Você fala português?

I have this Lonely Planet book. It's a good one to get you started if you're heading down to Brazil.

Since I’ve moved to Brazil, a lot of people have been asking me how to say certain things in Portuguese. While I’m certainly no expert (yet — but I’m doing pretty well!), I thought I’d share a few key words and phrases that might help you get through a trip to the largest nation in South America. So here it is: Jill’s Brazilian Portuguese Dictionary!

NB: If there’s anything with the option of an “o” or an “a” at the end of a word, “o” is masculine and “a” is feminine.

The basics:

Yes = Sim

No = Não

Maybe = Talvez

Hello = Olá

Hi = Oi

How are you? = Tudo bem?

Please = Por favor

Thank you = Obrigado (if you’re male) / Obrigada (if you’re female)

Goodbye = Tchau

Where is the bathroom? = Onde é o banheiro? / Cadê o banheiro?

How much? = Quanto é?

Good morning = Bom dia

Good afternoon = Boa tarde

Good night = Boa noite

How cool! = Que legal!

Do you have ____? = Você tem ____?

Food = Comida

Drink = Bebida

Sorry = Desculpe

I don’t know. = Eu não sei. / Não sei.

I don’t understand. = Eu não entendo. / Não entendo.

Can you speak a little slower, please? = Você pode falar um pouco mais lento / devagar, por favor?

Can I speak to ____ please? = Posso falar com  ____ por favor?


Red = Vermelho(a)

Blue = Azul

Green = Verde

Yellow = Amarelo(a)

Pink = Rosa

Purple = Roxo

Orange = Laranja

White = Branco(a)

Brown = Marrom

Black = Preto(a)

Silver =Prata

Gold = Ouro


One = Um / Uma

Two = Dois / Duas

Three = Três

Four = Quatro

Five = Cinco

Six = Seis

Seven = Sete

Eight = Oito

Nine = Nove

Ten = Dez

Eleven = Onze

Twelve = Doze

Thirteen = Treze

Fourteen = Catorze

Fifteen = Quinze

Sixteen = Dezesseis

Seventeen = Dezessete

Eighteen =Dezoito

Nineteen =Dezenove

Twenty = Vinte

Other random things I’ve learned:

When you ask for something in a store and they look for it for you, but say they don’t have it, you answer like this: “Tá, beleza. Obrigado(a). Valeu.  Tchau tchau.”

When you hand the cashier a card to pay, they’ll ask you, “Débito ou crédito?” This is because in Brazil, you don’t need to get separate debit and credit cards from the bank. You can get one card and then tell the cashier how you want to pay, so just respond with either word so they know what to punch into the machine.

When you’re shopping they might also ask you, “Quer parcelar?” In Brazil, you can buy pretty much anything in payments, often without interest. “Parcelas” are payments. Chances are if you’re just on vacation, you won’t want to, so just say, “Não, obrigado(a).” Also, this only applies if you’re paying with credit.

When you order water, they’ll sometimes ask you, “Com ou sem gás?” When they say “gás,” they’re talking about carbonation, so “com gás” is with carbonation and “sem gás” is without carbonation.

Another thing they’ll ask you when you order water: “Copo ou garrafa?” That means, “Cup or bottle?” And if you order a pop, they might also ask what size bottle you want. If it’s just for me, I usually go with 600 ml (seiscentos mililitros).


And that’s that! If there’s something you’d like to know that I haven’t included (there are so many things I’m sure I’ve forgotten), let me know! (If you want to know about pronunciation or how to curse at someone, we might have to speak instead of type. Intonation is everything…)



Filed under Brazil, Language/Portuguese

3 responses to “Você fala português?

  1. scrubgrub

    I find that I always order agua com gás, as it’s easier than remembering how to say agua in a bottle and not out of the tap please 😉
    Great list, pretty much all the words I’ve forced myself to learn in my 3 days in Brasil.

  2. Thanks! How long are you staying in Brazil? You’ll learn a lot more while you’re here.

    • scrubgrub

      We are here for 18 months, I have learned a few more, but it’s soooo hard to find the time for me to study, and I rarely leave the house as I have a “nene”

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