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Your Guide to Talking About Family in Portuguese

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Whether it’s a Christmas celebration, a birthday party, or a simple barbecue (churrasco!), there’s a family gathering just about every month in Brazil. Yes, those events where small cousins are running around, grandmother asks about your love life, and there’s more food than people can handle.

Learning how to talk about family in Portuguese is essential, even if you don’t attend one of these family gatherings in Brazil (which we recommend you do!). After all, this is a topic that always comes up in conversations. People will ask you about your family, or tell you stories about their own family involving multiple relatives.

In this article, we’ll go over the vocabulary you need to know to talk about all kinds of families, as well as family-related words in Portuguese. We’ll also see some examples of sentences and questions related to family in Portuguese. But first, let’s go over family values in Portuguese-speaking Brazil and more information on family structures. Ready?

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Table of Contents

  1. An Introduction to Brazilian Families
  2. The Basics of the Nuclear Family
  3. The Relatives You See at Christmas
  4. The New Family: Couples
  5. Extending the New Family: In-laws
  6. Blended Families
  7. Showing Affection: Endearment Terms
  8. Learn More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

1. An Introduction to Brazilian Families

Family Words

Brazilians tend to have very tight-knit relationships with their families. Family definitely continues to be a strong institution in Brazil, and that’s why it’s always one of the first topics in a conversation. Overall, Brazilians are collectivistic, and it’s not uncommon to see several generations living in the same household or very close by.

Of course, we can’t forget that the local culture also lends a lot of importance to celebrations where the whole family comes together to enjoy each other’s company, great food, and music.

Although the family size in Brazil has diminished over the past several years, it’s still common to see numerous families with plenty of children, cousins, uncles, and aunts. This is especially true in smaller cities and rural areas; families in cosmopolitan regions tend to have fewer children.

Unlike in some other cultures, there aren’t different ways to refer to family members in Portuguese based on their age. What does happen a lot in Brazil is the use of a diminutive suffix at the end of words to indicate affection. You’ll see some examples further along. In addition to that, there are other endearment terms and nicknames that Brazilians use to refer to family members with extra fondness.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Portuguese is a language that tends to use the masculine form when dealing with plurals. This characteristic relates directly to Brazilian society, which is largely patriarchal. We’ll discuss the plurals a bit later in this article as well!

A Father, Grandfather, and Son Smiling for a Photo

Three generations: avô (“grandfather”), pai (“father”), and filho (“son”).

2. The Basics of the Nuclear Family

Let’s start with the basic vocabulary for talking about your immediate family in Portuguese. It might look like a lot of new words, but we’ll put it all in context with some example sentences!

We’ll start by answering the most important question: How do you say “family” in Portuguese?

Família “Family”
Parentes “Relatives”
Mãe “Mother”
Pai “Father”
Pais “Parents”
Irmã “Sister”
Irmão “Brother”
Irmãos “Siblings”
Filho “Son”
Filha “Daughter”
Filhos “Children”

As you can see in the vocabulary table above, when we’re talking about the plural for parents, children, or siblings, we use the masculine form:

  • Pai (“father” ) → Pais (“parents” )
  • Irmão (“brother” ) → Irmãos (“brothers” or “siblings” )
  • Filho (“son” )→ Filhos (“sons” or “children” )

However, if you already know that the siblings or children are all female, then you can use the feminine plural irmãs (“sisters”). If you don’t know, or if there are both male and female siblings, then use the masculine form irmãos (“brothers”). In fact, this plural rule applies to all plurals in Portuguese, so keep that in mind going forward!

Now that you already know the family terms in Portuguese for talking about siblings or children, how can you add more details? Take a look at the words and expressions below.

Mais novo / nova “Younger”
O mais novo/a mais nova, caçula “The youngest”
Mais velho / velha “Eldest”
O mais velho / a mais velha “The eldest”
Do meio “Middle” (child or sibling)
Filho único / filha única “Single child” (male) / (female)
Gêmeos / gêmeas “Twins”

Great, you’ve just learned a bunch of new vocabulary! You might be wondering how these new words look in a real-life sentence. We’ve got you covered:

  • Meu filho mais novo (“My youngest son” )
  • Ele é o caçula. (“He is the youngest.” )
  • Eu sou a irmã do meio. (“I am the middle daughter.” )
  • Ela é a filha mais velha. (“She is the oldest daughter.” )
  • Tenho dois irmãos mais velhos. (“I have two older siblings/brothers.” )
  • Eu vivo com meus pais. (“I live with my parents.” )
  • Ele não tem filhos. (“He doesn’t have children.” )
  • Os almoços de família são sempre cheios de parentes. (“The family lunches are always full of relatives.” )

When talking to a Portuguese speaker, the conversation about family could go a bit like this:

A: Como está a sua família? (“How’s your family?” )
B: Estão todos bem. E sua mãe? (“Everyone is doing well. How about your mother?l” )
A: Ela está melhor, obrigado. Você tem irmãos, não é? (“She is better, thank you. You have siblings, right?” )
B: Tenho sim! Um irmão mais novo e uma irmã mais velha. (“I do! A younger brother and an older sister.” )
A: Legal! Eu sou filho único. Meus pais nunca quiseram mais filhos. (“Cool! I am an only child. My parents never wanted more children.” )

A Large Family Lunch

3. The Relatives You See at Christmas

As we explained before, Brazilians tend to be very close to their relatives, and family gatherings or reunions are a big affair.

Avó “Grandmother”
Avô “Grandfather”
Avós “Grandparents”
Bisavó “Great-grandmother”
Bisavô “Great-grandfather”
Bisavós “Great-grandparents”
Neto “Grandson”
Neta “Granddaughter”
Netos/Netas “Grandchildren”
Tio “Uncle”
Tia “Aunt”
Tios “Uncles” or plural form of “uncles + aunts”
Tias “Aunts”

Note that the first plurals in the table above sound “feminine,” even though the plural favors males as explained previously. This is only a matter of making the word sound more pleasant.

/!\ Tio (“uncle” ) and tia (“aunt” ) are also used to informally refer to friends’ parents or other adults.

Primo “Cousin” (male)
Prima “Cousin” (female)
Primos “Cousins”
Sobrinho “Nephew”
Sobrinha “Niece”
Sobrinhos “Nephews” or plural form of “nephews + nieces”
Sobrinhas “Nieces”
Madrinha “Godmother”v
Padrinho “Godfather”
Padrinhos “Godparents”
Afilhado “Godson”
Afilhada “Goddaughter”

Check out some examples of dialogues including questions and answers using the new vocabulary.

A: Você tem padrinhos? (“Do you have godparents?” )
B: Sim! Minha madrinha é uma amiga da minha avó. Meu padrinho é meu tio, irmão mais velho do meu pai. (“Yes! My godmother is one of my grandmother’s friends. My godfather is my uncle, my father’s oldest brother.” )
A: Legal! Quantos tios você tem, só um? (“Cool! How many uncles do you have, only one?” )
B: Por parte de pai, só um. Por parte de mãe, tenho um tio e dua tias. (“From my father’s side, only one. From my mother’s side, I have one uncle and two aunts.” )

Another example dialogue:

A: Como foi a festa de aniversário do seu sobrinho? (“How was your nephew’s birthday party?” )
B: Foi muito boa! Todos meus primos estavam lá, então deu pra ver todo mundo! (“It was very good! All of my cousins were there, so I could see everyone!” )
A: E seus avós, eles foram? (“How about your grandparents, did they go?” )
B: Minha avó, sim. Mas meu avô ficou em casa cuidando da minha bisavó. (“My grandmother did. But my grandfather stayed home taking care of my great-grandmother.” )
A: Ah, entendi. (“Oh, I see.” )
B: Mas minha avó ficou feliz de ver todos os netos e netas. (“But my grandmother was happy to see all of her grandchildren.” )

A Grandmother Being Kissed By Her Grandchildren

Avó e netos (“Grandmother and grandchildren” )

Listen to the pronunciation for the must-know family terms on PortuguesePod101!

4. The New Family: Couples

Beyond the immediate family ties, you also have to learn how to talk about the new family members a married person acquires!

With the new words you’ll see below, you’ll be able to talk about love and passionate relationships. This way, if you need to DTR (define the relationship) in Portuguese, you’ll have nothing to fear!

Here’s how to talk about newly acquired members of the family in Portuguese, and how to define certain relationships.

Casal “Couple”
Esposo / Marido “Husband”
Esposa / Mulher “Wife”
Casados “Married”
Noivo “Fiancé” / “Groom”
Noiva “Fiancée” / “Bride”
Noivos “Engaged couple”
Namorado “Boyfriend”
Namorada “Girlfriend”
Namorados “Dating couple”
Parceiro “Partner” (male)
Parceira “Partner” (female)
Ex “Ex”
Divorciado “Divorced” (male)
Divorciada “Divorced” (female)
Amante “Lover”
Amantes “Lovers”
Viúvo “Widower”
Viúva “Widow”

Here’s a dialogue example filled with real-life phrases you might hear in Portuguese:

A: Finalmente vou conhecer a sua namorada? (“Will I finally meet your girlfriend?” )
B: Namorada, não. Mas a minha noiva sim! (“Girlfriend, no. But my fiancée, yes!” )
A: Não acredito! (“I don’t believe it!” )
B: Acredite! Tenho uma foto dela, olha. (“Believe it! I have a picture of her, look.” )
A: Ah, muito mais bonita do que sua ex-esposa. Fazem um casal lindo! (“Oh, she is much prettier than your ex-wife. You make a beautiful couple!” )

A Couple Arriving at the House of Someone Else

O casal chegou! (“The couple arrived!” )

→ If love is in the air, you might want to learn these love phrases with PortuguesePod101!

5. Extending the New Family: In-laws

Once the family expands, you’ll have to get used to many more family members! Nothing to worry about, though. In real life, the in-laws tend to be less scary than in the movies.

In Portuguese, it’s not as easy as simply adding “-in-law” to already familiar words. So take your time to practice and understand these different words for the extended family in Portuguese!

Sogro “Father-in-law”
Sogra “Mother-in-law”
Sogros “Parents-in-law” or plural for “father-in-law + mother-in-law”

Genro “Son-in-law”
Nora “Daughter-in-law”
Cunhado “Brother-in-law”
Cunhada “Sister-in-law”

For example:

  • Manda um beijo para a sua sogra. (“Send a kiss to your mother-in-law.” )
  • Quantos cunhados você tem? (“How many brothers-in-law do you have?” )
  • Meu genro é muito inteligente. (“My son-in-law is very smart.” )

5. Blended Families

Like in many other countries, the family structure is changing rapidly in Brazil. The term “blended family” refers to cases where one or both of the spouses have children from other relationships. That means more family relations and more words to discover!

Here’s a list of words you can use to describe these family ties in Portuguese:

Padrasto “Stepfather”
Madrasta “Stepmother”
Enteado “Stepson”
Enteada “Stepdaughter”
Enteados “Stepchildren”
Meia-irmã “Half-sister”
Meio-irmão “Half-brother”
Meio-irmãos “Half-siblings”
Irmã do outro casamento “Stepsister,” literally translating to “sister from another marriage”
Irmão do outro casamento “Stepbrother,” literally translating to “brother from another marriage”
Irmãos do outro casamento “Step-siblings”

As you can see, the terms for step-siblings are a mouthful. As a result, they’re not used very often, and it’s common to just use the words irmão (“brother”), irmã (“sister”), or irmãos (“siblings” ) to refer to step-siblings.

Here are some examples:

  • Eu gosto da minha madrasta. (“I like my stepmother.” )
  • Nossos meio-irmãos são mais novos. (“Our half-siblings are younger.” )
  • A sua enteada tem quantos anos? (“How old is your stepdaughter?” )

A Family Having Fun at the Beach

A família foi para a praia (“The family went to the beach” )

6. Showing Affection: Endearment Terms

As we said before, family relations are very important and central to Brazilian culture. Therefore, it’s not surprising that there are plenty of endearment terms used to refer to some of the family members we covered in this article.

Why don’t we play a game, then? Take a look at the words below and try to guess what family member each term refers to. After you’re done, scroll down to get the answers!

Mamãe
Papai
Vovó
Vovô
Dinda
Dindo
Bisa
Biso
Titio
Titia

Hey, no cheating!

But if you’re done, here’s the translation for each word:

Mamãe “Mommy”
Papai “Dad”
Vovó “Grandma”
Vovô “Grandpa”
Dinda Endearment term for “godmother”
Dindo Endearment term for “godfather”
Bisa Endearment term for “great-grandmother”
Biso Endearment term for “great-grandfather”
Titio Endearment term for “uncle”
Titia “Auntie,” endearment term for “aunt”

In addition to the terms listed above, it’s very common to use the diminutive ending to convey affection. For the cases we’re discussing in this article, the endings are:

  • -inho for masculine words
  • -inha for feminine words

And here are some examples of endearment terms with the diminutive ending.

  • Mãe (“mother” ) → Mãezinha
  • Pai (“father” ) → Paizinho
  • Avó (“grandmother” ) → Vózinha
  • Avô (“grandfather” ) → Vôzinho
  • Vovó (“grandma” ) → Vovózinha
  • Vovô (“grandpa” ) → Vovôzinho
  • Prima (“cousin” female ) → Priminha
  • Primo (“cousin” male ) → Priminho
  • Tia (“aunt” ) → Tiazinha
  • Tio (“uncle” ) → Tiozinho
  • Neta (“granddaughter” ) → Netinha
  • Neto (“grandson” ) → Netinho

In some places in the north and/or the northeast of Brazil, you can also hear the following endearment terms:

  • Mainha (“mom”; exclusive to the Northeast)
  • Painho (“dad”; exclusive to the Northeast)
  • Mana / Maninha (“sis” / “sister” )
  • Mano / Maninho (“bro” / “brother” )
  • Maninha (“little sister” )
  • Maninho (“little brother” )

/!\ While in the north and northeast of Brazil, mano and mana are used to refer to blood relations, those words can also be used as slang throughout Brazil. Context will be your best friend when you encounter those words!

An Elderly Man with His Grandson

Avôzinho e netinho (“Grandfather and his little grandson” )

7. Learn More Portuguese with PortuguesePod101

We hope this complete guide to talking about family in Portuguese was helpful to you! Now you’re ready to engage in conversation about family members and tell old family tales like a native Portuguese speaker. If you want to take it a step further, practice the pronunciation of the terms and words you learned today.

Were the examples we presented useful? Did we miss any important words you wanted to learn? Let us know in the comments! And remember that you can come back to this article whenever you need to and refresh your memory.

Now it’s time to continue on your language-learning journey! There are more free Portuguese resources and a variety of vocabulary lists available on PortuguesePod101.com. Go ahead and choose your favorite tools to expand your learning opportunities.

If you want to take your learning experience further, members of PortuguesePod101.com get access to the largest language lesson library in the world, with thousands of real lessons by real teachers. Perfect for anyone who wants to learn from anywhere, feel motivated, and be ready to speak Portuguese with confidence. And in the meantime, continue exploring PortuguesePod101!

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PortuguesePod101’s Essential Portuguese Travel Phrase Guide

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Traveling to foreign countries is nearly always an exciting, enriching, and beneficial experience. Yet, some things can be real downers, such as boredom on a lengthy flight to Brazil. Really, binge-watching onboard movies can only be interesting for so long! And jet lag – another huge downer. Did you know that jet lag is more severe when you travel from the West to the East?

Well, we won’t know how to beat that, but there are fortunately plenty of remedies around to investigate.

To beat flight boredom, though, we may have the answer for you at PortuguesePod101! Why don’t you take the time to study Portuguese travel phrases? We make this super easy and fun, with great downloadables, like our PDF Cheat Sheets. Quickly memorize these, and impress your Portuguese friends or travel guide with your flawless Portuguese!

Table of Contents

  1. Importance Of Learning Travel Phrases
  2. 13 Must-Have Travel Phrases and Words
  3. Good-To-Have Travel Phrases
  4. Ways To Improve Communication in a Foreign Country
  5. PortuguesePod101 Can Help You Master Travel Phrases Easily and Effortlessly!

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1. Importance Of Learning Travel Phrases

Impressing Portuguese people or your travel partners will be the least of the benefits you reap from learning these helpful phrases. These are greater ones:

1) Eliminate Travel Frustration: First of all, you’ll be able to cut out a good chunk of travel frustration and inconvenience due to language barriers.

Know how to pronounce and use at least the basic Portuguese phrases, and then just look foreign. This should go a long way to help you get by and win you friends, because locals would be more inclined to help someone who took the trouble to learn a smidgen of their language.

Injured Woman In An Ambulance

2) Emergency Readiness: In case of an emergency, you will be able to get help a lot quicker if you know how to ask for what in Portuguese. Imagine miming to a doctor or nurse that you have a sore ear but that you’re allergic to penicillin. Not so easy, right?

Rather, you should know basic emergency travel phrases, especially if you suffer from a serious condition. Also, information about life-threatening allergies you have should always be on your person in the language of the country you’re visiting.

3) Sight-Seeing Readiness: Hopefully, you also travel to learn more about a country’s culture. Visiting the main tourist sites in Brazil will be more interesting if you know how to ask pertinent questions in Portuguese.

In this blog, we’ll also be giving you important travel phrases to consider – from the 13 essential must-have phrases to ones that are just generally useful and good to know.

Let’s get cracking!

2. 13 Must-Have Travel Phrases and Words

Preparing to Travel

Seasoned explorers of multiple countries will tell you that certain words and phrases are absolute must-knows in anyone’s travel vocabulary. Learning from them, we collated some of the most essential ones here for you.

If you know these travel phrases and words by heart in Portuguese, you will be much better equipped for your visit than most of your movie-binging travel mates.

1) Obrigado (Thank you)

As a tourist, you will be relying on the kindness of strangers to get by. Repay them with a small acknowledgment of their friendly generosity – know how to say “thank you” in Portuguese.

2) Você fala inglês? (Do you speak English?)

While it may be a bit of a cop-out, sometimes you just can’t figure out how to communicate. Maybe you’re blanking on one specific word you need, maybe they’re speaking with a heavy accent, or maybe it’s just really late and you really want to get to the hotel. In that case, try asking if they speak English, and hopefully you can make things a little bit simpler for yourself.

Don’t abuse this phrase, though! If you just try to get by without learning any of the local language, not only will you not learn anything – you’ll be out of luck if they can’t speak English!

Man Greeting Someone

3) Tem algum ônibus que vai do aeroporto até a cidade? (Is there a bus from the airport to the city?)

Public transit is usually cheaper, if slower, than taking a taxi or rideshare. Use this phrase to see if you can get where you’re going when you’re strapped for cash, or just when you’d like to take the scenic route into town!

4) Esse é o ônibus que vai até o aeroporto? (Is this the right bus for the airport?)

Likewise, if you’re the kind of person who can get themselves moving early (or maybe you just have a late flight), maybe you want to take the bus to the airport rather than taking a cab. If that’s the case, you’ll want to be sure you’re actually heading the right way! You wouldn’t want to end up at a lookout point half an hour away, watching your flight take off in the distance, would you?

5) Com licença, quanto é a passagem? (Excuse me, what’s the fare?)

If you are paying for a cab, you’ll want to know how much. Most legal taxis will have meters, but when dealing with a currency you’re not familiar with, it can be worth asking just to double check that you’re paying the right amount – especially if the currency has cents.

6) Eu tenho uma reserva (I have a reservation)

This one you can expect to use at least a few times throughout your trip, unless you’re the kind of person who travels by the seat of their pants and just goes to whatever hotel, motel, or hostel has rooms available.

7) Você tem um quarto vago pra hoje? (Do you have any vacancies tonight?)

If that’s the case, you’ll definitely be using this phrase instead. Quite possibly a lot, depending on how lucky you are!

Couple with a Map

8 ) Onde fica a estação de trem? (Where is the train station?)

If you’re in a country with an expansive commuter rail system (or maybe just a fan of other types of locomotives), you may want to know where the closest station is. Just don’t go looking for pennies on the rails!

9) Eu sou alérgico a amendoins (I am allergic to peanuts)

Replace “peanuts” with whatever the word for your allergen may be. If your allergy is serious, you probably already know the importance of stating this very clearly in Portuguese.

If the condition is life-threatening, be sure to have a letter or prescription from a medical professional in Portuguese on your person at all times. Consider getting a medical alert bracelet specially made in Portuguese if your stay will be longer than a month or so.

Person Declining Meat

10) Você tem algum prato vegetariano? (Do you have any vegetarian dishes?)

If you dislike eating certain things, or you have certain dietary restrictions, it would be best if you knew how to convey this clearly in Portuguese.

Remember, though, that saying “I’m vegan” or “I’m diabetic” may not be enough to get you what you want. The rules for veganism and vegetarianism are not standard everywhere in the world. Also, your patron might not understand what “diabetic” means. If you have a medical condition, it would be best to research some in-depth vocabulary beforehand.

11) Você me vê um mapa? (Could I get a map?)

Planning on exploring your destination? Hopelessly lost? Maybe just an amateur cartographer? No matter the reason, this phrase is sure to come in handy. That said, you’re more likely to get use out of it at some sort of tourist or travel center than you are asking a random passerby on the street.

12) Quanto custa este daqui? (How much is this?)

Even if you’re not a big shopper, you’re probably going to need this phrase at some point. Knowing how to count in Portuguese will, of course, help a lot with purchases too.

13) Você aceita cartão de crédito? (Do you take credit card?)

This is another travel phrase that will smooth your monetary transactions considerably.

Man Giving Credit Card to a Clerk

3. Good-To-Have Travel Phrases

Travel Verbs

Unlike the previous phrases, these are not really essential so much as they are useful. Yet, knowing these will still smooth over some bumps on your journey, more than just knowing the crucial phrases would.

1) O Wi-Fi é gratuito? (Is the Wi-Fi free?)

If you’re abroad, your normal cellular plans probably won’t have any service, and you’ll be totally reliant on publically available Wi-Fi while you’re out and about. Just ask a server, clerk, or attendant, and they’ll be happy to let you know. Just make sure you’re paying attention when they tell you the password!

2) Você pode tirar uma foto pra mim, por favor? (Could you take a picture of me please?)

What would a trip be with no photos to commemorate the event? Just be sure to ask this of someone who actually looks like they’d be willing to, unless you’re willing to risk being given the cold shoulder or worse. If you’re at a tourist attraction, you’ll find that most people are more than happy to take one for you, so long as you take one of them as well!

3) Você tem alguma sugestão? (Do you have any recommendations?)

Eating alone in a restaurant? Or going out with new Portuguese friends or business colleagues? Let them help you decide what to have.

4) Eu gostaria de um lugar para não fumantes, por favor (I’d like to have a non-smoking seat, please)

Though smoking has gone out of fashion in some places, it’s still popular in others. In the event you’re at a restaurant where smoking is allowed on premises, you can always ask this question to the staff and be seated elsewhere.

5) Uma água, por favor (Water, please)

If you’ve emptied your glass, or are cutting yourself off after a few drinks, you can always ask for some water. It can be especially useful if the restaurant is busy to the point you need to call out to someone to get service.

6) Você pode trazer a conta? (Could I have the check?)

To finish off the restaurant related phrases, if you’re eating with friends or really want to impress your colleagues, taking the bill can be a nice treat for them. Of course, this phrase could come in handy as well if you’re eating alone and you’re just impatient to leave.

7) O que você recomenda para souvenir? (What do you recommend for a souvenir?)

Now that your trip is over, what better way to cap it all off than a memento, or maybe a gift for friends and family at home? It’ll be nicer to have something recommended by the locals than a cheap bauble from the airport store, so go ahead and ask someone you’ve met what they think.

4. Ways To Improve Communication in a Foreign Country

Survival Phrases

When traveling, it’s possible to keep communication smooth when you don’t share a language.

Do so by keeping these five tips in mind. They are aimed to help you communicate with those who cannot speak English very well, and also to keep your traveling experience pleasant!

1. Keep your English simple and easy to understand.
If the person you are talking to speaks very little English, use basic verbs, adjectives, and nouns, and keep sentences short.

However, don’t patronize them by talking in pidgin or like you would address a child. Keep your speech simple but natural, and use the correct grammar.

For instance, don’t say: “You come when?”. If you say: “When will you come?”, you will very likely be understood, and may even help someone who wants to improve their English.

2. Ask someone to write information down.
Apply Rule 1 first at your hotel, where the staff is very likely to be able to speak some English. Get them to write down, in their native language, things like: “I would like to go to the airport, please,” “Please take me to the beach,” or “Where is the closest bathroom?”

These written questions are something you can then give to taxi drivers or any other people who are willing and able to help you. This simple step could make your life a lot easier when you travel to a foreign country!

3. Avoid asking leading questions!
If you want the correct information from a non-native English speaker, that is.

When you need directions, for instance, don’t ask: “To get to the bus stop, do I need to turn left here?” If the person didn’t really understand you, you will probably just get a smile and a “Yes,” which could possibly make you miss your bus.

Rather, you should ask: “Where is the bus stop?” If they understand you, you will get the correct directions.

4. Pick the right person to ask for help.
Time to look at people and think a bit about their appearance! A younger person who looks like they might be a student is more likely to have English skills than the friendly but ancient lady smiling at you from a fruit stall.

If you don’t see anyone like that, head into town to the nearest bank, hospital, pharmacy, or hotel. The staff at those places usually speak a bit of English.

5. Know when to quit.
If you stuck to the above rules, but the person you are talking to only stares at you blankly, say thank you and leave. Hanging around hoping someone will suddenly understand and respond is just wasting your time, and may irritate them as well. Go find someone else.

5. PortuguesePod101 Can Help You Master Travel Phrases Easily and Effortlessly!

So, reader, have you found this article helpful?

Do you feel comfortable enough to use some essential travel phrases in Portuguese? We’d also love to hear if you think we left out important travel phrases. Leave your suggestions and opinions in the comments!

PortuguesePod101 takes the lead with many free learning tools to help you master Portuguese reading and speaking easily, and in fun ways.

These tools include:

– An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
– A new Portuguese word to learn every day
– Quick access to the Portuguese Key Phrase List
– A free Portuguese online dictionary
– The excellent 100 Core Portuguese Word List
– An almost limitless Lesson Library for learners of all levels

You will also have access to topic-specific recordings like our Before You Travel: Survival Phrases lesson.

Learn even more efficiently with the help of a personal tutor, after taking an assessment test to personalize and tailor your training.

Getting a tutor is also a good option if you meet challenges in your learning, or need to fast-track correct pronunciation and diction. Your very own friendly, Portuguese-speaking teacher will be only a text away on a special app, anywhere, anytime – an excellent option for business persons!

Using a guided learning system that was developed by experts in language and online education, you’ll receive personal feedback and constant support to improve in no time. You’ll also be tasked with weekly assignments in reading, writing, and speaking to hone your Portuguese speaking skills.

Imagine how impressed your Portuguese friends or colleagues will be when you display your excellent conversational skills! With PortuguesePod101, getting there will be easy and fun.

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A Guide to Numbers in Portuguese to Make You a Perfect Ten

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Learning the numbers in Portuguese solves many problems. You can ask for caipirinhas (a Brazilian cocktail) for you and your buddies. Or count the goals in a soccer match. Or know how much a ticket from Sao Paulo to Rio will cost… You can also negotiate your salary, answer how many months (or years) you plan to stay in the country, and tell people your age.
Like in any other language, it’s important that you learn at least the numbers to ten in Portuguese right at the start. That will solve some communication problems when you’re speaking to a Brazilian or Portuguese person who doesn’t speak English.

Exciting, isn’t it? When do we begin? Well, sit down, take it easy, breathe—count to ten.

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Table of Contents

  1. Portuguese Numbers 1-10
  2. Portuguese Numbers 10-20
  3. Portuguese Numbers 10-100
  4. Numbers Up to 1000
  5. How to Give Your Phone Number
  6. How to Use Numbers When Shopping
  7. Saying Prices
  8. Learn Numbers in Portuguese and Much More with PortuguesePod101

1. Portuguese Numbers 1-10

First of all, we’ll go over the basic numbers that even kids know how to count. Baby steps before bigger plans. You’ll have to lay these bricks in order to reach bigger numerical structures.

Numbers in Portuguese are called números. If you’re familiar with any of the other Romance languages, this word may sound familiar to you. And so should this list of numbers in Portuguese from one to ten:

  • 1     Um
  • 2     Dois
  • 3     Três
  • 4     Quatro
  • 5     Cinco
  • 6     Seis
  • 7     Sete
  • 8     Oito
  • 9     Nove
  • 10     Dez

An interesting thing to note is that the number one in Portuguese transcends its function as a number for English speakers. Um is also used as an indefinite article in Portuguese, playing the role of “a(n)” in English.

So, when um acts as an indefinite article, it can be declined to its feminine form, based on the noun it’s referring to. Uma is the preferred form for counting feminine nouns. For instance:

  • Ele colheu uma banana da bananeira.
    “He picked a banana from the banana tree.”
  • Olho para a cesta e vejo: uma, duas, três maçãs…
    “I look at the basket and see: one, two, three apples…”
  • Rolamos sobre um monte de folhas.
    “We roll over a pile of leaves.”

The other number that can decline to its feminine form is dois (which is duas in its feminine form). However, it isn’t used as an indefinite article.

Oh! And since we’ve started from the basics, let’s not forget the smallest of all integers—zero. Well…you can call it zero. The only significant detail with this one is the pronunciation: the “e” sounds like it does in the word “bell.”

Child Studying 1+1=2 on Blackboard

Baby steps – We’ll get to the big ones soon.

2. Portuguese Numbers 10-20

Now that we’ve covered the very basics, giving you a strong foundation, we’re going to go through a rocky path of numbers that may sound pretty irregular to foreign speakers—but at least there aren’t many of them.

The thing is, they kind of make logical sense to foreigners, but not all of them.

From ten to twenty, half of the numbers in Portuguese sound irregular and the other half remind learners of the “-teen” numbers:

  • 10      Dez
  • 11      Onze
  • 12      Doze
  • 13      Treze
  • 14      Catorze or Quatorze
  • 15      Quinze
  • 16      Dezesseis
  • 17      Dezessete
  • 18      Dezoito
  • 19      Dezenove
  • 20      Vinte

Actually, you may see that 11 (onze), 12 (doze), 13 (treze), and 14 (quatorze) are a combination of the first four integers with dez (10). It may seem a little off the first time you hear them, but don’t let the “e” at the end of these numbers (or the different spelling) confuse you!

Numbers

3. Portuguese Numbers 10-100

Now, what about the large numbers in Portuguese? How do they work?

Portuguese is really logical sometimes (only sometimes), and luckily for you, that includes numbers. Once you’ve memorized 0-19, it gets simpler from 20 on.

Starting with 20 (vinte), all you have to do is “add” the numbers by placing “and” between the parts of the sum.

So, 21 is vinte e um (“twenty and one”), 22 is vinte e dois (“twenty and two”), and so on.

The logic behind the units is easier to get. To put this knowledge into practice, you can start by counting in Portuguese using the sets of tens:

  • 30      Trinta
  • 40      Quarenta
  • 50      Cinquenta
  • 60      Sessenta
  • 70      Setenta
  • 80      Oitenta
  • 90      Noventa
  • 100      Cem

These work just like vinte (20). For instance, 34 is trinta e quatro and 79 is setenta e nove.

When you get over 100, you just have to add more numbers the same way. For example: cento e cinquenta e seis is 156.

Man Trying to Figure Out Calculations

It’s just a matter of adding numbers up with figures above twenty.

4. Numbers Up to 1000

By now, counting numbers in Portuguese is probably as easy as eating breakfast for you. But we’re headed to the top! It’s time to cover numbers above 100 in Portuguese.

The following numbers in Brazilian Portuguese will help you keep track of your monthly expenses and read the cost of travel tickets. Once again, you can detect a pattern from hundred to hundred:

  • 100      Cem
  • 200      Duzentos
  • 300      Trezentos
  • 400      Quatrocentos
  • 500      Quinhentos
  • 600      Seiscentos
  • 700      Setecentos
  • 800      Oitocentos
  • 900      Novecentos
  • 1000      Mil

Doing Online Banking on Cellphone

Banking in Portuguese: The joy of counting sets of hundreds in a foreign language.

5. How to Give Your Phone Number

Learning numbers in Portuguese is very useful. But the key to understanding a new language in its subtleties is to interact with speakers of that language and to start networking. That means getting to know people. Going out is a great way to start taking new, adventurous steps into a foreign culture and meeting interesting people.

While you’re talking with new people, there may come a time when you want to exchange phone numbers with them. To help you be prepared for that situation, here are some phrases you can use to give your number in Portuguese, or to ask someone for theirs.

  • O meu número é…
    “My number is…”
  • Qual é o seu número de telefone?
    “What is your phone number?”
  • Me passa o seu número?
    “Can you give me your number?”

As for how to say numbers in Portuguese, the numbers are usually spoken individually in Brazil. In European countries, they’re grouped into sets of tens or hundreds.

  • O meu número é nove, sete, oito, seis, cinco, sete, sete, zero.
    “My number is 9786-5770.”

Eventually, though, digits can also be grouped into two sets. This usually happens when there’s a zero in the combination:

  • O meu número é nove, sete, oito, seis, cinco, sete, setenta.
    “My number is 9786-5770.”

Sure, there are some exceptions to this “formula” of Portuguese phone numbers, but there aren’t many. One exception would be the prefix 0800 in Brazil. This prefix is used for free hotlines, and it’s called zero oitocentos (“zero-eight hundred”).

Also, there’s a deep-rooted term in Brazil that’s frequently referred to in telephone numbers. This term is meia, and it can make a Portuguese-learner feel like an alien.

Meia is a word that means both “sock” and “half” in Portuguese. What number do you think it is?

If we’re dealing with telephone numbers, which range from 0 to 9, perhaps five would be a good approximation—but it isn’t. Meia is equivalent to six.

Indeed, it’s the abbreviation of meia dúzia (“half a dozen”), which equals six. The word is linked to how people used to measure things by the dozen, especially groceries. Even today, many egg cartons still hold a dozen eggs.

Most students learn this one the hard way, so consider this a valuable lesson!

Man Getting Woman’s Phone Number on Date

“Did you say meia?”

6. How to Use Numbers When Shopping

You may notice that when shopping in Brazil, it can be a struggle to get coins and small change from the cashier. Indeed, Brazilians don’t care much about using coins. The local coins, centavos, are represented after the comma in the price, but they aren’t taken seriously. Since the 1 centavo coin has been abolished, it’s impossible to pay exact prices that aren’t round (that don’t end with 5 or 0) with physical currency.

So, buyers and sellers often round up the price to a number ending in 0 or 5 to make it easier to get a proper real bill.

Here’s an example of a conversation you may have when shopping:

A: Boa tarde! Quanto está custando este celular novo da vitrine?
B: Este celular sai por R$850. A compra também pode ser parcelada em dez vezes de R$85.

A: “Good afternoon! How much does this new cell phone from the store display cost?”
B: “This cell phone costs R$850. We can also set the payment for ten installments of R$85.”

It’s common practice in Brazilian retail to set payment installments for a wide array of products. The payment plan can sometimes reach tens of installments, which may appear odd to many foreigners. However, these installment plans are very common, especially for electronic equipment, furniture, paying tuition, housing, cars, and loans.

A: Está um pouco caro para mim… Por quanto [dinheiro] você consegue me fazer estes dez livros?
B: O preço completo é de R$400, mas consigo fazer R$350.

A: “That’s a bit pricey… Can you lower the price for these ten books?”
B: “The full price would be R$400—I can make it R$350.”

Now let’s talk about discounts. Everybody is happy when they see that interesting items are on sale. But before you can really enjoy a sale, you have to understand its terms. If you see some indication of a 50% discount in the display window, but you’re not sure it applies to the shoes you want to buy, you can confirm the information with the seller by asking:

  • Este sapato também custa metade do preço na promoção?
    “Does this shoe also cost half the price on sale?”

In terms of fractions, metade (“half” ) is the only one you’ll see when shopping. Other discount amounts are usually given as a percentage.

7. Saying Prices

There’s a certain way to say numbers in Portuguese when giving prices—and it’s slightly different from how it’s done in English.

In Brazil, the values before and after the comma are joined by the word e (“and”). In Portugal, they’re joined by the word com (“with”).

Girl Trying on Nice Shoes at Store

“Este sapato também custa metade do preço na promoção?”

8. Learn Numbers in Portuguese and Much More with PortuguesePod101

Now you have the basic and intermediate figures, and that’s a good starting point when learning how to say numbers in Portuguese. If you decide to go even further and learn the sets of thousands, you’ll be able to negotiate payment for jobs, speak properly with your bank manager, and engage in some interesting calculations.

But what about the Portuguese numbers’ pronunciation? And other relevant cultural information you’ll need to understand the reality of Portuguese-speakers and their countries of origin?

Private lessons from a private teacher will increase your potential and let you learn more easily about numbers in Portuguese and a whole set of topics for everyday life. That’s the aim of lessons from PortuguesePod101.

The interface is simple to use and the content is planned and designed to retain your attention in a fun and constructive manner. Try and exercise your domain over numbers in Portuguese, and you’ll be on cloud nine!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you’re doing with Portuguese numbers so far! We’ll be glad to answer any questions.

Happy Portuguese learning!

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How to Say Sorry in Portuguese

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Learn how to apologize in Portuguese – fast and accurately! PortuguesePod101 makes it easy for you to make amends. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet – How to Improve Your Portuguese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

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Table of Contents

  1. Common Ways to Say Sorry in Portuguese
  2. How To Refuse Something Politely in Portuguese
  3. Audio Lesson – Survival Phrases “How to Say Sorry”
  4. Why You Will NOT Be Sorry For Learning Portuguese through PortuguesePod101

1. Common Ways to Say Sorry in Portuguese

3 Ways to Say Sorry

Nobody’s perfect, not anywhere in the world. Everybody makes mistakes, and does and says regrettable things. Then it’s time to apologize, as saying ‘I’m sorry’ is not in vain. It can be very healing! Did you know that hearing a sincerely-meant apology can have a noticeable effect on a person’s body? Research has shown that it slows down breathing and heart rate, and even causes a drop in blood pressure.

Sometimes we cannot fix what’s broken, but we can make the experience a bit easier for anyone who suffered on account of our thoughtless actions or words.

Here are a number of ways to say sorry in Portuguese. In any language, just make sure you really mean it! An insincere apology will not go down well with anyone.

Woman Apologizing

Desculpa.
I’m sorry

These words should precede anything else you have to say. Use them sincerely and whenever you are clearly in the wrong. Acknowledging your guilt and apologizing for any wrongdoing will lift your spirits too! Often, remorse can eat away at us, and a simple ‘I’m sorry’, in Portuguese or any other language, can open the door for forgiveness and resolution of a bad situation. It can be a true gift!

Eu gostaria de me desculpar.
I would like to apologize.

This is a slightly more formal way to say ‘I’m sorry’ in Portuguese. Use this phrase if you’re addressing your superiors and/or elders.

Eu peço desculpas de coração.
I sincerely apologize.

If you feel strongly about your apology, this is another slightly more formal phrase to use. Keep it handy for graver errors, or you might come across as insincere!

Eu não vou mais fazer isso.
I won’t do it again.

A promise you can only make if you intend to keep it! Few things feel as bad as having to hear repeated apologies from someone for the same behavior – it means the ‘sorry’ is not sincere. Don’t be that person!

Eu vou me assegurar de não cometer este erro de novo.
I’ll make sure not to make this mistake again.

A beautifully strong phrase! Again, say this only if you mean it – not just in the moment, but always! A bit more formal, this is an especially good phrase to use when apologizing to superiors and/or elders. It will make an especially good impression at the workplace, where accountability is an excellent quality to display!

Eu não quis dizer isso.
I didn’t mean that.

This is a tricky one… What did you mean, then?! Clear up any confusion with sincerity. Also, use this phrase only if the harm done or mistake made was due to an accident, and then admit to thoughtlessness on your part, if appropriate.

É minha culpa.
It’s my fault.

If the fault is really yours, own up to it. You will gain respect in the eyes of others! However, don’t take the blame when it’s not truly yours. It won’t be good for you, and ultimately you will not be respected much for it.

Desculpa por ter sido egoísta.
I’m sorry for being selfish.

This is a good phrase to keep handy, especially for your close relationships. It is difficult to admit you’re selfish, isn’t it?! However, it’s good to know when to be honest. We get used to our loved ones, which often means we forget that they need our good manners and unselfish behavior just as much as strangers do.

Eu espero que você me perdoe.
I hope you will forgive me.

This is a polite and gentle wish that can smooth over many harsh feelings. It also shows that the other person’s opinion and forgiveness are important to you.

Eu assumo toda a responsabilidade.
I take full responsibility.

This strong statement is similar to admitting that an error or transgression was your fault. It speaks of courage and the willingness to take remedial action. Good one to use…if you mean it!

Eu não deveria ter feito isso.
I shouldn’t have done it.

This phrase is fine to use if you did or said something wrong. It shows, to an extent, your regret for having done or said what you did, and demonstrates that you understand your role in the mistake.

Desculpa por devolver o seu dinheiro atrasado.
Sorry for giving your money back late.

It’s rotten to have to loan money! Yet, it’s equally rotten to have to ask for the repayment of a loan. So, do your best not to pay late in the first place, but if it can’t be helped, this would be a good phrase to use!

Por favor, não fica bravo comigo.
Please don’t be mad at me.

Well, this is not a very advisable phrase to use if you are clearly in the wrong. If someone is justifiably angry with you, asking them not to be mad at you would be an unfair expectation. However, if you did something wrong by accident, and if the consequences were not too serious, this request would be OK.

Desculpa por chegar atrasada.
Sorry I’m late.

Punctuality is valued in most situations, but if you really cannot help being late, then apologize! This way you show respect for your host, and win their approval.

Peço desculpas por ter sido malvada com você.
I apologize for being mean to you.

Acknowledging your own meanness towards someone is no small thing, so good for you! Use this apology only if your intention is to seriously address your mean tendencies, or these words could become meaningless over time.

2. How To Refuse Something Politely in Portuguese

Woman Refusing

Congratulations! Now you know how to apologize in Portuguese! After you have apologized for a mistake, focus on fixing whatever you can, and don’t punish yourself over something that cannot be taken back or reversed. That’s healthy for you! Regret can eat away at the soul, and even destroy it. It is ultimately a useless emotion if it consumes you.

However, in language, we use apologies not only when we’ve transgressed or made mistakes. They come in handy in other situations too, when there has been no wrongdoing. Sometimes we need to express regret for having to refuse a gift, an offer, or an invitation. This can be somewhat tricky. Learn from specialists at PortuguesePod101 about how to use the correct Portuguese words for this kind of ‘sorry’!

3. Survival Phrases “How to Say Sorry”

Say Sorry

On the run and need a quick lesson on how to say sorry in Portuguese? Don’t fret, just listen and repeat! Click here for a recorded short lesson and learn how to give the perfect apology, with perfect pronunciation in Portuguese. A little can go a long way, and you will sound like a native!

4. Why You Will NOT Be Sorry For Learning Portuguese through PortuguesePod101

Man Looking at Computer

Online learning is here to stay, that’s a fact. In 2015, the Digital Learning Compass Partnership released a report based on surveys to determine online enrollment trends in US institutions for higher education. Thirty percent of all their students learned online! And the number is growing! However, how can you be sure you will not regret your choice of an online language learning school? First, look at the school’s credentials and what it has to offer…

  • Fun and Easy Learning: It’s a commonly-known fact that when learning is made easy and fun, student motivation rises. And as motivation rises, so does the effort to learn – what a beautiful cycle! PortuguesePod101’s language learning system is designed to get you speaking from the onset. Learn at your own convenience and pace with our short, effective and fun audio podcast lessons. Our Learning Center is comprehensive and state-of-the-art, with a vibrant user community to connect to! Our lessons are recorded with native hosts and voice actors, providing a diverse range of dialects in your lessons. You can be confident that native speakers will understand you when speaking Portuguese!
  • Innovative Learning Tools and Apps: We make it our priority to offer you the best learning tools! These include apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac OSX; eBooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad; audiobooks; Roku TV and so many more. This means that we took diverse lifestyles into account when we developed our courses, so you can learn anywhere, anytime on a device of your choice. How innovative!
  • Free Resources: Sharing is caring, and for this reason, we share many free resources with our students. For instance, start learning Portuguese with our basic online course by creating a lifetime account – for free! Also get free daily and iTunes lessons, free eBooks, free mobile apps, and free access to our blog and online community. Or how about free Vocabulary Lists? The Portuguese dictionary is for exclusive use by our students, also for free. There’s so much to love about PortuguesePod101…!
  • Live Hosts and One-on-One Learning: Knowledgeable, energetic hosts present recorded video lessons, and are available for live teaching experiences if you upgrade. This means that in the videos, you get to watch them pronounce those tongue-twisters, as if you’re learning live! Add octane to your learning by upgrading to Premium Plus, and learn two times faster. Your can have your very own Portuguese teacher always with you, ensuring that you learn what you need, when you need to – what a wonderful opportunity to master a new language in record time!
  • Start Where You Are: You don’t know a single Portuguese word? Not to worry, we’ve absolutely got this. Simply enroll in our Absolute Beginner Pathway and start speaking from Lesson 1! As your learning progresses, you can enroll in other pathways to match your Portuguese level, at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place!

After this lesson, you will know almost every ‘sorry for’ in Portuguese, but don’t let it be that you’re sorry for missing a great opportunity. Learning a new language can only enrich your life, and could even open doors towards great opportunities! So don’t wonder if you’ll regret enrolling in PortuguesePod101. It’s the most fun, easy way to learn Portuguese!

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12 Essential Untranslatable Portuguese Words

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Not everything can be translated. The Biblical story of the Tower of Babel tells of a time when all humans stopped speaking the same language to drown in the confusion of different idioms. The conflicts have spread throughout humankind, which has been dissolved into different tribes.

Indeed, communication is full of perils. Speech is the root of every possible human bond and results in building or destroying bridges. Normally, when a message fails to be transmitted, the consequences aren’t good.

This effort to translate is hard enough in daily matters. But what about the untranslatable Portuguese words and those of other languages?

The benefits of learning untranslatable Portuguese words may not be obvious at first sight, but they exist. For one, it’s a good way to learn more about the culture of the target country and to understand more about the native speakers’ mindset.

That’s why you’re about to grow as a student with the help of a brand-new list of untranslatable Portuguese words from PortuguesePod101!

Disclaimer

The following words will be presented with a literal translation, which could also be properly called an approximate meaning. Because these are Portuguese words with no English equivalent, right? But we’ll do our best to communicate the actual meaning after the literal translation to make it as precise as possible.

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Table of Contents

  1. Saudade
  2. Fado
  3. Gostosa
  4. Tapioca
  5. Oca
  6. Xodó
  7. Desbundar
  8. Cafuné
  9. Ouvido e orelha
  10. Anteontem
  11. Cadê
  12. Caprichar
  13. How PortuguesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Untranslatable Words in Portuguese

1. Saudade

Best Ways to Learn

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

Feelings of nostalgia and longing for something, someone, or some situation. Normally, these are melancholy feelings, but can also carry joyful undertones.

Example Situations:

To long for a dead relative; missing a childhood object; to miss an ex-partner (or the feelings you felt toward them); to yearn to go back in time to a situation.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Sinto saudade dela.
    “I miss her.”
  • Que saudades da casa da minha infância…
    “Oh, how I long for the house of my childhood…”

When it comes to words often used together with this term, people usually “have” saudade or “feel” saudade.

The feeling can also be expressed as a lament with the help of que: Que saudade da casa da minha infância…

Additional Notes:

Some people see this as one of the most beautiful untranslatable Portuguese words. The word is largely employed in lyrical context, which is probably the best context to learn the many ways it can be used.

Saudade ranges from modern Brazilian music from the end of the 1950s (João Gilberto’s Chega de Saudade album) back to the poems of Luís Vaz de Camões (Nascerão Saudades Do Meu Bem, for instance) in the 17th century. These were some of the most important contributions in shaping the pillars of the popular Portuguese idiom that we know today.

Actually, saudade has been present in Portuguese poetry since it began. The medieval cantigas de amigo (“friend songs,” or romantic chivalry lyrics) already used the word to describe the feeling of maidens left behind by their knights to die in battles.

So, if you search well enough, you may draw the conclusion that this is not only a very old and beautiful word, but also one of the most popular untranslatable words in Portuguese.

2. Fado

José Malhoa’s painting “Fado” (1910) depicts a working class Portuguese couple in a moment of artistic contemplation.

Literal Translation:

“Fate”

Meaning:

Besides being a less popular translation for “fate,” fado is the name of a popular melancholic Portuguese music genre.

Example Situation:

The most common use of fado is in fado lyrics, such as Tudo isto é fado by poet Aníbal Nazaré, and it was made famous by the voice of Portuguese singer Amália Rodrigues:

Almas vencidas/Noites perdidas/Sombras bizarras(…)/Amor ciúme/Cinzas e lume/Dor e pecado/Tudo isto existe/Tudo isto é triste/Tudo isto é fado(… )

“Beaten souls/Lost nights/Bizarre shadows(…)/Love jealousy/Cinders and lights/Pain and sin/All this exists/All this is sad/All this is fado(…)”

Usage in a Sentence:

Fado can be used with and without musical context, though the latter is much less common.
When the word is used in lyrics, it can depict both the song genre and fate, depending on the situation.

Additional Notes:

Exposure to fado singers’ and instrumentalists’ works will not only lead you to find popular poetry and more interesting untranslatable Portuguese idioms. It will also present to you the unique universe of Moorish and European musical expression and instruments, blended into Portugal’s modern musical pride.

Also, you’ll certainly find some of the most beautiful Portuguese words and phrases we need in English.

3. Gostosa

Literal Translation:

“Tasty”

Meaning:

To use gostosa is similar to using “hot” to describe an attractive woman. It can also be used for men, adapted to gostoso.

Example Situation:

Gostosa is an adjective and one of the funny untranslatable Portuguese words on this list. But as you may have imagined, to call someone “tasty” can be perceived as very vulgar by the person receiving the compliment.

An example situation for the appropriate use of this word would be in a context of informality and intimacy. It’s sexy talk. For instance, if used during flirting, gostosa normally would not be employed to establish first impressions—don’t be a jerk.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Já te disseram que você é bem gostosa?
    “Did someone ever tell you that you’re very hot?”

4. Tapioca

Bubble Tea with Tapioca Balls

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

It’s a type of edible flour made of manioc, but the word is normally used to describe a fine pancake recipe prepared with this flour and various types of fillings.

Example Situation:

Tapioca is a noun, which means it can be qualified by adjectives. The most common ones for an interested gourmand would be doce or salgado (“sweet” or “salted”), since these are the flavors offered when ordering one.

Despite the choice of fillings, there aren’t many ways to prepare tapioca: mostly, it’s fried (frita) in a pan without oil. But you might find other ways to serve it, since it’s growingly incorporated into other plates and candies. For instance: dadinho de tapioca (“little tapioca dice” ) or sorvete de tapioca (“tapioca ice cream”).

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Esta tapioca com manteiga está deliciosa, mas prefiro com recheio doce.
    “This buttered tapioca is delicious, but I’d rather eat one with a sweet filling.”

Additional Notes:

This isn’t one of the hard Portuguese words to learn or use. Indeed, rather than learning this example of untranslatable Brazilian Portuguese words, you’re probably better off tasting a sample of tapioca! To savor it is also untranslatable…

This Brazilian delicacy is a native dish and very popular in the Northern and Northeastern regions of the country. In the time of colonization, it was fed to the slaves and also served as food for settlers. Presently, it’s a “trendy” option for snacks and sandwiches among gym enthusiasts, since it can be prepared as a very thin yet consistent and energetic pancake, and filled with “healthy” ingredients.

5. Oca

A Photo of the Oca Building by Niemeyer

Niemeyer’s Oca building is inspired by primordial native constructions

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

An indigenous dwelling made out of wood and vegetable fibers—typically found in Brazil.

Don’t confuse this word with the Portuguese translation for “hollow,” which is pronounced “oh-kah.” The word in question here should be pronounced with an “open o” (like in the word “rock”).

Example Situation:

Consisting of three letters, this is probably one of the least hard Portuguese words to learn from this list. It’s normally employed in native contexts.

Usage in a Sentence:

The word is typically used to describe indigenous houses, and not in connotative manners. A group of ocas can be called an aldeia.

Additional Notes:

The format of an oca is rounded and it can vary in size. To imagine one, you just need to picture a coconut sunken halfway into the ground.

The form of the oca has served as inspiration for modern architectural structures in Brazil. The most famous one is Oscar Niemeyer’s Oca in the Ibirapuera Park, in São Paulo. It’s a museum for small- to medium-sized expositions.

6. Xodó

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

The dearest one; the loved one

Example Situation:

Xodó can be used to refer to different types of people for whom the speaker feels tenderness. Relatives, especially children, can be xodós. For example, a grandson can be a grandmother’s xodó, and vice-versa. Pets, dear objects, and hobbies can be xodós as well.

Finally, this word can also be applied in a dating context as a synonym for a valentine or a dear one.

Usage in a Sentence:

Xodó is a popular example of untranslatable words in Portuguese vocabulary. It should be used in informal register.

An example of the expression’s usage in a dating context is Dominguinhos’ song Xodó, also interpreted by Luiz Gonzaga. This forró singer is among Brazil’s most famous musicians of all time. The chorus of the tune is as follows:

  • Eu só quero um amor/Que acabe o meu sofrer/Um xodó pra mim/Do meu jeito assim/Que alegre o meu viver
    “All I want is a valentine/That will end my suffering/A valentine for me/Just the way I like it/That will lighten up my living”

The term can also refer to the relationship itself, not the valentine.

Other examples outside of the dating context are:

  • Ele tem um xodó tremendo pelo carro.
    “He is tremendously in love with his car.”
    (Note that the “relationship” meaning is employed in this case, but in a connotative manner.)
  • A garotinha era o xodó do professor de História.
    “The little girl was the dearest of the history teacher.”

7. Desbundar

People Drinking at a Party

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

This is one of the most complex untranslatable Portuguese words on this list. Essentially, this verb is equivalent to “dazzle”…but not only that. It also carries behavioral tones that are not encompassed by “dazzle.” For example, desbundar can refer to losing control, becoming inebriated, or taking to deviant sexual behavior.

Finally, to free yourself from social constraints in general can be described as desbundar (the verb) or desbunde (the noun, which is the liberating act itself).

Example Situation:

Someone at a party after their fourth glass of caipirinha is ready to desbundar—if they haven’t already.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Beatriz desbundou de vez após consumir tanta droga.
    “Beatriz has lost track completely after consuming so many drugs.”
  • O turista desbundou quando viu o Rio Amazonas.
    “The tourist was bedazzled by the sight of the Amazonas River.”

Additional Notes:

Desbundar and desbunde are more examples of why untranslatable Portuguese terms are somewhat hard for foreigners to understand fully, even after they learn the general idea. Foreign speakers lack certain cultural information, which is sometimes hard to get.

We’ve already commented on musical and literary repertoire related to other words. In this case, desbunde (in the sense of liberation or losing track of reality) was popularized in the context of the Brazilian dictatorship of the 1960s. That was when desbunde got this sense among artists who were experimenting with cultural norms, sexual liberation, and aesthetic modernization.

8. Cafuné

Literal Translation:

There isn’t one.

Meaning:

Running your fingers through one’s hair

Example Situation:

Though it may seem like a romantic gesture, a cafuné is a normal form of affection in Brazil among friends and relatives. Though it can certainly be used in a romantic context as well.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Vem cá me fazer um cafuné.
    “Come here and give me a cuddle.”

9. Ouvido e orelha

A Man Listening to Something

Literal Translation:

“Ear” and…”ear”

Meaning:

This may come across as something odd.

Ouvido stands for the inner part of the ear (the ducts inside the tiny hole of the ear), whereas orelha is the outer part of the ear—its “structure.”

Example Situation:

Typically, when it comes to hearing something or having pain in the ear, the speaker will refer to the ouvido.

When talking about the physical structure of the ear, the part seen by the eyes, the speaker will talk about orelha.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Vou ao médico, pois estou com dor de ouvido.
    “I’m going to the physician because I feel pain in my ear.”
  • Levei uma bolada na orelha e agora ela está vermelha como um pimentão.
    “They’ve kicked the ball against my ear and now it is red as a pepper.”

Additional Notes:

Someone with large ears is often called orelhas de abano (“fan ears”).

Someone with good hearing skills is considered to have ouvidos de tísico or ouvidos de tuberculoso (both synonyms for “tuberculous ears”).

10. Anteontem

Literal Translation:

“Before yesterday”

Meaning:

It is the day before yesterday.

Example Situation:

Actually, an English speaker can find an equivalent for this word in “ereyesterday.” But since this form is extremely archaic, we consider anteontem to be one of the important untranslatable Portuguese words for new learners.

Anteontem is freely and often used in Portuguese conversations not only in Brazil, but also in Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, and Guiné-Bissau.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Você deveria ter feito a reserva anteontem…
    “You should have done the reservations the day before yesterday…”
  • Ela assistiu um filme terrível anteontem.
    “She watched a terrible movie the day before yesterday.”
  • Aonde todos foram anteontem?
    “Where did everybody go the day before yesterday?”

Other commonly used verbs that go with anteontem are: comer (“to eat”), tocar (“to play”), jogar (“to play”), and the list goes on.

Additional Notes:

Fun fact: This word is an example of linguistic bricolage in Portuguese. It’s the exact combination of antes (“before” ) and ontem (“yesterday”).

11. Cadê

Literal Translation:

“Where is”

Meaning:

This is a subtle example of Brazillian Portuguese words you can’t translate into English. You most certainly can ask where something is in English. But can you do it in one word? Cadê, also known as quede or quedê, is the contraction of “where is” (onde está) in one word—even though onde está doesn’t sound anything close to cadê.

Example Situation:

If you’ve lost something or want to know where someone is, cadê is the word of choice.

Fun fact: In the late 1990s, Cadê was the name of a Brazilian web search engine, similar to Google.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Cadê o chinelo?
    “Where is the flip flop [sandal]?”
  • Cadê Tereza?
    “Where is Tereza?”

Additional Notes:

Actually, quede is the contraction of que é de…? which is an archaic way of asking for something’s whereabouts. Curiously enough, que é de is the exact equivalent to “what became of…?”

Cadê or quedê are preferable to quede, which can also refer to a sports shoe or a golf caddie. Or you can engage in truly untranslatable Portuguese phrases asking where the caddie is: quede o quede?

12. Caprichar

Hot Dog with Mustard

Literal Translation:

“To make it in a whimsical way”

Meaning:

To put effort into something; to execute something well

Example Situation:

This is yet another interesting case of Portuguese words with no English translation. The literal translation of capricho (the noun) would be “whim.” In Portuguese, capricho can also mean “whim,” actually.

But for some reason, the verb caprichar is different. When someone capricha in something, they’re doing it well or at least putting effort into it.

Usage in a Sentence:

  • Este relatório será apresentado ao chefe, então por favor capriche!
    “This report will be presented to the boss, so please make it as good as you can!”
  • Tem como fazer este cachorro-quente bem caprichado?
    “Can you make this hot dog a big and fat one?”

Note that the term has been employed in a connotative manner. A caprichado hot dog would be a big and fat one in the eyes of the speaker. This is what’s expected from the snack for it to be the best possible.

Additional Notes:

As you may have noticed, other forms of words can derive from caprichar. The noun capricho is one of them, and the adjective caprichado is another very common example. Either way, all of these words are often employed in colloquial register rather than formal.

13. How PortuguesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Untranslatable Words in Portuguese

Reasons for Studying

A friendly push can lead a beginner or intermediate speaker to a truly clear path of knowledge. In fact, learning a language alone is usually harder than connecting to other people, teachers, and cultures in the process.

PortuguesePod101 is a database that gathers free resources for Portuguese speakers at every level. Our sections and lessons are organized to guarantee a balanced approach to the content. Untranslatable terms in Portuguese will be easier to learn when you combine formal “classroom” teaching and informal, relaxed articles, podcasts, videos, and other learning tools.

Indeed, the MyTeacher feature is one to behold. This fast-track to fluency will give you guidance, one-on-one contact, and personalized feedback to help you improve your Portuguese skills. You’ll get to learn Portuguese terms we wish existed in English, and many other important cultural traits that are hard to get elsewhere without going abroad.

Get access to a whole new world of knowledge with PortuguesePod101. We’ll give you the tools—you finish the job!

Before you go, let us know in the comments if any of these words were new to you. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Language Learning Tips: How to Avoid Awkward Silences

Avoid Awkward Silences

Yes, even beginners can quickly learn conversational Portuguese well enough to carry on real conversations with native speakers. Of course, beginners won’t be able to carry a conversation the same way they could in their native language. But, just knowing a few tips like which questions to ask to keep a conversation going are all you need to speak and interact with real native speakers! But before we get to specific suggestions, let’s first take a closer look at how having real Portuguese conversations is so vital to your mastery of the language.

Learning to Carry a Conversation is Vital to Mastery of Any Language

Communicating with other people is the very point of language and conversation is almost second nature in our native tongue. For beginners or anyone learning a new language, conversations aren’t easy at all and even simple Portuguese greetings can be intimidating and awkward.

However, there are 3 vital reasons why you should learn conversational Portuguese as quickly as possible:

  • Avoid Awkward Silences: Nothing kills a conversation faster than long periods of awkward silence, so you need practice and specific strategies to avoid them.
  • Improve the Flow of Conversation to Make a Better Impression: When you know what to say to keep a conversation going, communication becomes much easier and you make a better impression on your listener.
  • Master the Language Faster: Nothing will help you learn to speak Portuguese faster and truly master the language than having real conversations with native speakers. Conversations quickly expose you to slang, cultural expressions, and vocabulary that force you to absorb and assimilate information faster than any educational setting—and that’s a great thing!

But how can you possibly have real conversations with real Portuguese people if you are just starting out?

3 Conversation Strategies for Beginners

Conversation

1. Ask Questions to Keep a Conversation Going

For beginners and even more advanced speakers, the key is to learn to ask questions to keep a conversation going. Of course, they can’t be just random questions or else you may confuse the listener. But, by memorizing a few key questions and the appropriate time to use them, you can easily carry a conversation with minimal vocabulary or experience. And remember, the more Portuguese conversations you have, the quicker you will learn and master the language!

2. Learn Core Vocabulary Terms as Quickly as Possible

You don’t need to memorize 10,000’s of words to learn conversational Portuguese. In fact, with just a couple hundred Portuguese words you could have a very basic Portuguese conversation. And by learning maybe 1,000-2,000 words, you could carry a conversation with a native speaker about current events, ordering in restaurants, and even getting directions.

3. Study Videos or Audio Lessons that You Can Play and Replay Again and Again

If you want to know how to carry a conversation in Portuguese, then you need exposure to native speakers—and the more the better. Ideally, studying video or audio lessons is ideal because they provide contextualized learning in your native language and you can play them again and again until mastery.

PortuguesePod101 Makes it Easier and More Convenient Than Ever to Learn Conversational Portuguese

Learning Portuguese

For more than 10 years, PortuguesePod101 has been helping students learn to speak Portuguese by creating the world’s most advanced online language learning system. Here are just a few of the specific features that will help you learn conversational Portuguese fast using our proven system:

  • The Largest Collection of HD Video & Audio Lessons from Real Portuguese Instructors: PortuguesePod101 instructors have created hundreds of video and audio lessons that you can play again and again. And the best part is: They don’t just teach you Portuguese vocabulary and grammar, they are designed to help you learn to speak Portuguese and teach you practical everyday topics like shopping, ordering, etc!
  • Pronunciation Tools: Use this feature to record and compare yourself with native speakers to quickly improve your pronunciation and fluency!
  • 2000 Common Portuguese Words: Also known as our Core List, these 2,000 words are all you need to learn to speak fluently and carry a conversation with a native speaker!

In all, more than 20 advanced learning tools help you quickly build vocabulary and learn how to carry a conversation with native speakers—starting with your very first lesson.

Conclusion

Although it may seem intimidating for a beginner, the truth is that it is very easy to learn conversational Portuguese. By learning a few core vocabulary terms and which questions to ask to keep a conversation going, just a little practice and exposure to real Portuguese conversations or lessons is all it really takes. PortuguesePod101 has created the world’s largest online collection of video and audio lessons by real instructors plus loads of advanced tools to help you learn to speak Portuguese and carry a conversation quickly.

Act now and we’ll also include a list of the most commonly used questions to keep a conversation going so you can literally get started immediately!

How to Start Thinking in Portuguese

Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in Portuguese

Going through Portuguese lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of Portuguese, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in Portuguese. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between Portuguese and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the Portuguese vocabulary word and the tangible object.

start thinking in Portuguese

In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through PortuguesePod101.com.

Create Your Free Lifetime Account and Start Learning the whole Portuguese Language from the Beginning!

1. Surround yourself with Portuguese

Surround Yourself

By surrounding yourself with Portuguese constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a Portuguese radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

One great feature of PortuguesePod101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

2. Learn through observation
learn through observation

Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then Portuguese words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in Portuguese.

PortuguesePod101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach Portuguese.

3. Speak out loud to yourself
talk to yourself

Speaking to yourself in Portuguese not only gets you in the mindset of Portuguese, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

With PortuguesePod101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native Portuguese speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

4. Practice daily

If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but PortuguesePod101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with PortuguesePod101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

Conclusion

Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that PortuguesePod101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

Learn Portuguese With PortuguesePod101 Today!

5 Ways To Improve Your Portuguese Speaking Skills

5 Ways To Improve Your Portuguese Speaking Skills

Speaking is usually the #1 weakness for all Portuguese learners. This is a common issue among language learners everywhere. The reason for this is obvious: When language learners first start learning a language, they usually start with reading. They read online articles, books, information on apps and so on. If they take a class, they spend 20% of their time repeating words, and 80% of the time reading the textbook, doing homework or just listening to a teacher. So, if you spend most of your time reading instead of speaking, you might get better at reading but your speaking skills never grow. You get better at what you focus on.

So if you want to improve you speaking skills, you need to spend more of your study time on speaking. Here are five tips to help you get started:

1. Read out loud
If you’re listening to a lesson and reading along, read out loud. Then re-read and speed up your tempo. Do this again and again until you can speak faster. Try your best to pronounce the words correctly, but don’t obsess about it. Read swiftly, emote and put some inflection on the sentences. Reading aloud helps to train the muscles of your mouth and diaphragm to produce unfamiliar words and sounds.

Read out loud!

2. Prepare things to say ahead of time.
As you may know from experience, most learners run out of things to say. But, if you prepare lines ahead of time, you won’t be at a loss for words in conversations. This will help you not only to learn how to say the words, but how to say them in the right context. A good way to prepare yourself before conversations is with our Top 25 Questions Series, which teaches you how to ask the most common conversational questions, and how to answer them, in Portuguese:

Click here to learn the top 25 Portuguese questions you need to know.

3. Use shadowing (repeat the dialogues as you hear them).
Shadowing is an extremely useful tool for increasing fluency as well as improving your accent and ability to be understood. Shadowing helps create all the neural connections in your brain to produce those words and sentences quickly and accurately without having to think about it. Also, as mentioned in tip #1, shadowing helps develop the muscle memory in all the physical parts responsible for the production of those sounds. Depending on what your primary and target languages are, it’s quite likely that there are a lot of sounds your mouth just isn’t used to producing. Shadowing can be done, for example, when watching TV shows or movies or listening to music.

Each one of our lessons begins with a dialogue. Try to shadow the conversation line by line, and you’ll be mastering it in no time.

Click here to for a FREE taste of our Absolute Beginner series!

4. Review again and again.
This is the key to perfection, and we can’t emphasize it enough. Most learners don’t review! If you review and repeat lines again and again, you’ll be speaking better, faster and with more confidence.

Review again and again

5. DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES!
You’d be surprised by how many people try to avoid talking! The more you speak, the faster you learn – and that is why you’re learning Portuguese. Practice speaking every chance you get: whether it’s ordering coffee, shopping or asking for directions.

Sneak Peek: Review More Portuguese with This Feature, Badges & Your 26% OFF

Click here to get 26% OFF + A FREE Audiobook!

Hello Listener,

You’ll want to know about these 2 new Portuguese learning tools and features. They’re great for reviewing, motivation and progress. One is an unofficial sneak peek.

So what are they? The brand new Achievement Badges and the Word Bank! And… if you want to master Portuguese, unlock our proven learning system at 26% OFF and get a Bonus 6.5-hour Audiobook!

In this month’s newsletter:

  1. 72 Hours Left! Click here to get 26% OFF + FREE 6.5-Hour Audiobook
  2. New Feature! Achievement Badges Now Available for Premium PLUS
  3. Sneak Peek: Save & Review Vocab with this Study Tool


1. Ends Friday! Learn Portuguese with 26% OFF & a FREE Audiobook!
No school. No stress. Learn Portuguese at your pace and start speaking in minutes with effective lessons! ‘Til Friday only, get 26% OFF any 1- or 2-year plan and a BONUS Portuguese Audiobook as a 2-for-1 deal. You get access to 130+ hours of audio and video lessons by teachers, lesson notes, motivational progress stats, apps, study tools and more. Just $2.96/month and up to $62.40 OFF. Hurry! Ends Friday, 8/28/2015!

Click here to learn Portuguese and get 26% OFF. Up to $62.40 in savings.
(The free 6.5-hour Portuguese audiobook will be inside your welcome email)

2. NEW Feature! Learn and Stay Motivated with NEW Achievement Badges
Learning Portuguese? You deserve recognition and motivation. So, if you’re a Premium PLUS member… you can now unlock new badges as your Portuguese improves. Your Premium PLUS teacher will give out badges as you complete weekly assignments. The result? You master more Portuguese, unlock badges for your progress, and stay motivated to keep going.

Click here to learn about the Premium PLUS Achievement Badges!

3. Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Newly Redesigned Word Bank!
We haven’t fully announced this yet… but here’s a sneak peek! The Word Bank – your personal collection of words and phrases – is better than ever. What’s new? First, a shiny new design. You can sort and manage your vocab and phrases with custom labels. And feel free to print out your entries as physical study material or export them as files! Not a Premium member? Take advantage of the 26% discount by Friday.

Premium Users: Click here to access the New Word Bank!
(Note: You must be logged in to access this)

To your fluency,
Team PortuguesePod101

P.S. We’re giving you a BONUS 6.5-Hour Audiobook. Get 26% OFF by Friday!
No school or textbooks necessary to learn Portuguese! In fact, you get a FREE Audiobook when you get 26% OFF any 1- or 2-year plan. Master Portuguese in LESS time with this 2-for-1 deal! Unlock our learning system – over 130 hours of audio and video lesson by real teachers and more! Just $2.96/month and up to $62.40 OFF. Hurry! Ends Friday, 8/28/2015!

Ends Friday! Click here to learn Portuguese and Get 26% OFF!
(Your FREE Audiobook will instantly be available in your welcome email)

Click here to get 26% OFF + A FREE Audiobook!

6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

There are plenty of destinations where you can get by with English, but sometimes you want to do better than just ‘get by’. Here are 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination.

What are the 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination?

1. You will be able to discover your destination better than other tourists.
Getting by is one thing, but actually experiencing a trip abroad is quite another. No amount of guidebooks and online research can compensate for a basic lack of language ability. Speaking the language of your destination permits you to explore that destination beyond the regular tourist traps. Your language skills will not only allow you to dig into all the hidden gems of your destination, but they will also allow you to mingle with the locals to get a true experience on your holiday. Think of it this way: you’re not restricted to talking to the people at the tourist desk anymore.

2. Knowing how to communicate with local police or medical personnel can be life-saving.
Before you leave for your destination, make sure you learn how to ask for help in that destination’s local tongue. Do you know how to ask the waiter if this dish has peanuts in it? Or tell your host family that you’re allergic to fish? Can you tell the local doctor where it hurts? Moreover, an awareness of an environment improves your chance of remaining safe inside it. For example, walking around a busy marketplace, dazzled by an unfamiliar language, signs and accents will instantly render any tourist a more attractive mark for pickpockets. Communicating with other people, asking questions and looking confident will make you look like a semi-local yourself, and will ward off potential thieves.

Click here for Portuguese Survival Phrases that will help you in almost every situation

3. It helps you relax.
Traveling is much less stressful when you understand what that announcement at the airport was saying, or if this bus line reaches your hotel. These things stress you out when traveling and they disappear when you understand the language. This allows you to focus on planning your trip in a better, easier way.

Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.

4. Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.
Sometimes those relationships turn into friendships, and other times they’re nothing more than a lively conversation. Either way, as Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” When you approach someone – even staff at a store or restaurant – with English, rather than their own language, an invisible divide has already been erected. Making even a small effort to communicate in the language of the place you’re visiting can go a long way and you’ll find many more doors open up to you as a result.

Click here for the Top 25 Portuguese Questions you need to know to start a conversation with anyone

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

5. You’ll be a better ambassador for your country.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we know very little about other countries and cultures, especially the local politics. And what we do know is often filtered to us by the media, which tends to represent only certain interests. When you can speak the local language, you’re able to answer questions that curious locals have about your country and culture. Are you frustrated with how your country is presented in global news? Are you embarrassed by your country’s leaders and want to make it clear that not everyone is like that where you’re from? This is a very good opportunity to share your story with people who have no one else to ask. We all have a responsibility to be representatives of the place we come from.

6. Learning another language can fend off Alzheimer’s, keep your brain healthy and generally make you smarter.
For more information, check out this blog post about the 5 Benefits of Learning a New Language.