman.
Finally, there are significant differences between dialects, and the Musa spelling reflects those differences. If it's pronounced differently, it's spelled differently in the various dialects, just as the word for bus is spelled autocarro, ônibus or machimbombo in Portugal, Brazil and Angola.
Here are the consonants of Portuguese :
|||papel||||tanto||||casa quatro aqui|
|||viúva||||zero Brasil||||jogo gente|
|||filha||||sapo cedo assado açoite||||chuva xisto|
|||caro mar prato||||rosa carro|
Here are the short oral vowels:
The and vowels only occur in unstressed syllables (see below).
The others all combine with semivowels y and w to form both rising and falling diphthongs, and even triphthongs.
There are also nasal versions of the close and mid vowels :
Musa writes stressed vowels with high letters.
Some of the sounds above change in certain environments. Here are some examples :
In European Portuguese, an l is pronounced as ll at the end of syllables, while in Brazilian Portuguese it becomes w :
On both sides of the Atlantic, unstressed vowels are usually reduced:
In many dialects, d t are affricated to dj ch before i ih :
|Mudam-se os tempos, mudam-se as vontades.|
|Não sou um ateu total, todos os dias tento encontrar um sinal de Deus, mas infelizmente não o encontro.|
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