We usually focus on helping European Portuguese learners who are a bit further along in their learning, but we often get messages from complete beginners who plan to visit the country and want to learn a few of the basic phrases.
In Portugal, the level of English is quite good, especially the younger generations in the main cities of Lisbon and Oporto. But regardless of how well the locals speak your language, picking up a few Portuguese phrases can go a long way to show that you’re interested in the local culture.
It’s also worth noting that while most of the vocabulary is common between Brazilian and European Portuguese, the pronunciation is quite different in Portugal. That’s why we’ve provided audio clips to help you practice:
Here are a couple phrases you can use to greet someone in Portuguese.Olá Hello Tudo bem?How are you doing? (Everything good?) Adeus Goodbye
You can add the following greetings, depending on the time of day.
Unlike English, you can use each of these whether you are just arriving or saying goodbye:Bom dia Good morning Boa tarde Good afternoon Boa noite /Good eveningnight
If you bump into somebody or want to get someone’s attention, you can say:Desculpe/I'm sorryPardon me
And we mustn’t forget our manners!:Por Favor Please De nadaYou're welcome Com licença/Excuse mepardon me Obrigado Thank You Obrigada Thank You Senhor Sir SenhoraMadam
Here are a few more phrases that will especially come in handy while exploring the city, or while dining:Um café A coffee ÁguaWater Vinho Wine Cerveja Beer Pequeno-almoço Breakfast Almoço Lunch Jantar Dinner Tenho uma reservaI have a reservation. Onde fica a casa de banho? Where is the bathroom? A conta, por favor The bill, please
Exploring the shops…Quanto custa? How much is it? Estou só a ver, obrigado I’m just looking, thanks. Aceita cartão de crédito? Do you accept credit card?
Here’s a few more essentials:Sim Yes Não No Um One Dois Two Três Three Quatro Four Cinco Five
…And of course, if you get stuck:Fala inglês? Do you speak English? Desculpe, não falo português Sorry, I don't speak Portuguese