10 Essential Portuguese Phrases Every Expat Should Know


10 Essential Portuguese Phrases Every Expat Should Know

It’s easy to assume that as many nations teach English as a second language there’s no need to learn the native tongue when moving abroad, but you wouldn’t believe how many doors a little language knowledge can open for you.

If you’re emigrating to Portugal, for example, having a grasp of Portuguese can help you to communicate effectively and respectfully with your new countrymen and women, make you more employable, improve your social/corporate life and help ease the culture shock which often accompanies an overseas move.

Unfortunately, learning a language can’t be done overnight and you will have to put in considerable time and effort if you’re hoping to become fluent.

While languages classes, dvd’s, online tutorials and books are all great learning aids, nothing beats interacting with native speakers. Locals are generally happy to correct you on pronunciation and teach you colloquial terms if you’re willing to make an effort, so try and speak English as little as you can!

If you’re short on time, learning these few essential words and phrases will make it easier for you to throw yourself into Portuguese life and start learning from locals once you arrive.

Hello – Olá

Goodbye – Adeus

Yes – Sim

No – Não

Please – Por Favor

Thank you – Obrigado

My name is… – O meu nome é 

Nice to meet you – Prazer em conhecelo

How are you? – Como vai? / Com vai você?

 Do you speak English? – Você fala o ingles?

If you feel like you’ve got a handle on those terms you may want to start learning these other basic Portuguese words and phrases…

Good Morning – Bom dia

Maybe – Talvez

Where is? – Onde está?

How do I get to? – Como eu chego á…?

How much is that? – Quanto é isso?

I don’t understand – Eu não entendo

Car – Carro

Train – Trem

Plane – Avião

Train Station – Estação de trem  

Airport – Aeroporto

Left – Deixou

Right – Direito

Bread – Pão

Beer – Cerveja

Wine – Vinho

Juice – Suco

Waiter – Garçom

Waitress – Garçonete

And then, of course, there are always Portuguese numbers to learn!

One – Um/Uma

Two – Dois/Duas

Three – Três

Four – Quatro

Five – Cinco

Six – Seis

Seven – Sete

Eight – Oito

Nine – Nove

Ten – Dez

So boa sorte with your new expat life, and remember to have diversão!

For extensive information about moving to and living in nations like Portugal check out our extensive collection of country guides.

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