Portuguese for Beginners

Portuguese for Beginners

Do you want to add another Romance language to your toolkit, add a competitive edge to your resume, or simply navigate a Portuguese-speaking country with more ease? If so, learning some important Portuguese words is an excellent way to get started. While it is often viewed as Spanish’s less useful counterpart, Portuguese is a widely spoken language that can open up doors to personal and professional opportunities all over the world. If you don’t know a word of Portuguese, begin by starting small. In this post, we will walk you through ten easy Portuguese words for beginners you can add to your arsenal today, and share some pronunciation tips to help you start speaking in no time.

Asking Questions And Expressing Enthusiasm in Portuguese

1. Quando? (kwahn-doo?) (When?)
If you find yourself in a Portuguese-speaking country, this word will come in handy in a multitude of situations. Whether you want to know when a concert starts or a train arrives, quando is a great word to have at your disposal.

2. Onde? (ohn-jee?) (Where?)
As a traveler or employee in a Portuguese-speaking country, you’ll probably need to ask locals where things are. Knowing this word will help get you to where you need to go, especially when using public transportation.

3. Quanto? (kwahn-too?) (How much?)
If you’re shopping at the market and want to know the price of something, this word will be invaluable. Asking a local how much something costs in their native language could lead to some successful bartering!

4. Qual? (kwah-ooh?) (Which?)
If you’re looking to differentiate between two people, places, or things, this word will be incredibly useful and help you avoid misunderstanding.

5. Ótimo! (oh-chee-moh!) (Great!)
As a traveler or employee in a new country, it’s important to express enthusiasm for the new and exciting things you are experiencing. You can use this word at work, at home, or in the streets to let others know you are excited about something.

Portuguese Greetings And Words For Making Friends

6. Olá! (oh-la) (Hello!)
In both Portugal and Brazil, this is the simplest way to say “hello”. This Portuguese greeting sounds like the Spanish hola, except the second syllable (oh-LA) is stressed instead of the first (OH-la). Keep in mind that an acute accent (á) always indicates a stressed syllable in Portuguese.

7. Tchau! (chah-ooh!) (Bye!)
Now that you know how to say “hello” in Portuguese, it’s time to learn how to say “goodbye”! In Brazil, tchau is the most common way to bid someone farewell. It is pronounced like the Italian ciao, but take note that while ciao in Italian can mean both “hello” and “goodbye”, it just means “goodbye” in Portuguese. To avoid confusion, remember that tchau is sometimes written as xau.

8. Obrigado/a (oh-bree-gah-doo/da) (Thank you!)
The most straightforward way to say “thank you” in Portuguese is obrigado, which literally means “much obliged”. It’s important to note that you have to change the ending to match your own gender, not the gender of the person you are talking to; if you are a man, say obrigado and if you are a woman, say obrigada.

9. Amigo (ah-mee-goo) (Friend)
Once locals see you are trying to learn their language, they’ll be more inclined to reach out to you and get to know you! When you’ve made a new friend, you can use this word and get talking.

10. Praia (prah-ee-ah) (Beach)
Brazil and Portugal are both famous for their beautiful beaches. Make sure to check out the local beach and soak in the sun with your new amigos during your day off!

Learning Portuguese Practice Tips

Pronunciation can be challenging when you start learning Portuguese but don’t get discouraged! While it can be difficult to master, Portuguese pronunciation can be made a little easier if you try out a few of these exercises:

  • Make a voice recording. It’s important to hear how you sound when speaking a new language. To keep track of how your accent changes and improves over time, consider recording yourself speaking in Portuguese. Luckily, you can do this easily with your phone or computer. Start small by reciting the alphabet, and work your way up to longer sentences and texts.
  • Join a conversation group. Look on Facebook for a local Portuguese conversation group that connects you with native speakers. This is a great way to have fun while learning a language, while also getting to know people in your community and understand how Portuguese speakers express themselves. Ask your conversation partners to correct your mistakes, and remember that mishaps are natural when learning a new language.
  • Watch a Portuguese movie or show. Who doesn’t love to cozy up with a new series or show? The good news is, you can do this all while polishing your language skills! Go to Netflix and see if there are any Portuguese films or series available to stream. Luckily, Netflix has a variety of tools that help viewers enjoy films in a multitude of languages, so don’t worry if you can’t find a movie you like right away. The benefit of watching a film that was originally made in Portuguese is that you might learn something new about Portuguese or Brazilian culture.

TruFluency Is Here To Help You Achieve Your Language Goals

While watching films in Portuguese and studying independently can help you learn the basics, it can be difficult to reach fluency without a structured plan. At TruFluency you can find a Portuguese language coach that will help you achieve fluency through real-life conversation as opposed to endless grammar exercises. Whether you’re a professional looking to prepare for a new job in a Portuguese-speaking country, or a travel-lover getting ready for their next adventure, learning Portuguese with a native speaker will give you the confidence you need to succeed. Click HERE to find out more about TruFluency’s demo classes and get started on your language acquisition journey today!