Learning a few Portuguese phrases can really help you if you go to Brazil. The best way to learn is by starting out just listening to it. If you aren't too shy, it would be a good idea to meet a few actual Brazilians in your area and learn by listening to them. Or you can always go to Youtube and look up TV shows. Humor is the hardest to understand. Google "Free Brazil Radio", or "Brazilian TV".

Here are the points that I wished I would have mastered before I did anything else.

For an English speaker to learn Portuguese, there are key sounds to be aware of. Below are the most important sounds to master.
Reading this still won't give you a 100% accurate sound, you will still need to listen to people talking.

ão Ow-n This is a very nasal sound, the n is almost silent
ã Aa Very nasal, like someone is pinching your nose closed.
RR HHr In Rio the Rs are pronounced like a heavy H, it sounds German.(Ich, Ach)
r edeh The quick (one roll) r is used everywhere in Brazil. Similar to Spanish.
S SH in Rio only, this sounds like a heavy German SCH sound.

In Florianópolis, there is a very diverse range of Portuguese accents.
A result of so many Brazilians moving there from out of state.

When reading and writing in Portuguese, remember that it is a phonetic language, meaning that it's spoken and written the same, with a few exceptions. Words like "Obstaculo" (obstical) are actually spoken O-bEE-sta-coo-loo. The reason is because there are no double-consonant sounds in Portuguese. Words like Passport, are very difficult for Brazilians and have to have a vowel added to make it Pass-A-port.

Words with unwritten vowels in Portuguese:

Obstaculo O-bEE-sta-coo-loo Obstical
Tecnologia Teh-kEE-no-low-gia Technology
Significa Sig-EE-nee-fee-ca To mean
Magnetismo Mog-EE-neh-cheez-mu Magnetism
Admite Ad-jEE-mee-chi Admit

Another thing that is universally common is to ommit the final vowel, or mumble it almost inaudibly.
Example: Gordo (Fat) can sometimes sound like "Gord", or even, "Gort".

If you are just getting started speaking portuguese, you might want to find a way to listen to it for a while before you even try to learn by reading. There is a link to a list of Brazilian Television Stations at the bottom of the page. If you'd prefer to learn by reading anyway, it would help you to start by reading the Pronuciation on the far right of the list. Remember, every letter has a different pronunciation than in english, don't assume that you are saying something right if you've only learned by reading. Keep your mind open, and don't filter what you hear into how you think it should be spoken.

Key Tips for Reading in Portuguese

Portuguese Phonetic English Explaination
The M on the end of a word sounds like ng, with the "g" being almost silent.
Lugar Loo -gahhr Place In Rio, The R on the end of a word sounds like a heavy H that trails off into an english R. In other places the H sound isn't as strong.
Coelho Co-ay-lyoo Rabbit An H after L N or M turns into a Y sound.
Estar ih-stahr To be The E on the beginning of a word sounds like the "I" in Win.
de Dinheiro Jee
The D in front of an E or I sounds like a J as in Jet
Ti Chee You The T in front of an I sounds like a CH as in Chips
Cidade See-dah-gee City The E at the end of a word only sounds like Eh if accented ( é ). Otherwise it sounds like EE as in Green, or it can even be silent.
Janeiro Jzah-ney-roo January The J always sounds like the JZ sound in Measure, or Treasure, or Zsa Zsa
Hora O-rah Hour/Time The H is always completely silent.
Brasil Brah - Zeew Brazil The L at the end of a word sounds like a W or an OO sound.
Coração Co-rah-sow-n Heart The ç is the same sound as the S in Sun
Lição Lee-Sow-n Lesson The ão sounds like Ow fading into an N sound.

Masculine or Feminine Nouns

Every noun in Portuguese is either masculine or feminine . Many articles change like "The, One, Two, Your, That" depending on if the noun is masculine or feminine. If it's masculine it usually ends in O and the word used for "The" is "O". Like this: O Homen (The Man).
If the noun is feminine, it usually ends in A and the word used for "The" is "A". Like this: A Garota (The Girl).

  The One Two
Car O Carro Um Carro Dois Carros
Man O Homen Um Homen Dois Homens
Woman A Mulher Uma Mulher Duas Mulheres
House A Casa Uma Casa Duas Casas
Signal O Sinal Um Sinal Dois Sinais
General A Geral Uma Geral Duas Gerais

The First That This
O Primeiro Carro Aquele Carro Esse Carro
O Primeiro Homen Aquele Homen Esse Homen
A Primeira Mulher Aquela Mulher Essa Mulher
A Primeira Casa Aquela Casa Essa Casa
O Primeiro Sinal Aquele Sinal Esse Sinal
A Primeira Geral Aquela Geral Essa Geral

My Your His/Her
Meu Carro Teu Carro Seu Carro
Meu Homen Teu Homen Seu Homen
Minha Mulher Tua Mulher Sua Mulher
Minha Casa Tua Casa Sua Casa
Meu Sinal Teu Sinal Seu Sinal
Minha Geral Tua Geral Sua Geral

Irregular Nouns: A few examples of words that don't follow the common rules.

O Dia The Day
A Tribo The Tribe
O Programa The Program
O Cinema The Movies
O Poema The Poem
O Problema The Problem
A Foto The Photo
O Sistema The System
O Pirata The Pirate
O Fantasma The Ghost
O Grama The Gram
O Mapa The Map
O Samba The Samba
O Turista The Tourist

Another thing to be aware of is that if you are a male, certain states of being are always masculine,
and if you are female, certain states of being are always feminine.
These same states of being should also be used when talking about other people.
Here are a few examples:

Male Speaker Female Speaker English
Obrigado Obrigada Thank You (I'm Obliged)
Estou Cheio Estou Cheia I'm full
Estou Cansado Estou Cansada I'm tired
Estou Zangado Estou Zangada I'm furious
Estou Louco Estou Louca I'm crazy/Angry

Common Brazilian Portuguese Phrases

Hi, how are you
Oi tudo bom?
Oyee Too-doo Bone?
I'm fine
Tudo bem
Too-doo beng
Nice to meet you
Pleasure to meet you
Prazer em te conhecer
Prah-zehr eng chi co-nyeh-sehr
What's up?
Fala ai
Fal-la ah-ee
What is your name?
Qual é seu nome?
Cwaw eh sey-oo no-mee
My name is Mike
Meu nome é Mike / Eu me chamo Mike
Mewu no-me eh Mike / Ewu me sha-mu Mike
See you later
Até mais
Ah-tey mai-ss
What time is it?
Que horas são?
Ki o-das sowm
Where are you from?
Da onde você é?
Dah own-jeh vo-say eh
How old are you?
Quantos anos você tem?
Cwan-toes ahn-yoz vo-say teng
I am hungry
To com fome
Tow cowng foe-me
Thank You
Obrigado, Obrigada
O-bree-gah-doo, O-bree-gah-dah
Do you speak english?
Você fala inglês?
Vo-seh fal-la ing-leyss
I do (speak)
Do you know anyone that speaks english?
Você conhece algém que fala inglês?
Vo-seh cone-yessy al-gang key fah-la ing-lace
Where is the bathroom?
Cadé o banheiro?
Kah-deh oo bahn-yay-roo
I like it here
Eu gosto da aqui
Ehwu gos-too dah ah-ki
I like this place
Gostei desse lugar
Go-stey dessy loogahr
I am fine
Eu estou bem
Ehwu ess-tow beng
How are you?
Como você esta? Tudo bem?
Co-moe vo-seh ess-tah? toodoo beng?
I don't speak very well
Eu não falo muito bem
Ehwu nawm fall-o moo-een-too beng
If I go now, I'll be there in 15 minutes.
Se eu for agora, estarei aí em quinze minutos
See - ehwu fohr ah-go-ra es-ta-ray eng keen-zee mee-noo-toos
What are you doing?
O que você está fazendo?
Ta fazendo o que?
Oo ki vo-seh ess-tah fah-zen-doo
Tah fah-zen-doo oo kay?
Whoever you are
Seja você quem for
Say-zjah vo-seh cayn fohr
I am from New York
Eu sou de Nova Iorque
Ehwu sow dah No-vah Ee-or-kee
Wasn't Mike supposed to be here
Não era para o Mike estar aqui?
Nawm eda pah-rah oo Mike ess-tahr ah-ki
Thank you very much
Muito Obrigado
Moo-een-too O-bree-gah-doo | da
Do you want more?
Quer Mais?
keyhr my-ss
Yes, I'd like more

Portuguese Learning Resources

Try listening to these Brazilians talking on live TV, don't worry if you don't understand it, just listen closely to the sounds they are making, try to immitate the sounds that are different to you. The more you work on the sounds that sound "weird" to you, the better your accent will be.

Brazilian Television Stations

Exellent way of learning Portugese, just by listening for a few minutes everyday.

Brazilian Culture
Rio de Janeiro

Special Thanks to Gustavo Damiani & Family, Bruno Marins & Family and Heid Benati & Family

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