Rick Steves Portuguese Phrase Book and Dictionary


By Rick Steves

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$12.99 CAD



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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 17, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Olá! From ordering vinho verde in the Douro Valley to making new friends in Lisbon, it helps to speak some of the native tongue in Portugal. Rick Steves offers well-tested Portuguese words and phrases that come in handy in a variety of situations. Inside you’ll find:
  • Key phrases for use in everyday circumstances, complete with phonetic spelling
  • An English-Portuguese and Portuguese-English dictionary
  • Tips for small talk and local lingo with Rick’s signature sense of humor
  • A tear-out cheat sheet for continued language practice as you relax on the beach (no internet connection required!)
Informative, concise, and practical, Rick Steves Portuguese Phrase Book & Dictionary is an essential item for any traveler’s pocket.


Hi, I’m Rick Steves.

I’m the only monolingual speaker I know who’s had the nerve to design a series of European phrase books. But that’s one of the things that makes them better.

You see, after 30 summers of travel through Europe, I’ve learned first-hand: (1) what’s essential for communication in another country, and (2) what’s not. I’ve assembled the most important words and phrases in a logical, no-frills format, and I’ve worked with native Europeans and seasoned travelers to give you the simplest, clearest translations possible.

But this book is more than just a pocket translator. The words and phrases have been carefully selected to help you have a smarter, smoother trip in Portugal. The key to getting more out of every travel dollar is to get closer to the local people, and to rely less on enter-tainment, restaurants, and hotels that cater only to foreign tourists. This book will not only help you order a meal at a locals-only Lisbon restaurant—it will help you talk with the family who runs the place . . . about their kids, social issues, travel dreams, and favorite música. Long after your memories of museums have faded, you’ll still treasure the personal encounters you had with your new Iberian friends.

A good phrase book should help you enjoy your Iberian experience—not just survive it—so I’ve added a healthy dose of humor. A few phrases are just for fun and aren’t meant to be used at all. Most of the phrases are for real and should be used with “please” (por favor). I know you can tell the difference.

To get the most out of this book, take the time to internalize and put into practice my Portuguese pronunciation tips. Don’t worry too much about memorizing grammatical rules, like the gender of a noun—the important thing is to communicate!

This book has a handy dictionary and a nifty menu decoder. You’ll also find tongue twisters, international words, telephone tips, and a handy tear-out “cheat sheet.” Tear it out and keep it in your pocket, so you can easily memorize key phrases during otherwise idle moments. As you prepare for your trip, you may want to read the most recent edition of my Rick Steves Portugal guidebook.

The Portuguese speak less English than their European neighbors. But while the language barrier may seem a little higher, the locals are happy to give an extra boost to any traveler who makes an effort to communicate.

My goal is to help you become a more confident, extroverted traveler. If this phrase book helps make that happen, or if you have suggestions for making it better, I’d love to hear from you. I personally read and value all feedback.

Happy travels,

Getting Started


...is your passport to Europe’s bargain basement. For its wonderful pricetag, you’ll enjoy piles of fresh seafood, brilliant sunshine, and local character that often feels decades behind the rest of Europe. With its Old World charm comes a bigger language barrier than you’ll find elsewhere in Europe. A phrase book is of greater value here than anywhere else in western Europe.

Here are a few tips on pronouncing Portuguese words:

C usually sounds like C in cat.

But C followed by E or I sounds like S in sun.

Ç sounds like S in sun.

CH sounds like SH in shine.

G usually sounds like G in go.

But G followed by E or I sounds like S in treasure.

H is silent.

J sounds like S in treasure.

LH sounds like LI in billion.

NH sounds like NI in onion.

R is trrrilled.

S can sound like S in sun (at the beginning of a word),

Z in zoo (between vowels), or SH in shine.

SS sounds like S in sun.

Portuguese vowels:

A can sound like A in father or A in sang.

E can sound like E in get, AY in play, or I in wish.

É sounds like E in get.

Ê sounds like AY in play.

I sounds like EE in seed.

O can sound like O in note, AW in raw, or OO in moon.

Ô and OU sound like O in note.

U sounds like OO in moon.

When you’re speaking a Romance language, sex is unavoidable. A man is simpático (friendly), a woman is simpática. In this book, we show bisexual words like this: simpático[a]. If you’re speaking of a female (which includes females speaking about themselves), use the a ending. It’s always pronounced “ah.” A word that ends in r, such as cantor (singer), will appear like this: cantor[a]. A cantora is a female singer. A word ending in e, such as interessante (interesting), applies to either sex.

Adjectives agree with the noun. A clean room is a quarto limpo, a clean towel is a toalha limpa. Quartos limpos have toalhas limpas. You’ll be quizzed on this later.

If a word ends in a vowel, the Portuguese usually stress the second-to-last syllable. Words ending in a consonant are stressed on the last syllable. To override these rules, the Portuguese add an accent mark (such as ´, ~, or ^) to the syllable that should be stressed, like this: rápido (fast) is pronounced rah-pee-doo.

Just like French, its linguistic buddy, Portuguese has nasal sounds. A vowel followed by either n or m or topped with a ~ (such as ã or õ) is usually nasalized. In the phonetics, nasalized vowels are indicated by an underlined n or w. As you say the vowel, let its sound come through your nose as well as your mouth.

Here are the phonetics for nasal vowels:

ayn nasalize the AY in day.
ohn nasalize the O in bone.
oon nasalize the O in moon.
ow nasalize the OW in now.

Some words have only a slight nasal sound. To help you pronounce these words, I add an ng or n in the phonetics: sim (meaning “yes”) is pronounced seeng, and muito (meaning “very”) like mween-too.

Here’s a quick guide to the rest of the phonetics used in this book:

a like A in sang.
ah like A in father.
ay like AY in play.
ee like EE in seed.
eh like E in get.
ehr sounds like “air.”
g like G in go.
i like I in hit.
ī like I in light.
o like AW in raw.
oh like O in note.
oo like OO in moon.
or like OR in core.
ow like OW in now.
oy like OY in toy.
s like S in sun.
zh like S in treasure.

Too often tourists insist on speaking Spanish to the Portuguese. Your attempts at Portuguese will endear you to the locals. And if you throw in “por favor” (please) whenever you can, you’ll eat better, sleep easier, and make friends faster.

Portuguese Basics

Meeting and Greeting



How Much?

How Many?


Struggling with Portuguese

Handy Questions

Yin and Yang

Big Little Words

Perfectly Portuguese Expressions

Portuguese / English Dictionary

English / Portuguese Dictionary

In 1917, according to legend, the Virgin Mary visited Fatima using only these phrases.

Meeting and Greeting
Hello. Olá. oh-lah
Good morning. Bom dia. bohn dee-ah
Good afternoon. Boa tarde. boh-ah tar-deh
Good evening. / Good night. Boa noite. boh-ah noy-teh
Welcome! Bem-vindo[a]!* behm-veen-doo
Mr. Senhor sin-yor
Mrs. Senhora sin-yoh-rah
Miss Menina meh-nee-nah
How are you? Como está? koh-moo ish-tah
Very well. Muito bem. mween-too bayn
Thank you. (said by a male) Obrigado. oh-bree-gah-doo
Thank you. (said by a female) Obrigada. oh-bree-gah-dah
And you? (formal / informal) E você? / E tú? ee voh-say / ee too

* Males use the “o” ending (Bem-vindo) when speaking; females use the “a” ending (Bem-vinda).

My name is ___. Chamo-me ___. shah-moo-meh
What’s your name? Como se chama? koh-moo seh shah-mah
Pleased to meet you. Prazer em conhecer. prah-zehr ayn kohn-yeh-sehr
Where are you from? De onde é que você é? deh ohn-deh eh keh voh-say eh
I am / We are / Are you...? Estou / Estamos / Estás...? ish-toh / ish-tah-moosh / ish-tash
...on vacation ...de férias deh feh-ree-ahsh
...on business ...em negócios ayn neh-gos-ee-oosh
So long! Até logo! ah-teh log-oo
Goodbye. Adeus. ah-deh-oosh
Good luck! Boa sorte! boh-ah sor-teh
Have a good trip! Boa-viagem! boh-ah-vee-ah-zhayn

The Portuguese say “Bom dia” (Good morning) until noon, “Boa tarde” (Good afternoon) until dark, and “Boa noite” (Good evening) after dark. In Portugal, a woman who looks over 35 years old is addressed as senhora, younger than 35 as menina. Good luck.

Hello. Olá. oh-lah
Do you speak English? Fala inglês? fah-lah een-glaysh
Yes. / No. Sim. / Não. seeng / now
I don’t speak Portuguese. Não falo português. now fah-loo poor-too-gaysh
I’m sorry. (said by a male) Desculpe. dish-kool-peh
I’m sorry. (said by a female) Desculpa. dish-kool-pah
Please. Por favor. poor fah-vor
Thank you. Obrigado[a]. oh-bree-gah-doo
It’s (not) a problem. (Não) á problema. (now) ah proo-blay-mah
Good / Great / Excellent. Óptimo / Muito bom / Exelente. ot-tee-moo / mween-too bohn / ehsh-eh-layn-teh
You are very kind. É muito simpatico[a]. eh mween-too seeng-pah-tee-koo
Excuse me. (to pass) Com licença. kohn li-sehn-sah
Excuse me. (to get attention) Desculpe[a]. dish-kool-peh
It doesn’t matter. Não faz mal. now fahsh mahl
You’re welcome. De nada. deh nah-dah
Sure. Claro. klah-roo
O.K. Está bem. ish-tah bayn
Let’s go. Vamos. vah-moosh
Goodbye. Adeus. ah-deh-oosh
Where is...? Onde é que é...? ohn-deh eh keh eh
...the tourist information office ...a informação turistica ah een-for-mah-sow too-reesh-tee-kah
...the train station ...a estação de comboio ah ish-tah-sow deh kohn-boy-yoo
...the bus station ...a terminal das camionetas ah tehr-mee-nahl dahsh kahm-yoo-neh-tahsh
...a cash machine


On Sale
Sep 17, 2019
Page Count
280 pages
Rick Steves

Rick Steves

About the Author

Since 1973, Rick Steves has spent about four months a year exploring Europe. His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. Rick produces a best-selling guidebook series, a public television series, and a public radio show, and organizes small-group tours that take over 30,000 travelers to Europe annually.  He does all of this with the help of more than 100 well-traveled staff members at Rick Steves’ Europe in Edmonds, WA (near Seattle). When not on the road, Rick is active in his church and with advocacy groups focused on economic and social justice, drug policy reform, and ending hunger. To recharge, Rick plays piano, relaxes at his family cabin in the Cascade Mountains, and spends time with his son Andy and daughter Jackie. Find out more about Rick at http://www.ricksteves.com and on Facebook.

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