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10 basic phrases to help you in Brazil

2 Mins read

LOS ANGELES (BDCi) – Whether you find yourself in Brazil one day or just want to impress a Brazilian friend, this list of common phrases will teach you the basics for getting by in Brazilian Portuguese, which differs from European Portuguese or the Portuguese spoken in Africa.

1) Oi!
The easiest way to greet someone is to say “Oi” (oy). You can also say “Olá” (oh-LAH), which is a little more formal.

2) Tudo bem? “Oi” will usually be followed by either “Tudo bem?” (too-doo BAYn) or “Tudo bom?” (too-doo BOHn), which mean “All well?” “All good?”

You can respond with “Tudo bem/bom” or just “Tudo” and if you want to know how the other person is doing, simply end with “E você?” (ee voh-SEH).

3) Sim/Não
“Yes” and “No” are “Sim” and “Não” in Portuguese. The first is pronounced like the Spanish “Sí” but with a slight “n” sound at the end (seen), and the second is something between “Now” and “Noun” (naun).

4) Obrigado
If you’re a man wishing to express gratitude, you can say “Obrigado” (oh-bree-GAH-doo). For women, it will change slightly to “Obrigada” (oh-bree-GAH-dah).

5) Me chamo…
To introduce yourself by name, you can say “Me chamo…” (mee SHA-moo) or “O meu nome é…” (oo MEH-oo NOH-mee EH) followed by your name.

6) Encantado
After meeting someone, you can respond with “Encantado” or “Encantada” (een-cahn-TAH-doo/dah), which is equivalent to saying “Charmed.” You can also say “Prazer” (prah-ZEH), which is like saying “It’s a pleasure.”

7) Tchau!
The most common way to say goodbye is “Tchau,” pronounced the same as the Italian “Ciao,” despite its spelling. The more formal farewell is “Adeus” (ah-DEH-oos).

8) Não entendo…
If you find yourself having trouble understanding someone, you can say “Não entendo” (naun een-TEHN-doo), “I don’t understand.” On the other hand, if you want to confirm that you know what’s going on, just say “Entendo.”

9) Ajuda!
Should you find yourself needing some help, shout “Ajuda!” (ah-ZHOO-dah), with the “j” sounding like it does in French. You can also yell “Socorro!” (soh-COH-hoo).

10) Te amo
And if you happen to find romance while in Brazil and feel the need to say “I love you,” the quickest words to utter are “Te amo” (chee AH-moo). You can also say “Eu amo você” (EH-oo AH-moo voh-SEH).

Don’t be afraid of messing up a phrase or getting the word order wrong. The effort and attempt to speak Portuguese will be greatly appreciated and you will only improve overtime.

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