Learn some Portuguese before you go to Brazil!

31 Oct

 Hello all!

As a ex-student of PUC-MG (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais) – Letras department ( that just means that I studied Portuguese at college in Brazil), I highly recommend that you know some Portuguese before traveling there. When learning Portuguese, just keep in mind that it takes time! Also, know that Brazilians do not speak English and it will be hard to find people outside the hotel that speaks English. So, YOU should learn a few words and sentences before you go. Besides, it is always good to know a little bit of the language of the country you are about to visit.

Here you go the basics – ( I am using sentences exactly how Brazilians speak –colloquial language, it’s better for you to learn it like that for traveling purposes):


Oi! Hi.

Olá! Hello.

Tudo bem? How is it going?

Como vai? How are you?

 So, you have: Oi tudo bem? Hi, how is it going?

Bom dia! Good morning.

Boa tarde! Good afternoon.

Boa noite! Good night.

Saying Good Bye:

Tchau or Tchau Tchau–  Bye.

Até mais. See you later.

Helpful Words and Expressions:

Obrigada. “Thank you” if you are a girl/woman and Obrigado – if you are a boy/man- Brazilians normally say “ Brigada or Brigado”.

Por Favor. Please.

Com licença.  Excuse me.

Desculpa. I am sorry.

Pode repetir, por favor? Can you repeat please?

Você fala ingles? Do you speak English?

Você é muita bonita. You are very beautiful! Or “bonito” if you want to say that a guy is handsome.

Slang: Gostosa -“you are hot” for a girl or “Gostoso”, hot for a guy.

Quick Introductions:

Qual é o seu nome? What is your name?

Meu nome é. My name is.

De onde você é? Where are you from?

Sou Americano. I am American.

Muito prazer. Nice to meet you.

O que você faz? What do you do?

Finding locations:

Onde fica? Where is?

Banheiro. Bathroom.

Quarto. Room at the hotel.

Saída. Exit.

Entrada. Entrance.

Praia. Beach.

Estádio de futebol. Soccer Stadium.


So you have: Onde fica o banheiro? Where is the bathroom? Or

Onde fica o estádio? Where is the stadium?


Quanto custa? How much is it?

Quero pagar com dólares. I want to pay with dollars.

Aceita cartao de crédito? Do you accept credit cards?


Quantas horas? What time is it?

Food expressions:

Quero almoçar. I want to have lunch.

Quero jantar. I want to have dinner.

Quero lanchar. I want to have a snack.

Mais um por favor. One more please.

Comidas típicas. Typical foods:

Cerveja. Beer.

Caipirinha. Brazilian drink made with lemon, sugar and aged rum.

Agua. Water.

Coxinha. Chicken croquette.

Feijoada. Black bean stew.

Estrogonofe de carne. Meat stroganoff.

Estrogonofe de frango. Chicken stroganoff.

Números. Numbers:

1 – um

2- dois

3- três

4- quarto

5- cinco

6- seis

7- sete

8- oito


10- dez

To hear how the words should be pronouced, you can go to Google translate,  or you can just click here.

Books/IPhone ap/audio book I recommend:

The Everything Learning Brazilian Portuguese Book– Fernanda L. Ferreira – click here for more information. 

Pimsleur Brazilian Portuguese – audio book- my fiancé has been listening to it every day on his way to work. He has been learning a lot. Keep in mind that you will need to listen to the cd and then you need to study it. Otherwise, it is very hard to figure out the words you are listening to.  Based on my fiancé’s progress on learning the language, I really like the material- click here for more inormation.

App for IPhone – busuu – Learn Portuguese with busuu- it is free, and a great way to learn the basics – click here for more information.

One last tip: find someone to speak Portuguese to – online sites, join Orkut (Google’s Facebook version- most Brazilians are there, very popular in Brazi)- click here for more information.

Hope you find this helpful! Let me know if you have any questions.

Stay tuned I will post more languages tips!

Thanks for reading it.

Jacqueline Marinho



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