27 Mar

Travelling to a different country is a great chance to get to know a different culture, lifestyle, gastronomy and even a different language!

It is not uncommon for travellers to try to learn the basics of the language of the place they are visiting. I guess it is interesting for the traveller to learn some new words and it shows respect to the locals!

Portuguese can be one of those interesting languages! I have met quite  a few foreigners that know a bit of Spanish and it is common that they understand written Portuguese. However, the pronunciation is completely different and, of course, there are very different words and expressions from Spanish to Portuguses! Starting by the way we say thank you!

So, in this blog, I’ll try to teach you some basic Portuguese!


Hello - Olá!

Good Morning - Bom dia

Good Afternoon - Boa tarde

Good Evening/ Good night - Boa noite (we only use Boa noite. We don’t have any expression for good evening).

How are you? - Como está? (formal) / Tudo bem? (not so formal!)

Nice to meet you - Prazer em conhecê-lo (if talking to a man) / Prazer em conhecê-la (if talking to a woman).

See you later - Até logo

See you tomorrow - Até amanhã

Goodbye - Adeus (formal)

Bye - Tchau (informal)

Saying thank you

This is one that tends to puzzle people a little bit. 

There are a few ways to say thank you in Portuguese, but the most common one is Obrigado/ Obrigada. Now, a man should always say Obrigado and a woman always says Obrigada. It doesn’t matter to whom you are saying it to, but who you are! (Although in my opinion, what really matters is to say thank you and I’ve said Obrigado quite a few times!)Sometimes, we also say Grato/Grata (same rule as for the Obrigado/obrigada). 

It can be translated as thankful and other times, we say Agradecido/agradecida, which means Grateful.

If you want to keep things simple, just use the Obrigado/ Obrigada!

Essential Sentences:

Yes - Sim

No - Não

Maybe - Talvez

Ok / Alright - Ok/Está bem

I’m sorry - Desculpe

Excuse me - Com licença/ Desculpe

Pardon me - Perdão

Please - Por favor

You’re welcome - De nada

Can you help me- Pode ajudar-me?

Sir - SenhorMadam - Senhora

Basics for Restaurants/ Caffés

Espresso - Bica

Americano - Chino

Latte - Chinesa

Tea - Chá

Water - Água

Beer - Cerveja

Red Wine - Vinho Tinto

White Wine - Vinho Branco

Juice - Sumo

Food - Comida

Rice - Arroz

Potatoes - Batatas

Salad - Salada

Vegetables - Legumes

French fries - Batata frita

Meat - Carne

Fish - Peixe

Chicken - Frango

Dessert - Sobremesa

Cake - Bolo

Ice Cream - Gelado

Fruit Salad - Salada de Fruta
Transportation:Car - Carro

Van - Carrinha

Bus - Autocarro

Motorbike - Mota

Bike - Bicicleta

Taxi - Taxi

Train - Comboio

Remember that European Portuguese is  very different from Brazilian Portuguese, not only in the pronunciation but even in the meaning of some words!

As Islanders, Madeiran people have a very different accent from people from mainland Portugal. It is still the same Portuguese, however we have very characteristic expressions. Ordering coffee is not the same in mainland Portugal and Madeira. The examples I gave in this blog is how we order coffee in Madeira.

I hope you find this information useful and hopefully you’ll be able to use it next time you visit Portugal!

If there are any other words/ sentences that you would like to learn in Portuguese, comment on this blog!

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