10 Must-Know Words and Phrases for Your Trip to Portugal

Portugal often tends to be overshadowed by the huge tourist draws of Italy, France, and Great Britain. Although small, this nation has a big heart and a unique culture that can sate the appetite of any adventure seeking wanderer. As the oldest country in Europe, Portugal has plenty of history for those who love tales of days gone by, and its beautiful beaches and magnificent mountains will keep the outdoorsy explorer plenty busy. It’s always a great idea to have a little bit of a grasp on the local language of any place you plan to travel to, and Portugal should be no exception. So, while you’re brushing up on your Portuguese for your big trip, be sure to take a look at these 10 must-know words and phrases to help you along!

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1. Hello/Goodbye = Olá/Adeus

Let’s start off with the basics guys. You won’t get far without knowing your basic greetings, right?

2. Please/Thank you = Por favor/Obrigado

Nothing will charm the locals more than being extra polite and minding your ‘ps’ and ‘qs’, or in this case your ‘pleases’ and ‘thank yous’.

3. Excuse me = Ó, desculpe

This needn’t be reserved only for the occasions where you accidentally bump into someone. In fact, it can be used in almost any type of situation, whether you’re trying to grab a waiter’s attention or want to stop someone on the street to ask for directions.

4. Hey/So = Pá

is an extremely useful word for learners of Portuguese because it’s basically a way to buy time while thinking over what you want to say. Use it at the beginning or end of a sentence, then pause and ponder.

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5. One more? = Vai mais uma?

Lisbon is famous for having some amazing bars and you’ll definitely want to spend a night barhopping. When you find yourself surrounded by tipsy friends and wondering whether or not to order more, just ask them, vai mais uma?

6. Come on guys! = Bora lá, pessoal!

Also useful for a night out on the town when you’re busy trying herd your friends in the direction of the next drinking establishment.  Or you can combine it with the previous phrase to say: Bora lá, pessoal! Vai mais uma!

7. Do you speak English? = Fala inlgês?

Although you should never rely on locals being able to speak your native language, if you find yourself in a tight spot it might be useful to pinpoint someone who can. Being able to ask if someone speaks English is a traveler basic, so learn this one well!

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8. Oh, wow! = Eh, lá…!

No, this phrase is not for those times when you’re admiring some beautiful architecture, it’s actually a sarcastic phrase for when someone you’re talking to is bragging a tad too much. Use this sentence to bring them back down to good ol’ planet Earth.

9. Can you show me on the map? = Você pode me mostrar no mapa?

There’s nothing more confusing than having someone jabber a bunch of directions at you in a foreign language. Sometimes it’s easier to have a visual and ask them to pinpoint the route on a map instead of trying to keep all those lefts, rights, and straight aheads in order in Portuguese!

10. I’m going to miss this = Vou ter saudades disto

After you’ve had a magnificent time in Portugal (because we know you will), you can stare nostalgically at the stars on your final night there and mutter to yourself vou ter saudades disto.

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Ready for your trip to Portugal? With these 10 great phrases you should be! Don’t feel intimidated if you don’t speak a lot of Portuguese quite yet, locals are known for being friendly and you’ll surely be able to find someone who will take the time to try and understand your slow, basic Portuguese. Put yourself out there and have a great time, then come back and tell us in the comments section which phrases you found most useful. Bora lá, pessoal! Adventure awaits!

Share with us some of your Portugal experiences! Are there any other words or phrases you found useful to know while visiting Portugal?

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