Portuguese Language: 50+ Words and Phrases For Travelers

Welcome to the enchanting world of the Portuguese language! Whether you’re planning a trip to Portugal, another Portuguese-speaking country, or simply seeking to expand your linguistic horizons, learning a few words and phrases can go a long way in connecting with the locals and immersing yourself in the culture. In this article, I’ve curated a list of 50 essential words and phrases all travelers should know.

From greetings to ordering food and asking for directions, these phrases are essential for anyone exploring a Portuguese-speaking country. They will not only facilitate communication but also showcase your enthusiasm and respect for the local language. Immerse yourself in the melodic sounds of Portuguese as you stroll through vibrant markets and explore rich and diverse cultures.

So, grab your phrasebook and embark on a language journey filled with excitement and adventure. Whether you’re wandering the cobblestone streets of Lisbon or soaking up the sun on the stunning beaches of Brazil, these Portuguese words and phrases will make your travel experience truly unforgettable. Get ready to connect with the locals, uncover hidden gems, and create lasting memoriesa by speaking their language. Vamos lá! (Let’s go!)

What is the Portuguese Language?

Coimbra is a fantastic place to learn the Portuguese language | Davidsbeenhere
The city of Coimbra, Portugal.

The Portuguese language is a beautiful and intricate language that holds a rich history and cultural significance. It is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé and Príncipe, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. The language is known for its melodious and rhythmic sound, often described as romantic and passionate.

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From a linguistic standpoint, Portuguese is a fascinating language with a diverse vocabulary and unique grammatical structures. Its phonetics and pronunciation can be challenging for non-native speakers, but mastering the language offers a rewarding experience. The use of diacritics, such as accents and tildes, adds a distinctive flair to written Portuguese and reflects its deep-rooted cultural heritage.

Greetings and Common Words and Phrases

No trip to Portugal is complete without visiting the charming city of Leiria | Davidsbeenhere
Rue Direita, the main pedestrian street in the center of Leiria, Portugal.

If you’re traveling to a Portuguese-speaking country, there are some words you’ll need to know. Here are 20 common Portuguese language words, along with their English translations. You might notice that some words and phrases are similar to, or the same, as their counterparts in languages like Spanish and Italian.

  1. Oi – Hello
  2. Bom dia – Good morning
  3. Boa tarde – Good afternoon
  4. Boa noite – Good evening/Good night
  5. Qual é o seu nome? (informal) / Como se chama? (formal) – What’s your name?
  6. Meu nome é… (informal) / Me chamo… (formal) – My name is…
  7. Prazer – Pleased to meet you
  8. Como está? / Tudo bem? – How are you? / Is everything good?
  9. Como vai? / Como está indo? – How’s it going?
  10. Excuse me – Com licença
  11. Do you speak English? – Você fala inglês?
  12. Até mais – See you later
  13. Até logo – See you soon
  14. Até amanhã – See you tomorrow
  15. Por favor – Please
  16. Obrigado (male) / Obrigada (female) – Thank you
  17. Muito obrigado/obrigada – Thank you very much
  18. De nada – You’re welcome
  19. Sim – Yes
  20. Não – No
  21. Casa – House
  22. Amor – Love
  23. Comida – Food
  24. Água – Water
  25. Livro – Book
  26. Criança – Child
  27. Trabalho – Work
  28. Feliz – Happy
  29. Bonito (male) / Bonita (female) – Beautiful
  30. Onde fica o banheiro? – Where is the bathroom?
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Portuguese Language Words to Describe Friends and Family Members

Learn the Portuguese language to make new friends in Brazil and Portugal | Davidsbeenhere
Enjoying a delicious Brazilian barbecue meal in São Paulo, Brazil.

Here are ten Portuguese language words and phrases denoting friends and family members. Be sure to study these words and phrases if you’re exploring Lisbon, Curitiba, Florianopolis, or any other Portuguese-speaking city with loved ones!

  1. Mãe – Mother
  2. Pai – Father
  3. Irmão/Irmã – Brother/Sister
  4. Avô/Avó – Grandfather/Grandmother
  5. Tio/Tia – Uncle/Aunt
  6. Primo/Prima – Male Cousin/Female Cousin
  7. Sobrinho/Sobrinha – Nephew/Niece
  8. Filho/Filha – Son/Daughter
  9. Neto/Neta – Grandson/Granddaughter
  10. Genro/Nora – Son-in-law/Daughter-in-law
  11. Amigo/Amiga – Friend

Getting Around in Portuguese Countries and Cities

Admiring the view of Rio de Janeiro from atop Sugarloaf Mountain | Davidsbeenhere
The city of Rio de Janeiro is one of the most magical destinations on Earth.

Of course, what’s a vacation without exploring? Learning a bit of the Portuguese language can enhance your vacation and may help you find your way around a foreign city like Porto or São Paulo. Here are some common words and phrases you may need to learn!

  1. Cidade – City
  2. Praia – Beach
  3. Supermarket – Supermercado
  4. Museum – Museu
  5. Hotel – Hotel
  6. Airport – Aeroporto
  7. Train station – Estação de trem
  8. Bus station – Estação de ônibus
  9. Restaurant – Restaurante
  10. Street – Rua
  11. Taxi – Táxi
  12. Bus – Ônibus
  13. Where – Onde
  14. Where is the hotel? – Onde é o hotel?
  15. Where is the beach? – Onde é a praia?
  16. Where is the restaurant? – Onde é o restaurante?
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Visiting a Restaurant in the Portuguese Language

Learning the Portuguese language can help when ordering food in Brazil or Portugal | Davidsbeenhere
Brazilian steak at a restaurant in the country’s capital, Sao Paulo.

Here are ten phrases related to visiting a restaurant and their Portuguese language translations. If you’re trying to order food in Brazil or Portugal, learning these phrases is a must!

  1. A table for two, please – Uma mesa para dois, por favor
  2. Do you have a menu in English? – Tem um cardápio em inglês?
  3. What do you recommend? – O que você recomenda?
  4. I am allergic to [ingredient] – Eu sou alérgico(a) a [ingrediente].
  5. Could we have the bill, please? – Poderia trazer a conta, por favor?
  6. Is service included? – A taxa de serviço está incluída?
  7. May I have a glass of water? – Posso ter um copo de água?
  8. I would like to order the [dish] – Eu gostaria de pedir o [prato].
  9. Is this dish spicy? – Este prato é picante?
  10. Could I have the dessert menu? – “Poderia me trazer o cardápio de sobremesas?
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Visit a Portuguese-Speaking Country To Hone Your Language Skills

Exploring the vineyards of Vale dos Vinhedos in southern Brazil | Davidsbeenhere
Learning the basics of a new language before traveling can enrich your vacation in fun and unexpected ways.

Whether you’re in the mood for a quaint European vacation or a leisurely tropical getaway in Brazil, learning these words and phrases could help you out a lot. I knew very little Portuguese when I visited Brazil in 2020, but because I’m fluent in Spanish and Italian, I was able to understand a lot and picked up quite a bit!

Learning those words and phrases enriched my experience and allowed me to communicate with locals on another level. It’s one of the main reasons I’m a big proponent of learning new languages. A bit more of the world opens up to you when you learn a new one. Book a trip to a Portuguese-speaking country today to truly experience the wonders of the Portuguese language!

NOTE: Need information about which travel documents you need for your next international trip? Check out my essential travel documents guide!

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