Guide: How to Say “How to Say This in Portuguese” in Portuguese

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to ask someone how to say a specific phrase or word in Portuguese, it’s great to have a handy guide to help you out. In this guide, we will explore how to express the idea of “how to say this in Portuguese” in both formal and informal ways. We’ll also provide regional variations when necessary and offer plenty of tips and examples to assist you in your language learning journey. Let’s dive in!

Formal Ways to Say “How to Say This in Portuguese”

When you are speaking formally or addressing someone in a respectful manner, you can use the following phrases to ask about translations:

1. Como se diz isso em português?

This is the most common and straightforward way to ask “How do you say this in Portuguese?” The phrase “como se diz” means “how do you say,” and “isso” means “this.” This neutral and formal form is suitable for most situations.

Example: Excuse me, could you please tell me how to say “thank you” in Portuguese? – Com licença, você poderia me dizer como se diz “obrigado” em português?

2. Poderia me ajudar com a tradução dessa palavra?

If you prefer a slightly more elaborate approach, you can use this phrase. It translates to “Could you help me with the translation of this word?” and conveys a polite request for assistance.

Example: I’m struggling with the word “beautiful.” Could you help me with the translation of this word? – Estou com dificuldades com a palavra “bonito”. Poderia me ajudar com a tradução dessa palavra?

Informal Ways to Say “How to Say This in Portuguese”

In informal or casual contexts, you can simplify your question to a more colloquial form. Here are a couple of suggestions:

1. Como fala isso em português?

This informal phrase translates directly to “How do you say this in Portuguese?” You can use it in everyday conversations with friends, acquaintances, or in informal settings.

Example: Hey, I’m trying to learn Portuguese. How do you say “cat” in Portuguese? – Ei, estou tentando aprender português. Como fala “gato” em português?

2. Me ajuda com essa palavra em português?

A more relaxed way to ask for help with a translation is by using this phrase. It means “Help me with this word in Portuguese?” and is commonly used among friends or in casual situations.

Example: I’m trying to write a Portuguese message. Can you help me with this word? – Estou tentando escrever uma mensagem em português. Me ajuda com essa palavra?

Tips for Effective Communication

When asking for translations, here are some tips to improve your communication and make the most of your language learning experience:

1. Use gestures and visuals:

If you’re struggling to express the word or phrase you want to translate, try using gestures or finding images or objects that represent the concept. This can aid in understanding and provide a starting point for conversation.

2. Repeat and confirm:

After receiving a translation, repeat it back to the person to confirm your understanding. This allows for clarification if needed and ensures you’re learning the correct phrase.

3. Context matters:

Whenever possible, provide context for the word or phrase you’re trying to translate. Understanding its usage within a specific context helps the person providing the translation to give you the most accurate and relevant response.

Regional Variations

Portuguese is spoken in multiple countries, leading to some regional variations in vocabulary and pronunciation. However, when asking for translations, focusing on standard Portuguese (such as Brazilian or European Portuguese) is usually sufficient. However, if you encounter a specific regional variation, feel free to clarify the country or region where you’d like to use the expression for better accuracy.


Asking “how to say this in Portuguese” is a valuable phrase to have in your language learning toolkit. Whether you opt for a formal or informal approach, being respectful and polite will always enhance your interactions. Remember to provide context when seeking a translation and repeat back the phrase for confirmation. Enjoy your journey of learning Portuguese, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help when needed. Boa sorte! (Good luck!)

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