Common Brazilian Phrases

May 1st, 2013

Not everyone has the time to learn a language like Portuguese, so these seven phrases will get you through most situations when visiting Brazil.

Phrases Serve a Purpose

So, unlike some of my translation services colleagues, I understand why some folks choose to learn phrases instead of a formal language course when they’re visiting a country. It suits a busy schedule, and gets the job done especially if you’re only visiting for a short time. In an ideal world we would all be multi-lingual and the world would be safer and friendlier for it. But in the practical world we live in, I say: Learn phrases and don’t look back, if that’s all you have time for. Heading to Brazil? If you simply can’t learn Portuguese, then these seven phrases will actually get you through just about any situation (plus the fact that most everyone in Brazil speaks English!).

Most Useful Seven Phrases in the Universe

Legal (leh-gow). Sure, one word – but so useful! It basically means ‘cool’ in Brazil, and as a result can be used to express approval, agreement, and a generally positive attitude. You will hear it constantly on your visit there.

Tudo bem. It means “how are you” or “are you doing well” and is a standard generic greeting. No matter where you are in the world you need to be able to ask politely after someone’s day, after all – politeness is the key to every culture in the universe.

Ate logo (ah-tay lah-goo). Literally this translates to “see you later” and is a generic farewell in Brazil. Say ate logo and they will be impressed with your local flare.

Bom dia, boa tarde, boa noite. “Good morning,” “good afternoon,” and “good evening.” Start off English phrases with this in shops and restaurants and you will get a much warmer response than if you just launch into English.

O meu nome e (ooh meh-ooh noh-mee-eh). “My name is.” Useful when introducing yourself!

Eu gostaria (ay-ooh goh-stah-ree-ah). “I would like.” This becomes your best friend when shopping or ordering food, trust me.

Eu sou do Estados Unidos (eh-ooh soh dooh ehs-tah-dooz ooh-nee-dooz). “I am from the United States.” A very useful phrase, because everyone you meet will be curious about where you are from!

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