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Lesson Transcript

Hello and welcome to Portuguese Survival Phrases brought to you by PortuguesePod101.com, this course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Brazil. You will be surprised at how far a little Portuguese will go.
Now, before we jump in, remember to stop by PortuguesePod101.com and there, you will find the accompanying PDF and additional info in the post. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.

Lesson focus

Today we'll cover basic greetings for the appropriate time of day. As there are quite a few to cover, let's jump right in.
There is one expression that you can use as a universal greeting. That phrase is Tudo Bem.
Let’s break it down by syllable: Tudo Bem
Now let's hear it again full speed: Tudo Bem
The first word, tudo, means "everything."
So let's break down this word and hear it one more time: tudo
This we follow with bem, which in Portuguese is "well." So the whole phrase is "Is everything well?"
Tudo Bem
And Tudo Bem
The nice thing about this greeting is that the correct response is tudo bem. It's a question and answer: Tudo bem? Tudo bem.
Next, we have "Good morning," which in Portuguese is bom dia. The first word, bom, means "good." This we follow by dia, which in Portuguese is "day." So, bom and dia become bom dia, and that means "Good morning."
In Portuguese, "Good afternoon" is boa tarde. The first word, boa, means "good," just as the word bom does for bom dia. This is that gender agreement I spoke of in the lesson on "please." Bom and boa are actually the same word only one is masculine and the other is feminine. We follow this with tarde, which in Portuguese means "afternoon."
So boa tarde means "Good afternoon."
And finally, we have the evening greeting, which in Portuguese is boa noite.
Boa noite.
And one time fast: boa noite.
The first word, boa, is the same boa from boa tarde, which not surprisingly, still means "good" and is followed by noite, which in English means "night." So, we have boa noite.
All together, boa noite.
Luckily, Brazil doesn't have special greetings for the workplace or other, more formal situations. It is common to greet your colleagues, superiors, and clients with the standard tudo bem, bom dia, boa tarde, or boa noite as you see fit. We sow degrees of respect in the same ways as English: tone of voice, word choice, clarity of pronunciation, and the occasional title. I've said this in a previous lesson, and I'll say it again: Brazilians are extremely expressive vocally, and being honest and positive about your emotions is important in their culture.
Another greeting that doesn't really fall into any category but is extremely common for Brazilians to use is Como vai? which translates to "How are you?" Como vai? is a casual phrase and has almost the exact same feeling and usage patterns as "How are you?" The first word is como, which means "how." The next word is vai, which means "go" or "goes." So, the whole phrase all together is Como vai? or "How are you?"
Cultural Insights
So, just some quick cultural and usage notes on these greetings.
First, tudo bem is a question, and questions in Portuguese are formed by simply raising your voice at the end of the sentence. For example, tudo bem? with a rising sound means "Is everything well?" and tudo bem with a flat or falling sound means "Everything is well." Just raise your voice to make it a question, and leave it flat or falling for statements. The only exceptions are when you use question words like:
que ("what")
como ("how")
onde ("where")
quem ("who")
quando ("when")
por que? ("why")
These words indicate questions, and therefore, don't need the raised voice.
For example, with Como vai? we just learned you don't raise your voice because the como is already present.
Como vai? (with rising tone) sounds funny, sounds odd.


Okay, to close out this lesson, we'd like you to practice what you've just learned. I'll provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you're responsible for saying it aloud. You have a few seconds before I give you the answer, so boa sorte!
"Is everything well?" - Tudo bem?
Tudo bem?
Tudo bem?
"Good morning." - Bom dia.
Bom dia.
Bom dia.
"Good afternoon." - Boa tarde.
Boa tarde.
Boa tarde.
"Good evening." or “Good night.” - Boa noite.
Boa noite.
Boa noite.
Alright, that's going to do it for today. Remember to stop by PortuguesePod101.com and pick up the accompanying PDF and additional info in the post. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.