When you plan an international trip to a non-English-speaking country, the first thing you worry about is communicating with the locals. If you’re going to Brazil for your next international trip, you’ll want to learn Brazilian Portuguese, the official language of Brazil.
Your top priority in a new place will be to make a brief introduction, ask questions about your surroundings, know the prices for items, and order your meal at a restaurant.
Here is a list of the top eleven Portuguese phrases you should learn before going to Brazil.
Obrigado! – Thank You!
“Obrigado” is how to say “thank you” if you are a man. If you are a woman, say “Obrigada.” Locals use this form of saying thank you in casual and formal settings.
Tudo Bem? – How Are You?
If you want to know how a person is doing, you can say, “tudo bem?” or “tudo bom?” This phrase roughly translates to “everything good?”
Estou Bem, Obrigado(a) – I Am Fine, Thank You
This phrase translates directly to, “I am fine, thank you.” Use this if someone asks you, “tudo bem?”
Quanto Custa Isso? – How Much Does This Cost?
To ask the price of an item at a store or market, simply ask, “quanto custa isso?” In Portuguese, this is an informal way of requesting a price.
Crédito ou Débito? – Credit or Debit?
The store attendant will ask you whether your card is “credito ou debito?” Keep in mind that many American cards are processed as credit cards, regardless of whether they’re debit cards or not. If it doesn’t pass as debit, try telling the cashier, “crédito.”
Onde Está o Restaurante? – Where Is the Restaurant?
Ask this if you need to find the restaurant in your hotel. Or, ask “onde está um restaurante?” if you want to find somewhere to eat. “Onde está…” means “where is…”
You can use this phrase to find the following:
- Onde está o banheiro? – Where is the bathroom?
- Onde está o hotel? – Where is the hotel?
- Onde está o estacionamento para taxis? – Where are the taxis parked?
- Onde está o balcão de informações? – Where is the information desk?
The phrase is simple, easy to memorize, and Brazilians can easily understand it.
Como Se Chama Isso? – What Do You Call This?
If you want to know the names of things as they are pronounced, use this phrase and point at whatever you’re hoping to know the word for.
Qual o Seu Nome? – What Is Your Name?
Use this phrase to find out someone’s name, and then introduce yourself by saying “meu nome é (your name).”
Eu Não Falo Português Muito Bem – I Do Not Speak Portuguese Well
If someone tries to talk to you and you don’t understand, tell them you can’t speak Portuguese very well. They will most likely talk more slowly. You can also use a translator app to assist in the conversation.
Pode Falar Devagar, Por Favor? – Can You Speak Slower, Please?
In Brazil, even natives ask each other to slow down if someone speaks too fast. Since you are not fluent in Portuguese, asking someone to speak slower will make it easier for both of you.
Não Entendi – I Didn’t Understand
If you can’t understand what someone is saying, use this phrase. The person can then repeat themselves for you to understand.
Tips for Visiting Brazil
The Brazilian language can seem quite complex, but if you practice a lot before going on your trip, you can easily speak with the locals.
When meeting someone new, whether in restaurants or tourist attractions, you can make a brief introduction by saying one of these greetings in Portuguese:
- Bom Dia- Good morning
- Boa Tarde- Good afternoon
- Boa Noite- Good evening
The phrase you use depends on the time of day. After greeting them, ask the person, “tudo bem?” or “tudo bom?” to ask them how they’re doing.
How to Order at a Restaurant
Wait for a waiter to lead you to your table. Once there, you can browse the menu. Some restaurants have an English menu if you need it. You can request it by saying, “eu quero um cardápio em inglês, por favor.”
Once you’re ready to order, point at the item you’d like and say, “eu quero esse.” This phrase simply means “I want this.” Remember to ask the price if it’s not readily available. Simply ask, “quanto custa?”
Remember That Some Words in Portuguese Are Similar to English
It’s also helpful to remember that In Portuguese, many words are very similar to English words. For example, “restaurante” means restaurant.
Here are some more words that are similar to their English counterparts:
- Chocolate – Chocolate
- Banana – Banana
- Anniversario – Anniversary or Birthday
- Acidente – Accident
- Documentário – Documentary
- Itinerário – Itinerary
- Aeroporto- Airport
- Animal – Animal
- Actividade – Activity
- Centro – Center or City Center
- Cidade – City
- Elevador – Elevator
- Familia – Family
These are words that you use in everyday conversation, so it’ll help to write them down before you go. Keep a notebook or small Portuguese 101 book in your travel bag to use when needed.
Use Tools to Learn Portuguese
Finally, remember to use a translator if you get stuck. Many Brazilians in larger cities speak English. Ask, “você fala inglês?” to determine if they speak English.
You can also use specific sites or apps to help you, such as Amphy. Our website lets you learn new languages from home for a low price. You can choose between beginner, intermediate, and advanced level Portuguese courses to help you understand the language.
Other popular tools to use to learn the language include:
- Translator: Google Translate is a tool made available by Google, and you can access the service from anywhere, just by having an internet service available. You can also download an offline version to use when you don’t have data or a connection.
- Portuguese Books: There are many books available for learning a new language. Check out your local library or book store and ask for the language section.
Besides these applications, there are learning groups on Facebook for Portuguese.
Now you’re ready to get out there and test out your new Portuguese phrases on your own. Remember to ask for help if you need it, and use the many tools available. Amphy has a large selection of Portuguese classes for any level, and you can get started today.