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Self-Introduction Guide: “My Name is,” in Portuguese and More

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When getting to know a different country and culture, why not start by learning the local language, a guaranteed way to let locals know you’re interested in being part of their world and culture?

Learning some quick tips and basic conversational rules can be a great shortcut to making new friends, ensuring a variety of experiences during your visit, and even arranging business opportunities. With Brazilians, trying to speak Portuguese is a sign of great respect and should earn you quick empathy amongst locals.

First things first, learn how to introduce yourself in Portuguese. A simple “my name is…” in Portuguese can represent the difference between a long-lasting, successful relationship with locals, and just passing by unnoticed. If you ever googled “How to say my name in Brazilian Portuguese,” this guide is tailor-made for you. ;)
Regarding Portuguese, one of the most-spoken languages, you don’t have to worry about advanced studies of language in a college (or anything like that) to achieve those goals we mentioned. Let’s start with the basic “Hello, my name is,” in Portuguese and work our way up from there. You’ll be able to introduce yourself in Brazilian Portuguese in no time!

Table of Contents

  1. Identifying Yourself
  2. Placing Yourself in Society
  3. Sharing Personal Details
  4. How PortuguesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Portuguese

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1. Identifying Yourself

Don’t be just another passing-by gringo. Brazilians tend to be very open people (way more than the average North-American or European), and a way to show that you’re interested in bonding with them and their culture is learning basic introductions.

Letting your conversation partner know your name is the foundation stone in any dialogue, and in any language, so we should begin there. Keep in mind that you can use many forms to greet someone. It’s up to you to choose!

1- “My Name is,” in Portuguese

First Encounter

  • “My name is John Doe/Jane Doe.”
    O meu nome é John Doe/Jane Doe.

Though both languages use the Latin alphabet, Portuguese has different speaking nuances than English. Vowels in Portuguese usually have the same sound in any word, except when marked with accents.

In the sentence above, for example, the letter é, with the accent, is pronounced like the “e” in the English word “bet.” This is the “to be” verb, so it’s essential for a new speaker to learn how to say it properly. Without the accent, e means “and,” and is pronounced like the “e” in “ember.” Always mind your pronunciation.

The approximate sound of “My name is…” in Portuguese, then, should be something like Oo mayu noh-me eh John Doe/Jane Doe.

There are several other forms you can use to answer the “how to say my name in Brazilian Portuguese” question. Here are a few other options:

  • “I am called John Doe/Jane Doe.”
    Eu me chamo John Doe/Jane Doe.
    Eoo me sha-moo John Doe/Jane Doe.
  • “I am John Doe/Jane Doe. ”
    Eu sou o John Doe/a Jane Doe. [Mind the gender article.]
    Eoo sow ô John Doe/ah Jane Doe. [This ô has a closed pronunciation, like the “o” in “row” for instance).

2- Where Are You From?

Swedish Countries

After introducing your name, the next step in how to introduce yourself in Brazilian Portuguese is to talk a little about where you come from. Brazilians are always fascinated to know people from abroad, and the more details you feel comfortable giving, the more the average Brazilian is likely to bond with you (and in less time).

Keep in mind, though, that not everyone in Brazil is very good with foreign geography, so when trying to introduce yourself in Portuguese and telling them where you come from, be specific and detailed. For example, if you come from Brooklyn, be sure to add that it’s not only a part of New York City, but also a part of the United States.

That said, let’s see some examples of introducing yourself in Portuguese regarding birthplace.

  • “I come from Brooklyn, New York City, USA.”
    Eu venho do Brooklyn, Nova Iorque, Estados Unidos.

The pronunciation should be something similar to: Eoo ven-niow do Brooklyn, Novah York, Es-tah-dows Oo-nee-dows.
It’s also possible to use a variation that wouldn’t be correct in English, but works just fine in Brazilian Portuguese:

    “I am from Brooklyn, New York City, USA.”
    Eu sou do Brooklyn, Nova Iorque, Estados Unidos.

The pronunciation should be something like: Eoo sow do Brooklyn, Novah York, Es-tah-dows Oo-nee-dows. [Remember to keep those Os with a closed sound!]


2. Placing Yourself in Society

About Yourself

Learning how to say “Hello, my name is,” in Portuguese is just the first step in becoming more than just another tourist in Brazil. If you’re really interested in bonding and blending in, don’t be afraid to try and go even further! Okay, you’ve already said where you come from, but how about your line of work?

1- Talking About Your Profession in Portuguese

Like in the Western world, talking about professions is as natural as it gets. Of course, it’s impossible to generalize, but overall this is a very good way to keep a dialogue from going toward that uncomfortable silence we all hate.

A good way to begin is just speaking about your profession. Remember to keep it simple, so perhaps an “I am a/an [profession],” is the best way to go. Let’s see how it looks in Portuguese, then:

  • “I am a journalist.”
    Eu sou jornalista.
    Eoo sow johr-nah-lees-tah.

Journalist at Work with Typewriter

After that, feel safe to talk about where you currently work, or perhaps some of your professional history—that will definitely show your conversation partner you’re interested not only in learning about their country and culture, but also in sharing some of your own personal life story. That said, let’s see how to say it properly in Portuguese:

  • “I work at the New York Times.”
    Eu trabalho no New York Times.
    Eoo tra-bah-liow noo New York Times.

If you want to be a little more specific, don’t hesitate to try:

  • “I take photos for the New York Times.”
    Eu tiro fotos para o New York Times.
    Eoo tee-ro phoh-tows pah-rah oo New York Times.
  • “I write for the New York Times.”
    Eu escrevo para o New York Times.
    Eoo scre-vow pah-rah oo New York Times.

2- Talking About Your Education

As a bonus, you can go as far as telling Brazilians where you studied. If you don’t feel so confident, rest assured that a lot of American culture has made its way to Brazil over the years, and there’s a huge chance that anyone you’re talking with shows great interest in hearing about your college (and even high school) experiences.

Quick tip: “High school” in Brazilian Portuguese is called Ensino Médio, which literally translates to “middle school.” “College” is called Ensino Superior, which translates to “Upper School” or “Superior School,” so don’t get confused! It’s safer, though, to refer to “college” as faculdade or universidade. Ensino Superior is way too formal.

You can also talk about what you studied. This is very common in Brazil, and the structure is similar to talking about where you studied.

  • “I studied at Midwood High School.”
    Eu estudei na escola Midwood High School no Ensino Médio.
    Eoo ess-too-day na ess-koh-lah Midwood High School noo En-see-now Meh-dee-ow.
  • “I went to Harvard for college/university.”
    Eu estudei em Harvard na faculdade. OR Eu fiz faculdade em Harvard.
    Eoo ess-too-day em Harvard nah fah-cool-dah-de. OR Eoo fiss fah-cool-dah-de em Harvard.
  • “I studied Journalism at Columbia.”
    Eu estudei jornalismo em Columbia. OR Eu fiz jornalismo em Columbia.
    Eoo ess-too-day johr-nah-lees-mow em Columbia. OR Eoo fiss johr-nah-lees-mow em Columbia.


3. Sharing Personal Details

Introducing Yourself

Okay, now you’ve said “My name is,” in Portuguese and also learned to talk a little about your profession and education. The next level is sharing personal details. Of course, whether or not to share lots of details is completely up to you. But here are some nice tips for doing so as you introduce yourself in Brazilian Portuguese.

1- Talking About Your Age

Question Mark Birthday Cake

They now know your name, your line of work, and even your high school and university names, but when were you born? Mind that Portuguese is a little different from English here. In English, you would say “I am 29 years old,” just the way you say “I am John Doe,” right? In Brazilian Portuguese, it doesn’t work that way. The verb used in that language is the “have” verb. Therefore, when answering “How old are you?” your sentence should be:

  • “I have 29 years.”
    Eu tenho 29 anos.
    Eoo ten-nio vin-tchy e noh-vee ah-noss.

It’s also possible to say just the numeral, like in English: “twenty-nine” = vinte e nove = vin-tchy e noh-vee.

Another possibility is sharing the year you were born. That should look like this:

  • “I was born in 1990.”
    Eu nasci em 1990.
    Eoo nah-see em mew-noveh-sentows-e-noven-tah.

2- Talking About Where You Live

Now they know your age and your origins. Perhaps it’s time to talk about where you currently live.

  • “I live in Boston now.”
    Eu moro em Boston agora. OR Eu vivo em Boston agora.
    Eoo vee-vow em Boston ah-goh-rah. OR Eoo moh-row em Boston ah-goh-rah.

The “final weapon” you can use that will work with virtually any Brazilian is—guess? Soccer.

Even if you encounter someone who’s not exactly a soccer fan (something rare, yes), the fact that you feel comfortable talking about what’s probably the biggest national pride will surely show beyond any question that you are interested in bonding.

The first rule regarding language in this case is the word “soccer” itself, that doesn’t exist in Portuguese. The official name in Brazil is futebol and, as it’s easy to see, sounds almost exactly like “football.” That said, always remember that futebol is “soccer,” and futebol americano is what you probably know as “football” (which is referred to as “American Football” in Brazil). Not easy, right?

  • “Which soccer team do you root for?”
    Para qual time de futebol você torce?
    Pah-rah cual tee-me de foo-te-ball vow-se tohr-se?

3- Talking About Your Family

If you feel comfortable enough, tell your conversation partner about your family as well. This will surely help you bond easier. You don’t have to give full names or anything like that; just give their first name, their profession, and maybe where they live (if not with you, of course). Details like this are harmless and should keep any friendly conversation going smoothly.

  • “My dad is called Frank, he is a lawyer and lives in Chicago.”
    Meu pai se chama Frank, ele é advogado e mora em Chicago.
    Meoo pah-ee se shah-mah Frank, eh-leh eah ad-vow-gah-dow eh moh-rah em Chicago.

4- Talking About Your Hobbies

Another subject always pleasant to discuss is that of hobbies. Everyone’s got hobbies, and it might surprise you how easy it is to find a special connection with someone who shares the same interests as you, regardless of nationality. Don’t be shy to ask them, and also to share yours! There are no rules, and you can talk about playing a musical instrument, collecting stamps, visiting beaches, building scale models of airplanes, writing poems, and so on. Just give it a shot!

  • “I play the bass in a band.”
    Eu toco baixo numa banda.
    Eoo toh-co bye-shoo noo-mah ban-dah.


How PortuguesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Portuguese

If you’re planning to visit Brazil, but don’t feel confident enough about speaking with locals, don’t hesitate to try to learn as much as you can before boarding the plane. Remember that, apart from the biggest urban centres in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, and a few others, the average Brazilian speaks little to no English.

PortuguesePod101 is an ideal way of getting to know Portuguese as it matters: in situations that might actually happen. What’s the point of learning from long and senseless textbooks if they can’t help you properly when you get there?

Learning a language so different from English should be fun and culturally relevant. Start by learning how to say “My name is,” in Portuguese and work your way up from there, one step at a time. Asking the right questions, and discovering how to give the proper answers regarding key points in Brazilian culture and lifestyle, can make a real difference.

We hope we adequately answered the question “How do you introduce yourself in Portuguese?” but don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you have. Before you go, why not practice what you learned today? Leave us a comment below introducing yourself in Portuguese! We look forward to hearing from you. :)
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