If you’re planning on travelling to Portugal for your next summer holiday, it can be extremely useful to try to learn at least a little bit of the language before you go. It’s always friendly and polite to know a few basic phrases, and they can come in handy when you’re moving around the sunny shores of Faro and the Algarve. Take a look below at our advice on some of the essential Portuguese words and phrases you should know before you go.
Hello and goodbye
These are probably some of the easiest Portuguese phrases to learn, but are still key parts of many conversations. For hello, you would say “Olá” and to say goodbye it is “Tchau”, “Adeus” or “Até logo!”. Tchau” and adeus both mean goodbye, although adeus is typically used as a more formal way of saying goodbye. Até logo is used more casually, and actually translates to “see you later”.
Depending on the time of day, you may use a couple of different phrases to greet someone. For example, if you want to wish someone a good morning, you would say “Bom dia”. If you were meeting someone a little later in the day, you would instead say “Boa tarde”, which means good afternoon. If you wanted to say good night to someone, it would be “Boa noite”
Also, if you’re meeting someone for the first time you may say “Muito prazer em conhecê-lo”, which means “I’m pleased to meet you”. You could then continue with “Me chamo…”, which means “My name is…” If they haven’t introduced themselves, you could ask “Qual é o seu nome?”, which means “What is your name?”
Goodbye: Tchau or Adeus
See you later: Até logo
Good morning: Bom dia
Good afternoon: Boa tarde
Good night: Boa noite
Muito prazer em conhecê-lo: I’m pleased to meet you
Me chamo: My name is… (Don’t forget to add your name!)
Qual é o seu nome?: What is your name?
Remember your manners!
Politeness goes a long way no matter what country you’re in, so don’t forget your please and thank yous! In Portuguese, please is “Por favor” and is often used in the same way that you might use “Excuse me” in English to get someone’s attention. If you wanted to say excuse me, you could also say “Com licença”. There are two different ways of saying thank you, which are “Obrigado” and “Obrigada”. Obrigado is the masculine phrase, and is used by men. Obrigada is the feminine version, and is used by women.
There are two common ways of saying sorry in Portuguese, “Desculpa” and “Desculpe”. Note that desculpe is typically a slightly more formal version of apologising. You could also say “Perdão”, which means “Forgive me” or “Pardon me”.
Time for a recap!
Please: Por favor
Excuse me: Com licença
Thank you: Obrigado / Obrigada (masculine and feminine, respectively)
Sorry: Desculpa / Desculpe
Forgive me / Pardon me: Perdão
Some more helpful phrases
Now that we’ve got the basics down, let’s take a look at some more handy phrases to help you on your holiday:
Uma cerveja por favor: One beer please (Very handy if you’re going out for a drink.)
Você fala inglês: Do you speak English? (Learning a language can be tricky, but nobody expects you to know everything. Nevertheless, it’s always good to try to learn as much as you can.)
Eu compreendo / Não compreendo: I understand / I do not understand
Onde fica a casa de banho?: Where is the bathroom?
Que horas são?: What time is it?