"Now You’re Speaking My Language": 10 Brazilian Portuguese Phrases to Seal the Deal in Brazil
December 1, 2017
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The Centre for Research on Globalisation described Brazil as “an agricultural powerhouse and resource and commodity producer of major global weight,” Forbes named Brazil “the hottest big emerging market of 2017” and the U.S. Department of Commerce referenced agriculture, aircraft, mining equipment and environment technology as just a “few promising areas for US exports and investment in Brazil.”
British economist Jim O’Neill coined the term “BRIC” countries in 2001, insisting that Brazil, Russia, India and China would emerge as globally-dominant economies by 2050.
It seems as though Brazil has arrived a bit early.
Business in Brazil
Brazilian business culture emphasizes personal relationships. Skipping the small-talk will often lead to an annoyed Brazilian. A concrete way to strengthen the bond you make with prospective Brazilian supply partners is to embrace their culture, including preferred topics of discussion, language and business conduct.
Brazilian people are very proud and patriotic, and enjoy foreigners that invest in learning about their culture. Similar to many Latin American countries, soccer (known as futebol) is a national obsession in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro’s soccer stadium is the largest in the world and Brazil have more World Cups than any other country. Being well-versed in soccer, Brazilian food and music will impress potential Brazilian suppliers and assure them that you are genuinely interested in Brazil’s culture. In addition, making an effort to speak Brazilian Portuguese, even if it isn’t perfect, can help to seal the deal with a Brazilian export partner. This can include having some of your business cards (and even your business presentation) translated to Brazilian Portuguese.
Soccer (known as futebol) is a national obsession in Brazil... Being well-versed in soccer, Brazilian food and music will impress potential Brazilian suppliers and assure them that you are genuinely interested in Brazil's culture
Skipping small talk in order to get to the business negotiations can often leave a sour taste in the mouths of Brazilians, especially during lunch, which is a key part of Brazilian culture. Prioritizing the personal relationship over the business negotiation when speaking with a Brazilian supplier can significantly impact your success in securing an import deal with Brazil, and this is where Veem can help. With simple and free global wire transfers, Veem can make B2B transactions as easy as sending an email, avoiding the technical aspects of international trade that Brazilian business clients dislike.
Skipping small talk in order to get to the business negotiations can often leave a sour taste in the mouths of Brazilians, especially during lunch, which is a key part of Brazilian culture.
Below are twelve phrases to impress your Brazilian business partners. One thing to note about Brazilian Portuguese is that the “d” sounds like the English “g”, meaning that bom dia (good morning) is pronounced bon gea.
|English Phrase||Brazilian Portuguese translation
|"Where is..."||Onde esta...|
|"This food is very tasty."||Essa comida está muito gostosa.|
|"The purpose of today's presentation is to..."||O objectivo desta apresentação é...|
|"Pleased to meet you, sir/madam"||Prazer em conhecê-lo(a), senhor/senhora|
|"Our products are high quality."||Nossos produtos são de alta qualidade.|
|"Our business uses Veem."||Nossa empresa usa Veem.|
|"Newspaper kiosk" (for registering SIM cards in Brazil)||Banca de jornais|
|"My name is...from..., where I am responsible for..."||Meu nome é...da..., onde sou responsável por...|
|"I love coffee."||Eu adoro um cafézinho.|
|"Good night"||Boa noite|
|"Good morning"||Bom dia
|"Good afternoon"||Boa tarde|
|"Any questions"||Alguma dúvida?|
Doing your research as a foreign importer is a free way to increase your business profits and improve your success rate in international negotiations. Learning these simple Brazilian Portuguese phrases will lead to a memorable first impression, and replicating this strategy in other countries and cultures could secure future import endeavors for your small or medium-sized business.
Need more info? Read our comprehensive guide on Doing Business in Brazil to find out more.
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