Essential Portuguese words and phrases before you travel
Portuguese directional words and phrases…
In Portuguese 2 we added “Where …” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, public transport, a bank/ATM, etc.
Asking such questions in Portuguese – especially if your pronunciation is ok – may let your Portuguese conversation partner assume that you understand the language well.
The result will be an answer and a stream of words you’ll probably not understand.
So asking the person to speak more slowly could be your first reply in such a case.
And it would be good to know some basic directional words and phrases in Portuguese – left, right, straight ahead so you can confirm, what you thought you understood.
The Next 13 Phrases
Food, Drinks, Restaurants
Finding a recommended restaurant, Café, or bar has been made much easier with GPS equipped smart phones and mobile devices.
Once you have arrived at the place, you may have to ask for a table and the Menu, place an order and then ask for and pay the check.
Knowing a few Portuguese key phrases will make all this much easier.
You’ll find them among the next 14 Phrases in Portuguese 4.
Asking “Where is…? questions in Portuguese…
If you’ve already learned and practiced Essential Portuguese 1, you’ll be ready to tackle the next 12 essentials.
These are words and phrases that’ll help you ask “Where …” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, or the subway or railway station, a bank or an ATM.
You may also want to know if the person you’re talking with speaks French, Spanish, Italian, German, or English – maybe one of the other languages you speak.
The Next 12 Portuguese Phrases: Where is…?
Getting Around Lisbon
Note that Lisbon has an excellent transport system for getting around the city. Figuring out what to take to get where can be part of the fun and adventure of visiting an interesting city like Lisbon.
The Metropolitan (subway, or “Metro”) has 5 lines, one of which takes you to and from the Airport).
A system of trams (“bondes”, called “eléctricos” in Portugal) covers a large area of the city. These historical yellow trams are popular with tourists and navigate through the narrow and often steep streets.
Lisbon also has a large and efficient network of buses (“ônibus”, called “autocarros”) used mostly by locals.
Trains (“trens”, called “comboios”) connect the metropolitan area and Lisbon, and take you to other destinations in the country.
If you are staying only a few days at Lisbon, you may want to use one of the many “Tuc-Tucs” – we used an E-Tuc recently – for a sightseeing tour.
We also found that Uber taxis are quite inexpensive and can be called quite easily to wherever you are – if you have a smart phone.
Asking “Where”- questions in Portuguese may let the person you are asking assume that you speak Portuguese.
The result will often be an answer and a stream of words you’ll probably not understand.
It would therefore be good to know some basic directional words and phrases in Portuguese – left, right, straight ahead, etc.
You’ll find the next 13 phrases in Essential Portuguese 3.
Portuguese polite phrases & greetings…
Travelers visiting Portugal can learn and practice 50-100 essential words and phrases here. We’ve posted the first 11 below.
Play back and compare.
(See “Learn and Practice Tips” below!)
The First 11 Portuguese Phrases
Learn and Practice Tips
- Click the black arrow to hear the Portuguese speaker.
- Click the red dot once to record yourself, click the black square to stop recording.
- When you click the black arrow again, you’ll hear the native speaker and then yourself.
- Do it several times until you sound like the Portuguese speaker
Why learn these Phrases?
Whenever you travel to a country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll encounter situations when these words will be useful.
Let’s say, you’ve ordered your first meal in a restaurant in Portugal and as the waiter serves you, you say “obrigado” (or “obrigada”, if you are a woman).
Even if the waiter knows that you don’t speak Portuguese, your effort may make him smile …
And beyond “Please” and “Thank you”, basic greetings really are the staple of first words you should know in any country you visit.
Walking in the country side…
While there’ll be many opportunities to use basic greetings in Portuguese cities, knowing them when you’re outside of a city is even more important.
Being a visitor in Portugal will make you much more welcome, when you make the effort to greet people in Portuguese.
The Next 12 Portuguese Phrases: Where is…?
In the next installment – Essential Portuguese 2 – you’ll learn to ask where the bathroom, train and metro station, bank, pharmacy etc. are located.
Even if you have a GPS enabled smart phone, you’ll certainly find plenty of opportunities to ask “Where…?” questions!
And don’t forget: asking a polite question can often lead to an interesting conversation …