So, you're probably not going to be able to pick up Portuguese before the Olympic Games kick off next month in Rio. But there are a few essential and easy-to-learn words you can add to your vocabulary so you can feel just a tad more Brazilian.
Rio de Janeiro's nickname is Cidade Maravilhosa, or, the Marvelous City. Maravilhosa is an easy way to say "fantastic". And if you get tongue-tied, downshift to the shortened and more colloquial mara.
Believe it or not, this is how Brazilians say "cool"!
Por Favor (pohr faw-VOHR)
Just like in Spanish, por favor means please in Brazil. The only difference is that Brazilians pronounce their “r" more like an “h," ending with a lighter touch than Spanish speakers.
"Thank you" in Brazil changes depending on the speaker's gender. If you're a man, you say obrigado, and if you're a woman, you say obrigada.
Gelado means "cold" in Portuguese, which comes up a lot because Brazilians care a lot about having super-chilled drinks. To ask for an ice-cold Coke, add a bem (BAYM) to the beginning, as in: Uma agua bem gelada, por favor. ("An ice-cold water, please.")
Tudo Bem (too-doh BAYM)
This phrase is a catch-all Brazilians use every day. Asked as a question it means “All good?" or “How are you?" Said as a statement it translates to “No worries."
This is the Brazilian way of saying, “Excuse me." Literally, it means, “Give me license." It's simple and, if said politely, will ease any interaction.
Similar to tudo bem, joia can be used as a question or as a statement to mean, “All good?" What's different about joia is that it also comes with a hand symbol: a thumbs up, which you'll see used all around Brazil as a showing of goodwill.
The iconic Portuguese word that doesn't really translate, saudade captures a sense of longing, of missing something fondly, as in “I feel so much saudade for Rio after my trip."
Brazilians have never been called unaffectionate, and this words captures that. Beijos literally means “kisses," and it's how Brazilians say goodbye in emails or on the phone – even Brazilians you might not know very well!