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Portuguese for Travelers: 62 Must-Know Phrases with Free PDF

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  • Portuguese for Travelers: 62 Must-Know Phrases with Free PDF

Introduction

Are you passionate about traveling? Let nothing stop you, starting with the language of your destination. Learning a little Portuguese is a way to anticipate the excitement of going away on vacation and to enjoy your trip even more when the time comes.

If you only know how to say “UMA CAIPIRINHA, POR FAVOR”  in Portuguese, you will get your caipirinha cocktail without any problems. But is that enough for you?

If you learn a little more “survival Portuguese”, your trip will be safer and more enjoyable. Simple (but effective) communication will open doors for you. In addition, being able to speak with the locals in their language will make your vacation much more authentic.

What are the essential Portuguese phrases for traveling? You have them here. Keep reading this practical conversation guide for tourists. The material will make your life as a globetrotter much easier.

You do not need to speak any Portuguese for this guide for English-speaking travelers. Even if you do speak some Portuguese already, the information will come in handy.  

In this post, you will find…

  • Numbers up to 100.
  • How to greet and introduce yourself: Informing who you are, where you come from, where you live.
  • How to facilitate communication: Saying you do not understand, ask for help.
  • Practical phrases for travelers: Money, emergencies, hotel, restaurant, transport, city 

We will also talk a bit about the pronouns and the negation so that you can better understand the language’s structure.

You have the video (subtitles are available) that will teach you the fundamentals of communication in Portuguese. In this post, you will find, for free and without registration:

  • a PDF-phrasebook with exercises and answers + PDF “cheat sheet” with phrases (to download and / or print out)
  • tables with all the words and phrases with their translation, with explanations and tips for speaking Portuguese on vacation
  • audio files in MP3 format that you can download
  • a quiz to practice
  • interactive worksheets for vocabulary and phrases: you can choose your preferred learning or playing mode. You can download the cards and print them.
HERE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE MATERIAL FOR FREE

You will notice that the vocabulary in the material corresponds to the Portuguese spoken in Brazil. The post also includes some observations about European Portuguese. We indicate this with the symbol . You have free interactive flashcards to practice this vocabulary.

In the aspect that we are dealing with now – travel – there are so some differences in vocabulary between Brazilian and European Portuguese. That is a coincidence, because IN GENERAL, the differences are much more infrequent.

Nevertheless, it does not matter where you travel: people will understand you if you use the vocabulary presented in this Portuguese language guide. We will talk a little later about the differences between Portuguese from Portugal and Brazil.

So… VAMOS LÁ! (“let’s go!”)

Do I have to know Portuguese to learn these words and phrases?

 No. You do not need previous knowledge of the language to learn Portuguese with this material.

If you already speak a little Portuguese, this guide will help you to refresh your memory, to learn something new and to practice a little more.

In any case, you should at least know the pronunciation of Portuguese. You can learn it quickly with this video (starting on minute 09:41), which has free material that you can download:

This video is the first lesson of the FREE ONLINE PORTUGUESE MINI-COURSE, where you will learn the basics of the language.
  • I advise you to take the course before your holidays because you will communicate much better during the trip.
  • You will get the certificate of completion.
You have a sneak peek of the course, that you can access without the need to register:
How To Learn Portuguese Online & For Free – Sneak Peek
If you want to do language immersion, you have this same content explained exclusively in Portuguese, with subtitles in Portuguese and English. You also have the explanation and material available in Portuguese.

I also advise you to watch this free guide with short videos where I teach you phrases in Portuguese that will be useful on your vacation, too.  You will learn useful Portuguese in a matter of minutes! 

Portuguese basics in that every traveler should know

How do you say the numbers up to 100 in Portuguese?

You will learn the numbers in Portuguese in the video starting on minute 00:38.

We start with numbers up to 100. In the video, you will see that the numbers provide us with an excuse to observe how the Portuguese language sounds.

You can listen to the audio track here:

In Portuguese, you must memorize the numbers up to 15 because they are special.

0 ZERO

1 UM

2 DOIS

3 TRÊS

4 QUATRO

5 CINCO

6 SEIS

7 SETE

8 OITO

9 NOVE

10 DEZ

11 ONZE

12 DOZE

13 TREZE

14 CATORZE

15 QUINZE

Starting with 16, we read the Portuguese numbers from left to right:

10 + 6 = 16 = DEZESSEIS (“DEZ + E + SEIS”, in one word)

(“E” means “AND” in Portuguese)

10 + 8 = 18 = DEZOITO (“DEZ + E + OITO”, in one word)

Starting from 20, we separate the words and  unite them with “E”:

20 + 1 = 21 = VINTE E UM

20 + 3 = 23 = VINTE E TRÊS

20 + 7 = 27 = VINTE E SETE

30 + 1 = 31 = TRINTA E UM

40 + 6 = 46 = QUARENTA E SEIS

80 + 9 = 89 = OITENTA E NOVE

How to indicate prices in Portuguese: useful tips for travelers

To name prices in Portuguese, you have many alternatives. I recommend using the shortest form for the most effective communication: 7,35€ = SETE E TRINTA E CINCO.

💲QUANTO CUSTA? = “How much does (something) cost?”

🇵🇹 Em Portugal:

5,50€: cinco (euros) e cinquenta (cêntimos)

5,50€: cinco (euros) e cinquenta (cêntimos)

5,50€: cinco e cinquenta

🇧🇷 No Brasil:

R$ 9,25: nove (reais) e vinte e cinco (centavos)

R$ 9,25: nove (reais) e vinte e cinco (centavos)

R$ 9,25: nove e vinte e cinco

How to greet in Portuguese: the simplest greetings, farewells, and politeness phrases for English-speaking travelers

You will learn the formulas to break the ice in Portuguese in the video starting on minute 03:42.

Oi!Hello!
Como vai?How are you doing?
Bem, obrigado/a.I am doing well, thanks.
Muito bem, obrigado/a.Very well, thank you.
Até logo!See you later!
Adeus!Goodbye!
Sim.Yes.
Não.No.
Por favor.Please.
Desculpe.Pardon.
Não tem problema.That is OK.
Obrigado/a.Thank you.
De nada.You are welcome.
greetings, farewells and polite phrases in Portuguese: vocabulary for English-speaking travelers
Oi!Hello!
Como vai?How are you doing?
Muito bem, obrigado/a.Very well, thank you.
Até logo!See you later!
Adeus!Goodbye!
greeting and saying goodbye in Portuguese: phrases for English-speaking travelers

 “OI” in Brazil (🇵🇹 in Portugal is “OLÁ” more common) is the most practical greeting in Portuguese because it can be said at any time and in many everyday situations, just like “hello” in English.

 “ADEUS” is the shortest way to say goodbye in Portuguese. With “ADEUS” we do not know if we will see the person again. It can mean “farewell without the possibility of reunion”, and as such, it does not have an exact translation in English.

In daily-life situations, you can say “ADEUS” if you mean “see you later”. If you prefer something more colloquial instead, you can say “TCHAU”.

 To thank in English, we simply say “thank you (very much)”. In Portuguese, it is different:

 A man thanks in Portuguese by saying “(MUITO) OBRIGADO”.

 A woman thanks in Portuguese by saying “(MUITO) OBRIGADA”.

“MUITO” means “much”. Therefore: “MUITO OBRIGADO/A” = “thank you very much”.

 In Brazil, to ask for something we use “POR FAVOR” and in Portugal, it is also customary to say “SE FAZ FAVOR”.

 Tip: “OBRIGADO/A” and “POR FAVOR” are short words that you can use freely in Portuguese because you will sound more polite. It is a minimal effort with great results. 

If you want to learn more expressions to greet, to say goodbye and to be polite in Portuguese, you have this video, with free downloadable material. It is the first lesson of the complete Portuguese course with explanations in English. The course is online and includes webinars.

You have a video with the most useful phrases to greet, to say goodbye and to ask “how are you?” in Portuguese. You have free material to practice, if you want.

How to give basic persona information in Portuguese when traveling abroad

How to introduce yourself in Portuguese
You will learn how to introduce yourself in Portuguese starting on minute of the video 06:34.
Você ou o sr./a sra.? Formal or informal?
Eu sou o/a … . I am … ​​.
Eu me chamo … . My name is … .
O meu nome é … . My name is … .
Como você se chama? What is your name?
Como o sr./a sra. se chama? What is your name?
Muito prazer! Nice to meet you!
Igualmente! You too!
how to introduce yourself in Portuguese: useful phrases for your holidays
eu I
você you (informal)
o senhor (= o sr.) you (formal, to a man)
a senhora (= a sra.) you (formal, to a woman)
eu sou I am
você é you are (informal)
o senhor / a senhora é you are (formal)
o nome name
o senhor mr.
a senhora ms.
ser to be
chamar-se to be called
Muito prazer. Nice to meet you.
Igualmente. You too.
introducing yourself in Portuguese: simple vocabulary for English-speaking travelers

After the greetings, you will learn how you can introduce yourself. You can use the phrase “EU ME CHAMO”. In Portuguese, it is very common, although in English it does not have an absolute correspondence (it would be translated literally as “I call myself”).

If you prefer, you can say “O MEU NOME É”.

 O MEU NOME É JÚLIO DA SILVA.

 EU SOU O JÚLIO DA SILVA.

More simply, “EU SOU” (or simply “SOU”), which you can combine with your name or with any other information that defines you: “EU SOU ESTUDANTE” 👨‍🎓, for example. “EU ME CHAMO” and “O MEU NOME É” can only be combined with the person’s name.

When we meet a new person, out of politeness we say “MUITO PRAZER” and the appropriate reaction is “IGUALMENTE”.

When to use the article with the person’s name in Portuguese?

The masculine, definite article in Portuguese is “O” and the feminine, definite article is “A”.

A man says „EU SOU O“, and his name.

🧔 EU SOU O JÚLIO.

A woman says „EU SOU A“, and her name:

👩‍🦰 EU SOU A JÚLIA.

In Portuguese, “O” is the masculine definite article. “A” is the feminine definite article.

O JÚLIO É ESTUDANTE. = „Julio is a student.“

A JÚLIA É ESTUDANTE. = „Júlia is a student.“

 You can combine “EU SOU” (or simply “SOU”) your name or any other information that defines you: “EU SOU ESTUDANTE” , for example.

“EU ME CHAMO” and “O MEU NOME É” can only be combined with the person’s name. You do not put the article “O” or “A” before the name.

When to use “TU” AND “VOCÊ” in Portuguese?

In Brazil, we use “VOCÊ” with virtually anyone, male or female, young or old. It is the formula for informal treatment in Brazil. As Brazilian culture is quite informal, it is the formula we use automatically.

In Brazil we also have “O SENHOR” which is a formal form of address.  You use “O SENHOR” when addressing a man and “A SENHORA” when addressing a woman. Both are very polite formulas. We only use them with aged persons or if the situation is very formal, for example, in a fancy restaurant.

  • As a tourist in Brazil, you will predominantly use “VOCÊ”. It is informal, but it is not disrespectful.
In Portugal, instead of “VOCÊ”, in informal situations “TU” is used. If the situation is formal, you use “O SENHOR” and “A SENHORA” (just like in Brazil). And in English “you” works for the plural, too! But in Portuguese the pronouns are different in singular and in plural.

How to use the negatives in Portuguese

Saying “no” in Portuguese is as simple as saying “NÃO”.

To say “yes”, in Portuguese you say “SIM”.

To turn a Portuguese affirmative sentence into a negative one, we say “NÃO” right before the verb. If the affirmative sentence is “EU SOU ESTUDANTE” (“I am a student”) 👨‍🎓, the negation is “EU NÃO SOU ESTUDANTE” ❌👨‍🎓.

 Tip: If someone offers you something and you want to turn down the offer, in addition to “NÃO”, it is polite that you also say “OBRIGADO/A”: “NÃO, OBRIGADO/A”. And if you accept something, in addition to “SIM” you can say “POR FAVOR”: “SIM, POR FAVOR”.

Talking about places in Portuguese: helpful phrases for travelers

You will learn how to indicate the place you come from and your place of residence in Portuguese starting on minute  13:26 of the video.
de from
De onde? From where?
a cidade city
o país country
morar to live
em in
Onde? Where?
how to indicate your place of origin and your place of residence in Portuguese: vocabulary for tourists
Eu sou de … (cidade, país). I am from… (city, country).
De onde você é? Where are you from?
De onde o sr./a sra. é? Where are you from?
Eu moro em … (cidade, país). I live in… (city, country).
Onde você mora? Where do you live?
Onde o sr./a sra. mora? Where do you live?
asking aboyt the place of origin and the place residence in Portuguese: phrases for your next trip

How to ask “Where are you from?” in Portuguese: talking about someone’s place of origin

In Portuguese, to ask someone informally “Where are you from?”, you say “DE ONDE VOCÊ É?”. If the situation is formal, the question is “DE ONDE O SENHOR/A SENHORA É?” You answer with “EU SOU DE…” and add the city:

EU SOU DE (CIDADE), (PAÍS)

EU SOU DE CURITIBA, BRASIL. = “I am from Curutiba, Brazil.”

To indicate origin, you will say:

“DO” + country (for countries with ending -O, -ÃO, and many others):

“DO BRASIL” : “from Brazil”

DA” + country (for countries with ending -A):

“DA FRANÇA”: “from France” 🇧🇷 🇫🇷

If you only want to indicate your country of origin, you can say:

🇺🇸 EU SOU DOS ESTADOS UNIDOS. = “I am from the U.S.”

🇨🇦 EU SOU DO CANADÁ. = “I am from Canada.”

🇬🇧 EU SOU DO REINO UNIDO = “I am from the United Kingdom.”

🇮🇪 EU SOU DA IRLANDA. = “I am from Ireland.”

🇮🇳 EU SOU DA ÍNDIA. = “I am from India.”

🇧🇷 EU SOU DO BRASIL. = “I am from Brazil.”

🇵🇹 EU SOU DE PORTUGAL. = “I am from Portugal.”

How to ask “Where do you live?” in Portuguese: talking about someone’s place of residence

In Portuguese, to ask someone informally “Where do you live?”, you say “ONDE VOCÊ MORA?”.

If the situation is formal, the question is “ONDE O SENHOR/A SENHORA MORA?”

You answer “EU MORO EM” and add the place where you live.

EU MORO EM (CIDADE), (PAÍS)

EU MORO EM CURITIBA, BRASIL. = “I live in Curitiba, Brazil.”

To indicate the country where you live, you will say:

“NO” + country (for countries with ending -O, -ÃO, and many others):

🇧🇷 “NO BRASIL” : “in Brazil”

NA” + country (for countries with ending -A):

🇫🇷 “NA FRANÇA”: “in France”

🇺🇸 EU MORO NOS ESTADOS UNIDOS. = “I live in the U.S.”

🇨🇦 EU MORO NO CANADÁ. = “I live in Canada.”

🇬🇧 EU MORO NO REINO UNIDO = “I live in the United Kingdom.”

🇮🇪 EU MORO NA IRLANDA. = “I live in Ireland.”

🇮🇳 EU MORO NA ÍNDIA. = “I live in India.”

🇧🇷 EU MORO NO BRASIL. = “I live in Brazil.”

🇵🇹 EU MORO EM PORTUGAL. = “I live in Portugal.”

“MORAR” in Portuguese means “to reside” 🏡 and “VIVER” means “to live, to be alive” 👻.

You have a short video where you will learn more phrases to indicate your place of origin and residence in Portuguese. It is part of a guide with short videos and quiz to learn the most essential Portuguese that you will surely find useful for your next vacation.

How to overcome communication difficulties in Portuguese on a trip

You will learn the phrases in Portuguese to solve communication problems starting on minute 17:40 of the video.
falar to speak
eu falo I speak
você fala you speak (informal)
o senhor / a senhoa fala you speak (formal)
português Portuguese
espanhol Spanish
inglês English
alemão German
solving communication difficulties in portuguese: vocabulary for your holidays
Não compreendo. I do not understand.
Não entendo. I do not understand.
O que significa … ? What does … mean?
Mais devagar, por favor. Slowly, please.
Você fala inglês? Do you speak English?
O sr./a sra. fala inglês? Do you speak English?
Eu não falo português. I do not speak Portuguese.
Eu falo um pouquinho de português. I speak a little Portuguese.
how to evoid communication problems in Portuguese: phrases for English-speaking travelers

How to say “I do not understand” and “What does it mean?” in Portuguese

You have two ways of explaining that you do not understand: “NÃO COMPREENDO” and “NÃO ENTENDO”. You can use the one you like the most.

Tip: To be more polite, you can add “DESCULPE” to “NÃO COMPREENDO”. To apologize, you can also say “SINTO MUITO”.


😪 SINTO MUITO, NÃO ENTENDO.

Tip: You can emphasize that you do not understand anything with these two sentences:


😵 NÃO COMPREENDO NADA.

😵 NÃO ENTENDO NADA.

“NADA” means “nothing” in Portuguese.

How to say “I do not speak Portuguese”

You can indicate the languages ​​you speak in Portuguese by saying “EU FALO…”. For the negative, you say “EU NÃO FALO…”

Travel phrases in Portuguese: basics that every tourist should know

Important verbs in Portuguese: “TER”, “PRECISAR”, “PODER”, “QUERER”

You can communicate a lot using these words!
eu (não) tenho I (do not) have
eu (não) preciso I (do not) need
eu (não) posso I can (not)
eu (não) quero I (do not) want
eu (não) queria I would (not) like
must-know verbs in Portuguese to communicate your needs and desires during your holidays

What is the difference between “EU QUERO” and “EU QUERIA” in Portuguese?

“EU QUERO” is direct and useful to talk about what you want in general, i.e., your goals and desires.

You can combine “EU QUERO”:

  • with infinitive verbs: EU QUERO FALAR PORTUGUÊS. 💬 = “I want to speak Portuguese.”
  • with nouns: EU QUERO UM CAFÉ. ☕ = “I want a coffee.”

If you say “EU QUERO UM CAFÉ” in a café, the waiter will give you the coffee, for sure. But it is not the friendliest way to order in Portuguese.

 “EU QUERIA” is more polite than “EU QUERO”.  It is used to express wishes, but when we want something from someone.

You can combine “EU QUERIA” with verbs in the infinitive or with nouns.

  • EU QUERIA TROCAR DINHEIRO. = “I would like to exchange money.”
  • ☕ EU QUERIA UM CAFÉ, POR FAVOR. = “I would like a coffee, please.”
  • 🧾 EU QUERIA A CONTA, POR FAVOR. = “I would like the check, please.”

Simply saying “A CONTA, POR FAVOR” is not rude, but it is not very polite either.

But do not worry: if you are traveling as a tourist, local people will appreciate that you know a little Portuguese. Speaking the language of the country is a nice gesture of courtesy. 

 Tip: “EU QUERIA” can be used to order in the restaurant or café, to do any kind of shopping and even to ask someone for a favor.

 Tip: Are you a romantic? Do you want to say “I love you” in Portuguese? So do it the right way, and do not mix Spanish with Portuguese. In Spanish, you say “te quiero”. In Portuguese you say “TE AMO” . Saying to someone “TE QUERO” is possible, but it means literally “I want you”. So: to declare your love, just say “TE AMO, MEU AMOR” (“I love you, my love”).

 

Do you want to learn some useful phrases to pay a compliment and to flirt with someone in Portuguese? You will find them in this video (starting from minute 07:34).

How to indicate physical needs and other basics in Portuguese

You will learn how to talk about your basic needs and you will know phrases for emergencies in Portuguese starting on minute 19:40 of the video.
a fome hunger
o sono drowsiness
o dinheiro money
o banheiro bathroom, restroom
expressing basic needs: Portuguese travel vocabulary
 
Estou com fome. I am hungry.
Estou com sono. I am sleepy.
Não tenho dinheiro. I have no money.
Onde fica o banheiro? Where is the restroom?
how to express your basic needs: Portuguese travel vocabulary
We all have physical needs, so it is essential that, on your vacation, you know how to say in Portuguese:

🇵🇹 In Brazil we say “BANHEIRO” and in Portugal, “CASA DE BANHO”. In a public place, you can also say “TOALETE”.

How to ask for help in Portuguese and how to communicate in an emergency during your trip

Hopefully, everything runs smoothly 🤞, but you should know some phrases for travel emergencies just to be on the safe side.
o médico doctor
o hospital hospital
a polícia police
a ajuda the help
Socorro! Help!
precisar to need
how to commuicate in an emergancy: Portuguese travel vocabulary
Preciso de um médico. I need a doctor.
Preciso ir para o hospital. I need to go to the hospital.
Preciso de ajuda! I need help!
Ajuda! Socorro! Help! Help!
Polícia! Fui roubado/a! Police! I was robbed!
dealing with an emergency: Portuguese travel phrases for English speakers
In Brazil, 190 is the telephone number of the police, and 192 is SAMU (medical emergency). In Portugal you just dial 912 for any emergency.

How to talk about money and make purchases: Portuguese phrases for travelers

You will learn the useful phrases to talk about money and to make purchases on your next trip starting on minute 22:06 of the video.
aceitar to accept
trocar to exchange
pagar to pay
o cartão de débito card
o cartão de crédito credit card
pagar em dinheiro to pay in cash
o caixa automático ATM
a nota fiscal receipt
managing money and going shopping: Portuguese travel vocabulary
Onde posso trocar dinheiro? Where can I exchange money?
Aceitam cartão de crédito? Do you accept credit card?
Aceitam dólares? Do you accept dollars?
Onde tem um caixa eletrônico? Where is there an ATM?
Posso pagar em dinheiro? Can I pay in cash?
Posso pagar com cartão? Can I pay with card?
Aqui está. Here you go.
Isto é tudo. This is all.
(Não) Preciso da nota fiscal. I  (do not) need the receipt.
how to deal with money and how to do some shopping: Portuguese travel phrases

You should learn some phrases to exchange money and to pay in stores or restaurants during your holidays.

In Brazil we say “CAIXA ELETRÔNICO” and in Portugal, “MULTIBANCO”.

 Tip: two phrases that the store clerk will always ask in Brazil when you pay are:

“CRÉDITO OU DÉBITO?” (“credit or debit?”): in Brazil, many cards for making payments are credit and debit cards at the same time. If you use a Brazilian card, you must choose which payment you want to make. This video uses the question “CRÉDITO OU DÉBITO?” for a humorous sketch:

“VAI PARCELAR?” (“will you pay in installments?”): Brazilians often pay in installments, not cash. But tourists tend to pay all at once, so answer “NÃO” to that question.

Communication in the hotel: Portuguese phrases for travelers

You will learn the phrases in Portuguese to use in the hotel and restaurant starting on minute 25:05 of the video.

o hotel hotel
a reserva reservation
o quarto room
a noite night
o café da manhã breakfast
o banheiro privativo private bathroom
hotel and accomodation: Portuguese travel phrases for English speakers
(Não) Tenho uma reserva. I (do not) have a reservation.
Preciso de um quarto duplo por três noites. I need a double room for three nights.
(Não) Quero café da manhã. I (do not) want breakfast.
(Não) Quero um banheiro privativo. I (do not) want a private bathroom.
accomodation during your holidays: Portuguese travel phrases

In the hotel, you must inform your name and where you are from. These are useful phrases that you have already learned in this Portuguese guide for travelers.

You can adapt the basic phrases to your needs.

PRECISO DE UM QUARTO DUPLO POR TRÊS NOITES.

= “I need a double room for three nights.”

For example, at the hotel, you can say “QUERO/QUERIA UM QUARTO INDIVIDUAL PARA CINCO NOITES ” and they will give you a single room for five nights.

 In Brazil we say “CAFÉ DA MANHÔ and in Portugal, “PEQUENO ALMOÇO”. “ALMOÇO” is lunch and “PEQUENO ALMOÇO” is a direct translation from French “petit déjuner”.

In this video (starting on minute) you will learn the most useful questions and answers to make purchases and order in the café in Portuguese. You have material to download for free. 

Communication in the restaurant: Portuguese phrases for your vacation

comer to eat
beber to drink
tomar to have, to take
a alergia allergy
a conta the check
eating out: Portuguese travel vocabulary for the restaurant, the café or the bar
Para comer, eu queria … . To eat, I would like … .
Para beber, eu queria … . To drink, I would like … .
Não posso tomar … . I can’t have … .
Tenho alergia a … . I am allergic to … .
A conta, por favor. The check, please.
how to order food and drinks: Portuguese travel phrases
You do not need to know a lot of Portuguese to order in the restaurant during your holidays.

Tip: You can ask for the restaurant’s menu (“O CARDÁPIO”, in Portugal “A EMENTA”) in English (“TEM O CARDÁPIO EM INGLÊS?”) and use the phrases you have seen to order.

PARA BEBER, YO QUERÍA UNA CERVEJA. = “To drink, I would like a beer.”

You can simply say the name of what you want to order and add “POR FAVOR”: “”UMA CERVEJA, POR FAVOR”.

How to call the waiter in a restaurant or bar

To get the waiter’s (or the waitress’) attention in Portuguese, you can say:

☝ DESCULPE!

☝ COM LICENÇA!

“DESCULPE” is for apologizing if you’ve made a mistake, but it’s also for getting someone’s attention. “COM LICENÇA” is used when you need to get through, or when entering a place (“excuse me”). It is also used to get a person’s attention. In Portuguese it is polite and totally normal. You can also say:

🤵GARÇOM! (in Brazil)

Do you want to learn other words that are used coloquially to call the waiter in Brazil? “GARÇOM” is sufficient, but if you are curious, this popular song will show you some more words for your next pub crawl (“comandante, capitão, tio, brother, camarada, chefia, amigão”)!
In Portugal, the man who serves tables is the “EMPREGADO DE MESA”. But there it is considered rude to call him that! Say “SE FAZ FAVOR” instead.

Communication in the city and in the transport: Portuguese phrases for travelers

You will learn the practical phrases in Portuguese to ask for directions and to ask for information in the public transport on your next trip from the minute 27:57 of the video.
ir to go
a passagem ticket (transport)
a passagem de ida one-way ticket
a passagem de ida e volta round-trip ticket
o ônibus bus
o metrô subway
o trem train
o táxi taxi
o ponto de ônibus bus stop
a estação station
o aeroporto airport
o centro center
the city and the transport: Portuguese travel vocabulary
Quanto custa uma passagem de ida para … ? How much does a one-way ticket to … cost?
Eu queria uma passagem de ida e volta para … . I would like a round-trip ticket to … .
Onde tem um ponto de ônibus? Where is there a bus stop?
Onde fica a estação? Where is the station?
Pode me levar para o aeroporto? Can you take me to the airport?
Como posso ir para o centro? How can I go to the city center?
Este ônibus vai para o aeroporto? Does this bus go to the airport?
Que trem vai para o centro? Which train goes to the city center?
getting around and asking for directions: Portuguese travel phrases

Currently, it is possible to obtain all the information about transport and the city using only smartphone apps.

🇵🇹 In Brazil we say “(TELEFONE) CELULAR” and in Portugal, “TELEMÓVEL”.

But if you know some simple phrases in Portuguese to ask for information for your holidays, you will see that you will create the opportunity to chat with the locals.

The person may answer your question in long sentences that you do not know, but no problem! It is customary to gesticulate a lot when we give directions on the street. For this reason, you will understand a good part of what the native says thanks to non-verbal communication.

You can adapt these phrases to your needs. Instead of saying

“COMO POSSO IR PARA O CENTRO?”

you can say

“COMO POSSO IR PARA A ESTAÇÃO?”

We use “PARA O” because “CENTRO” is a masculine noun.

We use “PARA A” because “ESTAÇÃO” is a feminine noun.

In Brazil we generally say “ÔNIBUS” and in Portugal, “AUTOCARRO”.

 In Brazil we say “TREM” and in Portugal, “COMBOIO”.

Brazilian Portuguese or European Portuguese? What is the difference? What Portuguese should I learn for my vacation?

Obviously, the Portuguese spoken in different regions varies a little. It’s normal because it is the mother tongue of 230-250 million people around the world. The difference between the language in different regions is more noticeable in oral Portuguese than in written Portuguese.

Vocabulary can be a little different, especially when talking about everyday objects, as you have seen in this Portuguese language guide. But normally the Brazilian and European vocabulary are not so different.

Everything is a matter of point of view, but Brazilian Portuguese is known to be easier for a foreigner to learn. In general, we Brazilians speak more slowly and pronounce all the vowels.

Brazilian Portuguese, for many, sounds “softer” than the Portuguese spoken in Portugal. Even the Portuguese writer Eça de Queirós said in the 19th century that in Brazil people speak “Portuguese with sugar” (“PORTUGUÊS COM AÇÚCAR”).

In Portugal, for example, at the end of a word, the letter -E in the combinations -DE or -TE is inaudible. In Brazil in general, we will pronounce respectively dʒi and ʧi, sounds that are similar to “j” in “jeans”. You can see this in the words “DE” (“from”) or “VINTE” (20).

Furthermore, in Brazil, we use a simplified grammar in some respects. For example, the pronoun “TU”, as we saw above, which in Brazil is not used systematically.

Is it useful for me to speak some “broken Portuguese” during a trip?

Of course! Although English is spoken in many tourist areas in Portugal and Brazil, there are many advantages in mastering simple but practical Portuguese phrases.  And you do not have to worry about learning specifically “Brazilian Portuguese” or “European Portuguese” for your trip, as we have seen.

Portuguese is official in 8 countries and – of course – it is a little different in these regions. Accents, slang, and some words for everyday objects may be different depending on where you are. But no matter where you go, the Portuguese you learn in this guide, on the blog, and in the courses on this site, even though it is Brazilian Portuguese, will allow natives to understand your Portuguese. With a simple vocabulary like the one you can learn here, you can make yourself understood without difficulty.

In general, Portuguese speakers value positively that a foreigner tries to speak their language. They are especially friendly and patient if they see a foreigner trying to make him/herself understood.

In other words, by having a basic grasp of Portuguese, you will get to know more people, and your traveling experience will be more colorful and memorable.

Conclusion

With a basic vocabulary and the phrases we have seen, you already know “survival Portuguese” for your vacations to any other Portuguese-speaking country.
I will not translate the sentences here so that you recall their meaning.
Now you know:
How to say the numbers up to 100 in Portuguese:
0: zero
10: dez
99: noventa e nove
How to introduce yourself, explaining where you come from and where you live:
Oi, o meu nome é Júlio.
Eu sou de Recife, Brasil.
Eu moro em Brasília, Brasil.
How to solve communication problems in Portuguese:
Não entendo.
Mais devagar, por favor.
Eu falo um pouquinho de português.
O senhor/a senhora fala inglês?
How to indicate basic needs in Portuguese:
Estou com fome.
Estou com sono.
Não tenho dinheiro.
Onde fica o banheiro?
How to handle emergencies in Portuguese:
Preciso de ajuda.
Preciso de um médico.
How to talk about money in Portuguese:
Aceitam dólares?
Posso pagar com cartão?
Quanto custa?
How to communicate in the hotel in Portuguese:
Não tenho uma reserva.
Preciso de um quarto.
Não quero café da manhã.
How to communicate at the restaurant in Portuguese:
Para comer, eu queria … .
Para beber, eu queria … .
A conta, por favor.
How to communicate in the city and in the transport in Portuguese:
Eu queria uma passagem de ida e volta para … .
Onde fica a estação?
Como posso ir para o centro?
Do not forget that more than 70% of our communication is non-verbal. Therefore, if you know some useful expressions in Portuguese and rely on all the information that can be transmitted without words, you will go very far … Wherever your wanderlust takes you. Have a great trip!
Hopefully, you can put what you learned into practice. What phrases do you want to learn? Do you think something is missing? You can leave a comment 😉.

Do you want to keep on learning Brazilian Portuguese online & for free?

🇧🇷 You can learn the basics of Brazilian Portuguese with the FREE mini course for English speakers with videos, PDFs, audios, and certificate 🎯:
https://discenslearning.com/en/course/online-mini-course-brazilian-portuguese-for-english-speakers-a1-beginners/
⏩ Free course preview (sneak peek), with many free learning tips, available here, no registration needed.
https://discenslearning.com/en/learn-useful-portuguese-phrases-with-free-videos-materials

Your first contact with the Portuguese language.

How to Speak Portuguese: Guide for English-Speaking Beginners

A series of 1-minute videos to learn the most basic Portuguese with transcriptions, audios, and quizzes.

Learn Useful Portuguese Phrases with Free Videos & Materials

The most common greetings, farewells and politeness phrases in Portuguese.

The 81 TOP questions and answers in Portuguese.

https://discenslearning.com/questions-and-answers-in-portuguese–download-free-pdf-and-mp3

The most thorough guide on greetings and goodbyes in Brazilian Portuguese.

https://discenslearning.com/downloadable-pdf–mp3–89-portuguese-conversation-starters

Vocabulary: the most relevant verbs in Portuguese for English speakers.

Free Video Guide: Portuguese Verbs for English Speakers

Vocabulary: the most relevant nouns in Portuguese for English speakers.

https://discenslearning.com/basic-noun-vocabulary-in-portuguese-wih-free-video-pdf–mp3

😇In this playlist, you will find videos to learn Portuguese with explanations in Portuguese (with Portuguese & English subtitles):

You have a list of videos (with subtitles) to learn Portuguese basics:
🤗 Videos for English speakers who want to learn the essential vocabulary of the Portuguese language:

🌟You have FREE videos to learn Brazilian Portuguese with downloadable material for English-speaking beginners on the blog – no registration needed.

🔔Useful Portuguese videos on the YouTube channel – Subscribe!

👍Learn conversational Brazilian Portuguese on Facebook!

👉Learn Brazilian Portuguese basics on Pinterest!

https://www.pinterest.es/discenslearning/portuguese-for-english-speakers-a1/

About the author: I am Alicia, your Portuguese teacher 💙. I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and I was raised trilingual, since my mother is German and my father, Spaniard. I did my undergraduate and Ph.D. studies in Madrid and Berlin. After completing my Masters in Didactics in 2010, I applied my knowledge to foreign language teaching. I worked at the Popular University in Berlin with group classes until 2018. Since then, I have specialized in online teaching and the creation of digital learning content.

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