Ces phrases à connaître absolument pour un séjour au Portugal

These sentences are a must for a trip to Portugal

Are you planning to visit Portugal soon and are afraid that the language barrier will prevent you from fully enjoying your experience?
Don't panic! Portuguese is a language that can be scary at first, but once you get past the initial exchanges, it becomes easier. And for good reason, as a tourist in Portugal, you will probably not have very complex conversations with locals.
In any case, Portuguese people often understand French and English very well, especially if you go to tourist cities like Lisbon, the Algarve or the Douro region.
To help you better understand your first exchanges in Portugal, here are a few phrases to know.
 

The basic vocabulary in Portuguese

First of all, learn the basic expressions, such as "hello", "thank you" and "goodbye". Here is a short list of the most commonly used Portuguese vocabulary:

  • Bom dia / Boa tarde / Boa noite : Good morning / Good afternoon / Good evening.
  • Olà : Hello.
  • Bem-vindo : Welcome.
  • Obrigado/a  : Thank you (“o” for men, “a” for women)
  • Como está? ou Tudo bem?  : How are you ?
  • Muito bem, obrigado/a, e você? : I am fine thank you and you?
  • Sim / Não : yes / no.
  • Se faz favor ou Por favor  : Please.
  • De nada / E um prazer : You're welcome.
  • Com licença / Desculpe : Sorry.

Note that the Portuguese do not like to say "goodbye" (which is said "Adeus") and prefer to part with an "obrigado/a" or a "com licença" (the latter especially on the phone to hang up). You can also say "Até breve" to say "see you soon".

 

Portuguese sentences to answer or start a discussion

It's always a bit complicated when a local person starts to engage in a discussion and we don't understand anything they say. If you find yourself in this situation, here is what you can say in Portuguese:

  • Disculpe, não falo português : Sorry, I don't speak Portuguese.
  • Você fala inglês? :  Do you speak english?
  • Não entendo : I don't understand.
  • Estou aqui como turisto/a : I am a tourist.
  • Eu sou inglês/a : I am english.

If you want to start a discussion with someone, you can say:

  • Me chamo : My name is…
  • Como se chama ? : What is your name?
  • Pode ajudar-me, por favor ? : Can you please help me?
  • Que horas são ? : What time is it?
  • Quantos anos você tem ? : How old are you?
  • Eu moro em … : I live in...

Useful Portuguese phrases in restaurants and shops


Furnas do Guincho Restaurante - Cascais
  • Eu gostaria de fazer uma reserva : I would like to make a reservation.
  • Hoje (manhã / meio-dia / noite) :  Today (morning / lunch / evening).
  • Amanhã : Tomorrow.
  • Segunda, terça, quarta, quinta, sexta, sábado, domingo : Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday:
  • Tenho uma reserva : I have a reservation
  • Posso ter o ementa por favor ? : May I have the menu please?
  • Quanto custa ? : How much does it cost?
  • A conta, por favor : The bill please.
  • Uma cerveja : A beer  
  • Uma caneca : A draft beer please 
  • Vinho : Wine
  • Agua : Water
  • Um copo : a glass
  • Uma garrafa : A bottle
  • Eu sou vegetariano/a : I am a vegetarian
  • Eu sou alérgico/a : I have an allergy
  • Estava delicioso ! : It was delicious!
  • Estou apenas olhando : I'm just looking.
  • Gostaria de comprar isso : I would like to buy this.
  • Podemos pagar comme multibanco ? : Can we pay by credit card?
  • Dinheiro : Money (cash)
  • Onde está a casa de banho ? : Where are the bathrooms?

Essential Portuguese sentences in case of emergency

It's not something we often think about before we leave on a trip, but it's still a good idea to get information before an accident happens.
Even if you don't want to, remember that in case of an accident, the emergency phone number is 112, whether it's for medical emergencies, the fire department or the police. You can ask for someone who speaks French on the other end of the line.
Do not hesitate to visit the website of the French embassy in Portugal (or in your country of origin) to find out what to do in case of a problem.
If the emergency services can generally speak in French or English, you may need to speak to passers-by. Here are the Portuguese words and phrases you should know: 

  • Socorro ! : Help me!
  • Polícia : Police.
  • Chame um médico / uma ambulância : Call a doctor/ambulance.
  • Eu preciso ir a um médico : I need to see a doctor.
  • Onde fica o hospital ? : Where is the hospital located?
  • Perigo : Danger.
  • Eu não posso respirar : I can't breathe.
  • Eu estou sangrando : I am bleeding.

Feel free to bookmark this page before your trip, or copy and paste into your phone the phrases you will need during your trip to Portugal.

Luisa Paixao

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