Basic European Portuguese Phrases For Beginners

7 August 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House

Unsplash: John Tecuceanu

Is it possible to travel to Portugal without knowing Portuguese? Yes, it is. But it isn’t very advisable because not knowing even the most basic Portuguese phrases could make it quite difficult for you to connect with Portuguese locals. You can say “thank you” here and there, but it might be better to know how to say “thank you” in Portuguese which is “obrigada” (if you are a woman or a woman-identifying person) or “obrigado” (if you are a man or a man-identifying person) or “agradeço” which translates to “I thank you” or “I appreciate you” (and any man, woman, or non-binary-identifying person can say this grateful saying). By doing this tiny yet polite gesture, you can engage more with the people around you as well as learn more about your surroundings. Wouldn’t you want that?

So when planning a trip to Portugal, let’s start with the basics and learn a few essential Portuguese phrases. These phrases are very far from difficult. However, something simple to remember when speaking Portuguese Portuguese (European Portuguese, the one used in Portugal): “s” is pronounced as “sh” at the end of the syllable. For example, “grátis,” which translates to “for free" in English, would be pronounced as “grah-tish.”

Basic European Portuguese Phrases

  • Hi: Oi (oy)
  • Hello: Olá (ola)
  • Bye: Até já (ah-teh jah)
  • Yes: Sim (sim)
  • No: Não (now)
  • I don’t know: Não sei (now say)
  • Please: Por favor (por favor)
  • Excuse me: Com licença (com leesensah)
  • Thank you: Obrigada (obrigada) / Obrigado (obrigado)
  • You’re welcome: De nada (de nada)
  • Good morning: Bom dia (bom deeyah)
  • Good afternoon: Boa tarde (bowah tard)
  • Good night: Boa noite (bowah noyt)

Basic European Portuguese Questions

  • How are you: Como está? (como shta)
  • How is the weather: Como está o tempo? (como shta o temp)
  • When is your birthday: Quando é o seu aniversário? (kwando eh o sow aniversaryo)
  • How old are you: Quantos anos tem? (kwantosh anosh tem)
  • What do you recommend: O que recomenda? (oo keh recomendah)
  • Where is the supermarket: Onde é o supermercado? (ondeh eh o supermercaw)
  • What time is it: Que horas são? (keh orash shaw)
  • Do you speak English: Fala inglês? (fala inglesh)
  • How long to get to the airport: Quanto tempo demora até ao aeroporto? (kwanto temp demor ah-teh aw ehroport)
  • Can I pay with credit card: Posso pagar com cartão de crédito? (pos pagar com cartaw de credit)
  • How's it going: Como vai? (como vai)