7 Expressions to Know in Portugal

PortugalYou would think that with Portugal sitting right next door to Spain on the Iberian Peninsula, that Spanish would be the native language there. It’s not. It is Portuguese, and some of its words sound like Spanish words, and some are completely different.

While consulting Rick Steves’ Portuguese Phrase Book & Dictionary in preparation for an upcoming trip to Lisbon, I decided to narrow down the many, many Portuguese expressions to seven that I can actually memorize and keep in my mind’s back pocket while I’m there. Here they are.

  1. Obrigado/Obrigada (oh-bree-gah-doo/oh-bree-gah-dah) – This means “thank you.” Isn’t that a universal important expression? The first is if a male says it, and the second, female spoken.
  2. Desculpe/Desculpa (dish-kool-peh/dish-kool-pah) – “I’m sorry.” When you visit a foreign country for the first time, you have many opportunities to use this word. The first is if a male says it, and the second, female spoken.
  3. Fala ingles? (fah-lah een glaysh) – “Do you speak English?”
  4. Não falo português (now fah-loo poor-too-gaysh) – “I don’t speak Portuguese.”
  5. Sim/Não (seeng/now) – Yes, no.
  6. Olá/adeus (oh-lah, ah-deh-oosh) – Hello, good-bye.
  7. Onde é que é a casa de banho (ohn-deh eh keh eh ah kah-zah deh bahn-yoo) – Last, but not least, “Where is the bathroom?”

There you have it. Seven Portuguese expressions you might want to commit to memory, if you have the opportunity to visit this intriguing country.

Here are some other articles about Portugal you might want to check out. Obrigada!

Seven Basic Facts About Portugal

Seven Things You Must Know When Visiting Portugal


Ann Silverthorn writes about a wide variety of topics in numerous genres. She recently completed a biography of William E. Dimorier (1871-1951), a forgotten poet and educator, who dedicated his life to service and leadership and is seeking publication. Several new projects are imminent.

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