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9 Portuguese Words You Should Know

by AlgarveTips

1. You had me at Olá

The number one word every tourist should know when visiting a country is without a doubt ‘hello’. When you are in the Algarve and the rest of Portugal and you want to greet the locals, you can use the word ‘olá’. The hyphen on the “a” indicates to emphasise the letter, pronouncing it a bit longer: olaaa.

2. Thank You

Expressing your gratitude is essential. The translation of thank you in Portuguese is one of our favourites. It just sounds so very sweet. Do note that there is a difference in pronunciation depending on your gender. The difference is small, but noticeable. Women say ‘obrigada’. Men have to use the word ‘obrigado’.

3. Yes or no

No day goes by without having to say yes or no to questions. Are you happy with your hotel? Yes! Do you want milk in your coffee? No! In the Algarve, you wouldn’t have to answer these questions in Portuguese as most people speak English. However, it doesn’t hurt to know these words in Portuguese.
• The translation of ‘yes’ is ‘sim’. The ‘m’ is pronounced with a nasal sound.
• The translation of ‘no’ is ‘não’. Although the word reads a bit difficult, the pronunciation is simple. You just have to make a nasal sound.

4. Two glasses of red wine, please

Portugal is a famous producer of wine. Here you can have one of the best wines in the world, especially red wines. Do you enjoy a glass or two on your holiday, then it might be useful to know how you would have to order them in Portuguese. Wine lovers this is YOUR phrase: ‘dois copos de vinho tinto, por favor’.

Por favor

5. The check, please

Continuing the beverage topic, we believe asking for the bill is another phrase that might come in handy often. You have already read how to say ‘please’ in the above phrase (por favor). The translation of ‘check’ is ‘conta’. Making the complete phrase: ‘A conta, por favor’.

6. How are you?

When you want to make a better effort of saluting a local, then the easiest way to do that, is to continue your ‘Hello’ with an ‘How are you’. How are you is translated: ‘Tudo bem?

Tudo bem
7. Goodbye ● See You

Goodbye is an easy word that you are most likely to know already. The word is spelled ‘tchau’. However the pronunciation is like the famous Italian equivalent of ‘ciao’. Another popular phrase people use is ‘ate já’. The literal translation is ‘see you in a bit’.

8. That looks good

Expressing that you like something in Portuguese is not that hard, yet very much appreciated if you would use it. It is spelled as ‘Que bom!’ This is translated as ‘so good’.

Que bom

9. I love you, Algarve

After visiting the Algarve, be warned that you might never want to go back. The Algarve has all the ingredients to make you fall in love with the place. If you are planning to stay or return, it might be nice to know how you would say ‘I love you’ in Portuguese. These are the words to remember: ‘Eu te amo’.


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Mary January 7, 2020 - 13:30

This site is very, very helpful. Thank you for the very diverse information, I KNOW that I will return to this site many times!!

Best wishes, Mary

AlgarveTips January 12, 2020 - 14:37

Hi Mary, glad to hear you enjoy our site! Have fun in the Algarve 🙂


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