Asking for Directions – Essential Portuguese Vocabulary List

It’s so easy to get lost in a big city. Even if we know exactly where we are, we could still have no idea how to get to a certain restaurant, pharmacy, or post office. Though a map can be quite helpful, it requires time and patience.

If you happen to be in Brazil, why not practice your Brazilian Portuguese skills by speaking with the locals while you get the directions you need to reach your destination? Brazilian people are very friendly and hospitable; they will be delighted to help you.

Here are some terms you need to know in order to be able to understand their explanations:

Asking for Directions
Phrase in Portuguese Phrase in English Pronunciation
Onde é …? Where is…? Ond-jee eh…?
Estou perdido. I’m lost. Esh-toe pehr-djee-du
Rua Street Roo-ah
Quarteirão Block Koo-ahr-tey-roum
Norte North Nor-tee
Sul South Sool
Este East Esh-tee
Oeste West Oh-esh-tee
Mapa Map Mah-pah
Vá em frente. Walk straight ahead. Vah eim fren-teh
Vire à direita. Turn right. Vee-reh ah djee-rey-tah
Vire à esquerda. Turn left. Vee-reh ah esh-kehr-dah
Próximo Next Proh-see-mu
É uma emergência! It’s an emergency! Eh um-ah eh-mergen-cee-ah
Hospital Hospital Osh-pi-tal
Correios Post office Cohr-rey-oosh
Ponto de táxi Cab stand Pon-toh djee ta-xi
Qual a distância até…? How far is…? Kooahl ah dish-tan-cee-ah ah-teh?
Páre por favor… Please stop… Pah-ree pohr fah-vor
Esquina Corner Esh-kee-nah
Endereço Address En-deh-reh-su
Restaurante Restaurant Rehs-tah-ooh-ran-teh
Delegacia Police station De-leh-gah-cee-ah
Hotel Hotel Hoh-tel
Pousada Inn/guesthouse Poe-sah-dah
Estação Station Esh-tah-saum
Em frente ao/à… In front of (masc./fem.)… Eim fren-tee au/ah
Atrás… Behind… Ah-trahsh
Semáforo Traffic light She-mah-foh-ru
Entre…e… Between…and… En-treh…e…
Cruzamento Crossing point Croo-zah-men-tu

Slang/Commonly Used Expressions:

Expression in Brazilian Portuguese Expression in English Pronunciation
Onde posso encontrar um taxi? Where can I get a taxi? On-djee poh-su en-con-trahr um ta-xi?
Para onde você quer ir? Where do you want to go? Pah-ra on-djee voh-she kehr eer?
Qual o melhor caminho para a farmácia? What’s the best way to the pharmacy? Koal ooh mehl-lohr cah-meen-nu pah-rah ah fahr-mah-cee-ah?