Vamos Falar PortuguÍs - Let's Speak Portuguese

It's a great feeling to be able to speak even a couple of simple words with people from a completely different culture when we travel. But unfortunately the language of that country usually stands in front of us like a big barrier. Nevertheless, we don't think that you'll have much difficulties in Brazil as the Brazilians not only are friendly and warm-hearted, but they also like to communicate with others and when they are not able to express themselves with words, they love to use signs and corporal language until they make themselves understood, exceeding the language barrier.

Portuguse is spoken in all continents, especially in Brazil, Portugal, Angola and some regions of China and India by approximately 250 million people. This language which is from the Latin branch of Indo-European languages is somewhat similar to Spanish, Italian and even French.

It is not too hard to pronounce Brazilian Portuguese. The Portuguese alphabet, which consists of 26 letters, the letters k, w, and y do not exist. Below you'll find a list of letters pronounced in a different way from English:  


a as in car


k, sh or s, depending on the following letter

ca, co, cu

k as in car, coal or cue

ce, ci

s (se, si) as in september or sick


sh as in shift




ji as in jingle

gue, gui

ge, gi as in gay, giggle


h, in the begginning of a word is not pronounced


ee,as in eel


Please be careful! j is not pronounced like h as in Spanish, but as j as in English


At the end of a word, read like u


In the beginning or end of a word s, in the middle z


X might be pronounced as s, sh or ks, there's no rule


Accents: In Portuguese, many vowels have accents on them (ie. Š, ť, Ű, „). These accents open (´), close (^) or nasalize (~) the vowel they are used with.

You'll find a simple glossary of words that might be useful during your trip to Brazil and hear how these words are pronounced in the following pages.

Tip: You might think that you'll get around speaking Spanish but please remember, the Brazilians don't like to be spoken to in Spanish as they have difficulties in understanding this language although Spanish and Portuguese are similar.