By now, I hope to have convinced you to visit Portugal. If so, you will be wondering how, without knowing any Portuguese, you’ll get around all the sights and try all the foods I’ve written about so far. I’ve got two pieces of good news: 1) A large percentage of the population speaks English and some speak French. We can all understand and be understood in Spanish. 2) I’ve prepared a handy phrase book for you, because even though we can communicate in other languages, we always appreciate an effort from visitors to speak a little Portuguese. It is especially useful if you’re somewhere off the beaten path without menus and signs in English. Print it out for your next trip – it’s so light you won’t even feel it in your bag.
Good morning / good afternoon / good night
Bom dia (bon dee’-ya) / boa tarde (boa tard) / boa noite (boa noyt)
Por favor (poo-r fav-ohr’) / se faz favor (se fash fav-ohr’)
Obrigado(a) – you say obrigado if you’re male and obrigada if you’re female
Do you speak English?
Fala inglês? (Fa-la een-glesh’)
Getting around (simplified)
When in a taxi: To (name of place) please
Para … por favor (para… poo-r fav-ohr’)
…casa de banho? (…casa de ban’-yoo)
…restaurante? (rsh-tao-runt’) (A tasca (tash’-cuh) is a no-frills, informal restaurant)
…centro comercial (cen’-troo coo-mer-see-al’)
…can I park?
…posso estacionar? (posso esh-tah-see-oo-nar’)
It was very good!
Estava muito bom! (esh-tah’-vah mooy-too bon)
How much is it?
Quanto é? (quan’-too eh) (The é is pronounced like the first e in elegant)
The bill please
A conta por favor (uh conta poo-r fav-ohr’)
Café/bica (cuh-feh’) (The é is pronounced like the first e in elegant) / (bee’-cuh)
Pastel de natas (pash-tel’ de nah’-tush)
Soup and sandwich
Sopa e sanduíche/sandes (a steak sandwich is called a prego) (soh’-pa ee sand-weesh)
Vinho tinto/branco (veen’-yoo teen’-too / brun’-coo)
Vegetariano (vegetariana if you’re female) (ve-ge-tuh-ree-uh’-noo)
Pequeno-almoço (pe-ken’-oo al-moh’-soo)
Puxe (poosh) (I know, so confusing!)
Guia (can be used both for a person or a book, pronounced with a hard g as in guide: gee-uh)
Comment below if I’ve forgotten anything or you’re curious about something!