Before you travel to another country, it is important to learn at least a couple of basic phrases that are used there. Yes, you cannot master the whole language in just a couple of weeks, but knowing a word or two is completely doable. Even though English is spoken almost everywhere, not everyone knows that language. So before you go to Brazil, grab a book and teach yourself a couple of useful words and phrases.
There are several common greetings you can use while you are in Brazil. ‘Bom dia’ means good morning, ‘boa tarde’ means good afternoon, and ‘boa noite’ means good night. However, ‘bona noite’ has a double meaning and it can also be used for saying good evening. These are the basic greetings and you should definitely learn them.
2. Brazil is magnificent!
If you want to express your love for Brazil, you should say ‘O Brasil é lindo maravilhoso!’ It is very useful if you happen to insult one of your Brazilian friends and you want to smooth things out, you should use this phrase. It praises Brazil and no one will be offended afterwards.
Expressing your fondness of something is pretty easy in Portuguese. As a matter of fact, if you want to say that something is cool, you should simply say ‘legal’. Pretty easy to learn, right? So in order to impress your travel companions with your knowledge of Portuguese and the usage of the slang, just learn to say legal.
OK is used in numerous languages around the world, but if you want to agree with something in Portuguese, you need to say ‘está bem’. ‘Tá’ is a very informal phrase that pretty much means the same thing and it is often used by younger generations. So if you want to sound very hip and knowledgeable, ‘tá’ is a shorter and more impressive phrase.
If you want to apologize to someone in Portuguese, you should use a phrase ‘desculpe’. It is also very useful for foreigners because you can say it when you don’t understand something or you are unclear about directions and you want to ask for help from someone on a street.
6. Thank you
Saying thank you in Portuguese will depend on your gender. If you are a woman, you should say ‘Obrigada’, while men should say ‘Obrigada’. This is one of the basic phrases you need to know and we are sure you will be using it a lot while you are in Brazil.
7. How’s it going?
You will be asked this informal question a lot while you are in Brazil. So make sure to remember that ‘Tudo bem?’ means ‘How’s it going?’. The proper response to this question is very easy as well. All you need to say is ‘Tudo bem.’ if you are feeling fine that day and that’s it.
8. I don’t speak Portuguese
If you are approached by someone on a street or in a shop who is talking to you in Portuguese, all you need to say is ‘Como? Não falo português europeu’ which means that you are not speaking Portuguese and that they should repeat their question in English or some other language.
9. How much is…
At a flea market in Rio, Brazil. Lots os great things! pic.twitter.com/7r4gCixI
— SCAVENGENIUS (@SCAVENGENIUS) March 10, 2012
If you are going shopping or you are simply browsing around a local flea market and you want to ask about a price of a certain item, the proper way to do so is to start your question with ‘Quanto é…’. After that you can simply point out at the item in question and the salesperson will probably get what you are asking.
10. My name is…
When you are meeting people for the first time, you usually introduce yourself. You can easily learn how to say your name in Portuguese and it is not complicated at all. You should start your sentence with ‘Meu nome é….’ and then say your name. It is a simple structure you can quickly remember.
11. Exit and entry
Another useful terms you should learn while you are in Brazil are the exit and entry signs. It is easy to get lost in a large city so knowing where the exits or entrances are is very important. Exit is ‘saida’, while entry is ‘entrada’.
12. Please, can you help me?
— CycleMap (@CycleMapApp) May 11, 2016
If you ever get stuck somewhere or you don’t understand your directions, you should simply say ‘Por favor, você pode me ajudar?’ to one of the locals. The chances are you will be able to continue your conversation in English and since people in Brazil are very friendly, you will surely find your way.
13. How do I get…. ?
— The Rio Times (@TheRioTimes) June 24, 2016
If you want to ask how to get from a point A to a point B, you should start your sentence with ‘Como eu chego em…..?’. You can also use another phrase ‘Eu preciso ir a ….’ which means ‘How do I get to…’. Whichever sentence you end up using, you will get the directions you need.
14. The bill, please.
If you are dining out in a restaurant and you want to pay the bill, all you need to say is ‘A conta, por favor’ and a waiter will get it for you. It is both a polite and informal phrase that will be very useful if you tend to eat out a lot so make sure you remember it before you go out in Brazil.
15. How do you say [word] in Portuguese?
If you happen to be out with the locals, you can always ask them to teach you a little bit of Portuguese. You should simply say Como se diz [English word] em português? and you will get your answer. This is a perfect way to expand your Portuguese vocabulary while you are in Brazil.
Portuguese language is quite fascinating. It is also very easy to learn and it will get in your ear in no time. Just spend a couple of weeks over there and you will be able to use the basics on a daily basis.
Have a good trip and travel!