How to Say Portuguese in Portuguese

When it comes to learning a new language, it’s essential to start with the basics. One of the fundamental things you’ll need to know is how to say the name of the language itself. In this guide, we’ll explore different ways to say “Portuguese” in Portuguese, including formal and informal variations. While there are some regional differences, we’ll primarily focus on the standard Portuguese spoken in Portugal and Brazil.

Formal Ways to Say Portuguese

To say “Portuguese” formally in Portuguese, you can use the word “português.” The pronunciation is pohr-too-GEZH, with the emphasis on the last syllable. This term is widely understood in Portuguese-speaking countries, and you can use it in various contexts.


  • “Eu estou aprendendo português.” (I am learning Portuguese.)
  • “O português é uma língua bonita.” (Portuguese is a beautiful language.)
  • “A cultura portuguesa é rica.” (Portuguese culture is rich.)

Informal Ways to Say Portuguese

If you want to sound more colloquial or informal, you can use the term “portuga” to refer to the Portuguese language. Pronounced pohr-TOO-gah, this term is widely used in Brazil and Portugal, particularly in casual conversations or among friends.


  • “Eu falo português e um pouco de portuga também.” (I speak Portuguese and a bit of “portuga” as well.)
  • “Você gosta de ouvir músicas em portuga?” (Do you like listening to songs in Portuguese?)

Regional Variations

While “português” and “portuga” are generally understood throughout the Portuguese-speaking world, including Portugal, Brazil, and several other countries, some regional variations exist. Here are a few examples:

1. Brazil:

In Brazil, the term “brasileiro” is sometimes used instead of “português” to refer to the Portuguese language. While “brasileiro” typically means “Brazilian,” it can also be used to denote the language spoken in Brazil. However, this usage is more common when differentiating Brazilian Portuguese from European Portuguese.

2. Cape Verde:

In Cape Verde, a former Portuguese colony, “crioulo” is sometimes used to refer to the Portuguese language. Cape Verdean Creole, known as “crioulo cabo-verdiano,” is widely spoken in addition to Portuguese. This usage helps distinguish between the two languages.

Tips for Saying Portuguese in Portuguese

Here are a few tips to help you perfect your pronunciation of the word “português” and “portuga”:

  1. When saying “português,” remember to emphasize the last syllable, “GEZH.”
  2. Practice the Portuguese nasal sounds by pronouncing the “eu” in “português.” It should sound like “euh” with a slight nasal tone.
  3. If possible, try listening to native speakers pronounce the word “português” to imitate their pronunciation accurately.

Fun Fact: The word “português” comes from the Latin word “portus” (port) and the suffix “-uense,” meaning “inhabitant.” It originally referred to the people living near the Portus Cale, present-day Portugal. Over time, it evolved to represent the language spoken by the Portuguese people.

Learning how to say “Portuguese” in Portuguese is an excellent starting point for your language journey. Whether you use the formal “português” or the informal “portuga,” you’ll now be able to refer to the language with confidence. Remember to consider regional variations when engaging with Portuguese speakers from different countries, and keep practicing your pronunciation to improve your language skills. Boa sorte (good luck) in your Portuguese learning!

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