GREETING SOMEONE INFORMALLY IN BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE
This is just proof of how extensive that Brazilian slang vocabulary is. There are about 100 ways to greet your friends in Brazil and many of these greetings will have slightly different tones to them or shades of meaning. Sometimes there is just no great translation, our English slang inventory is simply not as vast, but understanding the subtiltys and slight connotations of Brazilian slang is something that you will get more accustomed to as you get to know Brazilian culture. Eventually, picking the right words becomes an expressional art, and you will start to notice the small semantic differences between words.
As you have surely picked up on by now, no one in Brazil actually says olá, so you have probably settled into saying ”oi,” the most commonly used Portuguese word for “hi,” this word is comfortable, easy and casual. But instead of just using “oi” to say hi your Brazilian friends, try any of the following greetings and watch them be surprised at how you sound like a real Brazilian:
*for the most part, all of the following greetings mean something to the extent of our ”what’s up?” unless I have described otherwise.
BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE SLANG GREETINGS
- e aí or e ae
- fala aí
- diz aí
- coé, koé, qualé? (I always see this word spelled differently, it seems like no one really knows how to officially spell it, but I think that it comes from “qual é.” This phrase is very popular, means “what’s up?”)
- fala. (When I was in Brazil, I pretty much only answered my friends’ phone calls with this word for a good few months because I just thought it was really funny and direct, its basically like saying “talk to me” or “whatsup” and it is said really matter-of-fact)
- beleza? (extremely common, you will hear this everywhere, but rarely with people over 40)
- tranquilo?, certinho? (everything good?)
And if you add one of the extremely common words for “dude” that I listed in this post to the end of one of the above greetings, you will really be sounding like a Brazilian. Examples:
- “e ae, mano, beleza?
- Fala campeão, você poderia me informar onde fica a Rua Julho da Silva?
* And just one more thing: the word “oi” is not just used to say “hi.” All the time people will say ”oi?” meaning “come again?” or “what?” when they didn’t hear something that someone just said. Or you can also say “como?”