Brazil Language

Some Fun Brazilian Portuguese Phrases and Free Lessons

Many people think that Brazil language is Spanish, however Brazil is the only Portuguese speaking country in South America. These are some common Brazilian Portuguese phrases that can shed light on the unique and beautiful Brazilian culture, and some useful free Brazilian Portuguese lessons!

You'll find that Portuguese has a beautiful and lyrical quality that is quite fun to speak, once you get the hang of it. I always find that it helps me to feel more expressive and flowing, and so I try to speak Portuguese as often as I can!

Did you know that Portuguese is the fifth most spoken language in the world? Brazilian Portuguese differs slightly from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal and other countries, which is known as Continental Portuguese, similar to the difference between British English and American English.

Differences Between Brazilian Portuguese and Continental Portuguese

Here are just a few examples of the differences.

  • The word for nickname in Brazil is apelido, and in Portugal is alcunha.

  • A cup in Brazil is xícara, and in Portugal it is chávena.

  • If you're looking for a bandage in Brazil you'll need to ask for an atadura, but in Portugal you'll need a ligadura.

  • Trying to catch a bus? If you're in Brazil, you'll looking for an ônibus, and in Portugal you'll be looking for a autocarro.

  • Got some pencils that need sharpening? In Brazil you'll need to find an apontador. In Portugal you've got a choice of three different words: apara-lápis, afia-lápis, aguçadeira

  • The Brazil language word for bandage is atadura, and in Portugal is ligadura.

  • When you answer the phone in Brazil, you say alô. In Portugal, you answer the phone with one of these greetings:
    • estou,which means I am

    • está lá , which seems colloquial, as the literal translation is is there!

    • sim, which means yes

    • estou sim, which means yes I am

Is Brazil Language Like Spanish?

The Brazil language of Portuguese is most similar to the Italian language, and also shares some similarities with Spanish. When I was traveling in Brazil, I found it possible to easily converse in Portuguese with other travelers from South American countries that spoke Spanish.

I did learn a little Spanish in high school, but promptly forgot much of it when I began speaking Portuguese.

I just LOVE speaking Portuguese, so I will also share with you some of my favorite resources that will help you learn Brazilian Portuguese phrases, so that you can feel "in tune" with the spirit of Brazil!

So much of Brazilian culture is communicated through the Brazil language, it is truly delightful to experience this by being in Brazil and speaking Portuguese!

Brazil Language - Some Basic Brazilian Portuguese Phrases

Brazil language, like many other romance languages, uses the masculine and feminine forms of some words. This takes a while to get used to if you are not familiar with Spanish, French, Italian or other similar languages.

Saying Hello

Good morning - Bom dia

Good afternoon - Boa tarde

Good night - Boa noite

How are you? (formal) - Como vai?

Fine thank you - Bem, obrigado (men) OR obrigada (women) iterally means - How goes it?

How are you? (informal) - Tudo Bem? This literally means... everything good? The proper response is also: Tudo Bem!

Hi, how are you? (informal) - Oi, tudo bem?

Yes, everythings good, and you? - Tudo bem, e você?

É um prazer conhecê-lo - It's a pleasure to meet you

Saying Goodbye

Bye (informal) - Tchau!

Goodbye (formal) Até logo!

See you then - Até mais! (literally means, until more)

See you later - Até depois!

See you tomorrow - Até amanhã!

More Basic Brazilian Portugues Phrases

Where is ... - Onde está ...

What time is it? - Que horas são?

What is your name? - Como é seu nome? (formal) or Como é teu nome? (informal)

My name is ... - Meu nome é ....

Do you understand? - Compreende? ... or Entende?

I don't understand - Não entendo

How much does this cost? - Quanto custa isto?

This is a wonderful video where you can hear the beauty of Brazilian Portuguese and learn some common Brazilian Portuguese Phrases.

Brazil Language - Popular Idomatic Expressions

These are some of the most enjoyable ways to experience Brazil language and the culture of Brazil. You can learn a lot about how people share and communicate and express themselves by learning the colloquial expressions. In some cases I've included both the masculine and feminine forms.

Lindo maravilhoso! - (or linda, maravilhosa) literally means beautiful, marvelous, and is used to mean amazing, fantastic, really awesome, etc.

Que saudade! - Saudades does not have a direct English translation. It expresses a longing in the heart when you miss someone or something. Que saudade means ah, I really miss that, whatever you have "saudades" about.

É mesmo? - means really? and is used as a response when someone tells you something new. For example, if you say: "Eu estou aprendendo Portugues", which means "I am learning Portuguese" ... Your Brazilian friends says: "É mesmo?"

Fique tranquilo - I always loved hearing this! It means literally, stay calm or be calm, and it is a common way for Brazilians to help one another to deal with stressful situations. It conveys optimism and caring, and I've also heard "calma filha" which is literally, "be calm dear child".

Pois não? - This is a phrase you'll hear a lot when you go into a resteraunt or call a business that doesn't make any sense, translated it is "because no" ... but itreally means may I help you?.

Fala sério! - This means, you've got to be kidding! The direct translation is talk seriously!. Another related phrase is Não acredito! which means I don't believe it!.

Qualé a sua? or Qual é a sua? - means What is your problem?

Encher o saco - literally means to "fill the bag" (LOL!!) but it's meaning is to bother, to annoy

Tá legal, Tá jóia, Tá bom, Tá bem - Means It's okay or It's Alright.

Um beijo! or .. Um abraço! - expressions of affection shared with friends. Women use um beijo with both men and women. Men use um abraco with other men, and um beijo with women.

Estar com a macaca - the literal translation is "being with the monkey"!! It means to be bad tempered

. . . pra caramba! - This is used at the end of a setence to magnify or exaggerate whatever is said. For example, if you say "I was late" ( Eu estava atrasado ), you can also say, "I was really, really late" ( Eu estava atrasado pra caramba!)

Já era! - Literally translated, "It was", however it means It's gone, or it's over.

Estar no mundo da lua - literally means, to be in the world of the moon! It means to be absent-minded

Estar desligado (or desligada), literally translated is "to be disconnected", and means to be absent-minded. Another word you can use is estar distraído (or distraída) which means to be distracted.

quebrado (or quebrada) or exausto (or exausta) or acabado (or acabada) - these are all colloquial expressions that mean exhausted or very tired. Quebrado literally means "broken" and "acabado" literally means "finished".

Brazil Lanugage - More Common Brazilian Portuguese Phrases

Com certeza! - of course!

Não faz mal - no problem

legal, bacana - nice, great, cool

É isso aí! - That’s it!

Deixa pra lá! - Forget it!

Brazil Language - Resources for Free Brazilian Portuguese Lessons

Now, there are plenty of ways you can learn Brazilian Portuguese for free. You can go to Brazil, or visit an area where a lot of Brazilians live, and simply jump in. I call this the "sink or swim" method!

Of course, it is much easier if you know a little of the language first. That way you can at least begin a conversation!

My husband used to do this when he had some basic Portuguese skills, by visiting our local Dunkin Donuts! At the time there were many Brazilians working there, and they really enjoyed the opportunity to converse and were very patient with him. He had a lot of fun speaking, and made some wonderful friends!

I did find that I learned the most Portuguese when I was living in Brazil with other Brazilians. There weren't a lot of other Americans around so I had to learn about the basic words for cooking, cleaning, and other daily life and household tasks.

There are some wonderful free online resources for learning Brazilian Portuguese.

Learn Portuguese Now provides free online Brazlian Portuguese lessons and other helful free resources.

Sonia Portuguese has many helpful free online language resources ot help you learn Brazilian Portuguese.

Cafe Brasil Podcast is in Portuguese and will give you the experience of immersing yourself in Brazil language and culture.

Street Smart Brazil Blog has many useful and fun videos that will help you to learn Portuguese.

Brazil Language Resources: Brazilian Portuguese
Language Teachers

All this being said, I learned a lot faster when I did study a bit to understand Brazil language grammar and things like this. There is nothing like finding a good Brazilian Porutugese teacher to converse with you and help you to learn the language a little faster!

I've had several wonderful teachers over the years who have been so helpful to me. The first was Lee Riethmiller of the Intercontinential Language School. He's quite gifted and I think speaks 26 language fluently himself!! He created these hilarious "verb dances" with funny phrases you can't help but remember!

Our group used to attend classes together and to this day I can still remember one of the phrases I found most hilarious:

O pepino grita e caia de joelhos

Which means....

The cucumber screams and falls to its knees !!!!

LOL, so you can see why I've always remembered my first Brazil language instructor!! :-)

I also studied with several native speaking Brazilians both in the U.S. and in Brazil, and most recently my husband and I had some classes with Luciana over at Street Smart Brazil. She is fantastically gifted in being able to understand the different parts of the Portuguese language that are more challenging for English speaking people to grasp.

If you know of additional resources that can help you learn Brazil language skills, please do share here. I hope you enjoy learning Brazilian Portuguese!


›› Brazil Language

New! Comments

Share your thoughts about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


Do You Love Brazil?

Help us to share and celebrate the beauty of Brazil.

Celebrate Brazil Culture

Simply copy and paste this code into your Facebook page or blog. Obrigada! Thank you for sharing!


Brazil Language

Learn Portuguese