• Sort By

  • Type

  • Episode Type

  • Topic

  • People

  • Level

Common Herbs & Spices in Portuguese Cuisine

June 24, 2020

Before we go any further, it’s best to explain the difference between ervas herbs and especiarias spices. Simply put, herbs are leaves while spices are seeds, bark, roots, and flowers. If you love food like we do, or want to understand the menu at a Portuguese restaurant, we think you’ll enjoy this guide to vocabulary for herbs and spices in Portuguese cooking. Thanks to Relish Portugal magazine for suggesting this great idea!

Depending on the type of herb, you can buy them in many different forms:

Learn Portuguese by Cooking

May 17, 2020

How about a lesson that ends in a tasty reward? For all you omnivores out there, let’s explore some vocabulary in context for different types of meat, vegetables, and other ingredients with these family receitas recipes contributed by one of our team members and his mother. Thanks Eduardo and Fernanda! 🙌

Learn the vocabulary in the ingredients list and then challenge yourself to remember it in the recipe steps.

Carolos à Moda da Beira-Alta (Beira-Alta Style Carolos)



Segredos da Pronúncia Nativa

Secrets of Native Pronunciation

March 3, 2020

In this episode, we once again analyze record audio clips from our brave listeners! We listen to the Shorty, “À Busca de Doces“, and explore how to make your Portuguese sound more native with pronunciation subtleties and word choice. We also clarify some other challenging concepts, such as the differences between “aí, ali, & lá”.


Influência Árabe na Língua Portuguesa

Arabic Influence on the Portuguese Language

July 18, 2019

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the Portuguese language? Throughout history, the Iberian Peninsula was populated and governed by several different nations. This rich and fascinating blend of influences is reflected in both our language and our culture. (Note: This episode is a rare exception to our “Shorty” format, as it is about 5 minutes in duration)

Collective Numbers

May 8, 2019

Collective numbers are those that even in their singular form indicate a group of beings or things:

Eles são um quarteto famoso They are a famous quartet

They work as a noun and are variable in number:

A médica salvou várias dezenas de pessoas The doctor saved several dozens of people

Fractional Numbers

May 7, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll learn about quantificadores fraccionários fractional numbers, which define exact fractions, or parts, of a given thing. Let’s have a look:

List of Portuguese Fractional Numbers

Fractional numbers 1/2 – 1/10 Fractional numbers 1/11 – 1/19 Fractional numbers 1/20 – 1/1000
  • meio half metade half
  • terço third
  • quarto fourth
  • quinto fifth
  • sexto sixth
  • sétimo seventh
  • oitavo eighth
  • nono ninth
  • décimo tenth
  • onze avos eleventh part undécimo eleventh
  • doze avos twelfthpart duodécimo twelfth
  • treze avos thirteenthpart
  • catorze avos fourteenthpart
  • quinze avos fifteenthpart
  • dezasseis avos sixteenthpart
  • dezassete avos seventeenthpart
  • dezoito avos eighteenthpart
  • dezanove avos nineteenthpart
  • vinte avos twentiethpart vigésimo twentieth
  • trigésimo thirtieth
  • quadragésimo fortieth
  • quinquagésimo fiftieth
  • sexagésimo sixtieth
  • septuagésimo seventieth
  • octogésimo eightieth
  • nonagésimo ninetieth
  • centésimo hundredth
  • milésimo thousandth

Multiplier Numbers

May 7, 2019

Multipliers define multiples of a given thing or person. Let’s have a look at a few:

  • duplo double
  • dobro double, twice
  • triplo triple
  • quádruplo quadruple
  • quíntuplo quintuple
  • sêxtuplo sextuple
  • sétuplo septuple

Multiplier numbers are always preceded by the definite article o, and they’re paired with the preposition de (or its prepositional contractions).

Tenho agora o dobro da tua idade. I am now twice your age.

Montemor tem agora o quádruplo dos habitantes. Montemor now has four times as many inhabitants.

Ordinal Numbers

May 7, 2019

Ordinal numbers tell us the order people, animals, or things take in a specific series:

A mulher foi a primeira a chegar The woman was the first to arrive.

They are variable, meaning they must match the subject in gender and number:

O homem foi o primeiro a chegar The man was the first to arrive

Cardinal Numbers

May 7, 2019

What are cardinal numbers?

Cardinal numbers are basically regular ol’ numbers. They simply indicate the number of people, animals, or things.

Eu tenho três irmãos I have three brothers

Ela tem dez pássaros She has ten birds

Vocês compram vinte laranjas You buy twenty oranges

They are invariable, except…

The majority of cardinal numbers are invariable, meaning they only have one form. There are a few important exceptions, however: um one, dois two and the centenas hundreds, starting at 200, do change form depending on the gender of the noun. For example:

Introduction to Numbers in Portuguese

May 3, 2019

In this unit, we’ll learn about Portuguese numbers, known as números numbers or numerais numerals.

Números are just one type of quantificadores quantifiers, but they are so important that we thought they deserved their own unit. We’ll explore some of the other quantifiers in the How Much? How Many? unit. But for now, let’s go over the números, which simply tell us the specific, numeric amount of a particular something.

The 5 Types of Numbers:

A Portuguese Kitchen

February 28, 2019

Enjoying food is an important part of the culture of Portugal. Whether you’re buying groceries, ordering at a restaurant, or just talking about food, you’ll need to be comfortable with the basics of Portuguese cooking vocabulary. To start, let’s focus on some of the things you might find in a Portuguese kitchen. Food Storage There […]

Food Groups

February 27, 2019

Exploring food groups is a convenient way to help us learn European Portuguese food vocabulary in a more organized way.

Dairy Products

First let’s look at some laticínios dairy products

  • o leite milk
  • o iogurte yogurt
  • o queijo cheese
  • a manteiga butter
  • o gelado ice cream
  • a nata cream

Leite, iogurte, and queijo are a part of many Portuguese people’s breakfasts and snacks. Queijo, in particular, is very important and there are several tasty varieties. As for leite, there are 3 main types:

  • Leite magro Skimmed milk – Very low fat content
  • Leite meio-gordo Semi-skimmed milk – Medium fat content
  • Leite gordo Whole milk – High fat content

Talking About Food

February 23, 2019

Portugal is a country of food lovers, so we use a lot of different expressions to describe the food we eat and how we feel about eating it. The 2 ways to say “I’m hungry” in Portuguese are:

Estou com fome I’m hungry

Tenho fome I’m hungry

Hunger and Satisfaction

I’m Hungry!

For starters, instead of saying I am hungry, in Portugal we start thinking about food when we have hunger or when we are with hunger. In Portuguese, this translates to:

  • ter fome feeling hungry
  • or estar com fome being hungry

If you’re really feeling quite peckish, you can say:

  • Estou esfomeado I’m famished
  • or even Estou a morrer de fome I’m dying to eat

We take our hunger very seriously…

Tenho fome. O que há para comer? I’m hungry. What’s there to eat?

Vamos depressa, eu estou a morrer de fome! Let’s go quickly, I’m dying to eat!

I’m Full!

Once we’re full, we say:

  • Estou cheio I’m full
  • or the more elegant alternative Estou satisfeito I’m satisfied
  • or the rare Estou saciado I’m satiated

Adverbs of Time

February 20, 2019

In this lesson, we’ll look at more examples of advérbios de tempo adverbs of time

Remember: adverbs of time are always invariable, meaning they do not change form to match the gender or number of the word they reference.


cedo early

Tenho uma consulta de manhã cedo. I have an appointment early in the morning.

Chegaste muito cedo. You’re very early.


tarde late

Polite Expressions

January 31, 2019

Just like its people, the Portuguese language is very courteous. Below are just some of the many polite phrases used to express basic, everyday courtesy in Portuguese. This guide covers the most important ones, but there are also many others that will help get you started in simple conversations or greet people properly throughout the day.


In Portuguese, please can be por favor please or se faz favor please. They’re both equally correct and used in the same situations. Example:

Poderia trazer-me água, por favor? Could you bring me some water, please?

Poderia trazer-me água, se faz favor? Could you bring me some water, please?

We Portuguese tend to shorten words whenever we can. So don’t be confused if instead of se faz favor you hear ´faz favor in fast, informal speech.

Thank You

The Portuguese expression is:

Obrigado Thank you, Obliged male speaker

Obrigada Thank you, Obliged female speaker

It’s said to be a leftover from a polite expression that went more or less like, “I am obliged (obrigado) to return your favour”. In fact, the English expression “much obliged” has the exact same meaning and would also be an accurate translation of Muito obrigado Thank you very much

Because you are the one who feels obliged to return the favour, your thank you must

Dining Out In Portugal

October 27, 2018

Whether you’re just visiting or planning to live in Portugal, learning some food vocabulary is going to be pretty important! 😆  As part of our Cooking and Eating unit, this guide should give you a good introduction to dining out in Portugal, or, in other words: comer fora going out to eat

Breakfast & Coffee

There are cafés cafés, coffee shops and pastelarias bakeries, which are often part of the same establishment, for snacks and light meals. This is where you’ll go for um pequeno-almoço a breakfast or um lanche a snack

Perhaps you’ll ask for um café a coffee and the world-famous pastel de nata custard tart. A pastel is usually a small tart or cake, which can be sweet, like the pastel de nata, or savoury, like the pastel de bacalhau codfish cake. You’ll find a wide variety of delicious options to order at the pastelaria.

Unfortunately for those who like protein-rich breakfasts, it’s less common to find ovos eggs on the traditional Portuguese breakfast menu, though they do appear in a number of dishes served later in the day.

There are many different typical coffee beverages in Portugal. If you just order um café a coffee you will receive an espresso, unless you specify otherwise. Some of the other most common options are:


Cabelos, Tesouras e Desilusões

Hair, Scissors, and Disappointments

October 22, 2018

Salvador and Mariana (– no, Adriana! –) visit a hair salon to freshen up their looks, but quickly find themselves in a hairy situation! In this episode, you’ll learn lots of new vocabulary and expressions that should come in handy the next time you find yourself going under the scissors…


BONUS: Palavras Japonesas Inspiradas na Língua Portuguesa

BONUS: Japanese Words Inspired by the Portuguese Language

July 10, 2018

After listening to our last podcast on foreign words derived from Portuguese, a Japanese member, Ryoko, came to our rescue with recordings of every Japanese word we mentioned, plus a bunch of new ones for good measure. Join us as we explore surprising similarities between Japanese and Portuguese in this bonus episode!

(“Arigato” once again to Ryoko Kawaoka for her generous time in preparing the list and recordings for this episode!)


As Sardinhas Que Fumavam

The Sardines That Smoked

May 7, 2018

Hoping for a calm, vegetarian dining experience at a local Portuguese restaurant, Sr. John gets thrown off guard by unprofessional service and a problem with his order! Find out how he deals with these challenges, and learn lots of vocabulary and expressions to use the next time you’re dining out.


A Tartaruga Ninja

The Ninja Turtle

December 23, 2017

Our fabulously fictional Portuguese family is back (with peculiarly different voices 😂) and this time, they’re considering adding a new member. We explore new vocabulary surrounding food, animals and more, and also run into some new usage examples of the conjunctive and conditional moods. And just like in the last episode, Rui continues to help Joel identify some more of his “estrangeiro” pronunciation habits!

Update (April 12, 2018): After launching this episode, it was helpfully pointed out to us that keeping a turtle as a pet is irresponsible: They die earlier in captivity and live a miserable, unnatural life. They’re part of our wildlife heritage and need their protected, natural habitat to thrive. Instead, consider adopting a cat or dog from a shelter – surprisingly, they’re less work, and you’ll be doing some good! More details here and here. (Obrigado, Joanna!)