The most important phrase to know in Mozambique is ‘Dá licença?’ (May I?) Other than at tourist lodges, English is not widely spoken or understood anywhere in Mozam­bique, so be patient as misunderstandings can occur. Portuguese is widely used in the urban areas, while, in the rural areas ‘Funa­kalo’, the discredited language of South Africa’s mines, will be of more use to you than English. A simple ‘bom dia’ (good morning), ‘boa tarde’ (good afternoon) or ‘boa noite’ (good evening) will smooth your dealings with officials. Please is ‘faz (pro­nounced ‘fash’) favor’, thank you ‘obrigado’, how much? is ‘quanto custa?’ and write it down ‘escrever’ (pronounced ‘ishkrayva’).

Pronunciation

The following tips on how to pronounce commonly used words apply to Portuguese as spoken in Mozambique, as distinct from that which echoes around the hallowed halls of Lisbon universities.

Moçambique:            ‘ç is usually translated as ‘z’, but sounds like ‘zsh’.

Como:            this ‘c’ is the same as the English ‘c’, as in cat.

Bom: 'm’ usually sounds like °n’.

Café: ‘é’ is ‘eh’.

Chá ‘ch’ becomes ‘sh’.

Leite:  this 'e’ is an ‘ay’ sound.

Jantar: the ‘j’ is like the ‘g’ in giant.

Agua:  ‘á‘ sounds like an emphasised ‘ah!’.

Como está: for ‘s’ read ‘sh’.

Escrever, thus becomes ‘ishkrayvar’.

Amanhã: ‘hã’ together form ‘yaan’ (say the ‘n’ through the nose).

Blihete: ‘he’ is the same as the ‘ye’ as in yes.

Banho: the ‘ho’ becomes ‘yo’ as in yo-yo.

Camarão: ‘ão’ is similar to ‘ow’ as in now.

Thus pensão becomes ‘penshow’.

Quanto: ‘qu’, as in queen, is ‘kw’.

Quiosque: ‘qu’, as in quay, is 'k’.

Muito here the ‘ui’ should be ‘oo-een’.

Faz favor: ‘z’ here sounds like ‘zjh’.

Até logo: ‘é’ comes out as ‘ay’.

Speaking Portuguese

Outside of the cities, very few Mozambicans speak any English, so it is important to know a few useful words and phrases (the endings -o and -e are applied to males, and -a to females).

 

Aeroplane : Avião

Banknotes:    Bilhete (notas)

Bed : Cama

Calculator (bargaining aid) : Machina

Customs : Alfandega

Danger/dangerous: Perigo/perigoso

Day:    Dia

Excuse me! (Calling a waiter) : Faz favor!

Friend : Amigo

Good afternoon! Boa tarde!

Good evening! : Boa noite!

Good morning I Bom dial

Goodbye! : Adeus! (not used very often)

Goodbye! Ciao! (used in Maputo and Beira)

Have you got...?: Tem... ?

Here : Aqui

Hotel room/single/double: Quarto/sim­ples/duplo

House : Casa

How are you (is it)?: Como esta?

How much (does this cost)?: Quanto custa?

I am a poor traveller: Eu sou viajante pobre

I am fine, thank you : Muito bem obrigado/a

I am from...: (Eu) sou de...

I am tired: Cansado estou

I do not understand : Não compreendo

I don’t speak Portuguese : Não falo Português

I have lost my passport : Perdi meu passaporte

I would like that thing: (Eu) gostaria desta coisa

informal shops : Barracas

Journey:        Via gem

Kiosk: Quiosque

Ladies’ (toilet) : Senhoras

Late:   Tarde

Left : A esquerda

Letter: Carta

May I? (Used before entering private prop­erty, or taking photos, etc): Dá licença?

Men’s (toilet) : Senhors

Money:           Dinheiro

Month : Mês

My name is...: (Eu) sou...

Near to,,, :Perto de.,.

No : Não

No problem! (Never mind!) : Não faz mal!

No way (never)! : Nada!

Now (these days) : Agora

OK! : Tudo bem!

Perhaps:        Talvez

Please:           Por/faz favor

Post-office box (P.O. Box): Caixa Postal (C.P.)

Rate of exchange?: Qual o cambio?

Rest well : Bom descanso

Right : A direita

Right now! : Agora mesmo!

Road : Rua

Room for married couples (often cheaper) Casal

See you later : Até logo

Sorry : Desculpe

Stay well : Fique bem

Thank you : Obrigado

The bill : Conta

There : Ali; lá

Ticket: Bilhete

To clean clothes: Limpar roupa

To write (e.g. for prices) : De o escrever

Today : Hoje

Toilet/paper:  Casa de banho/papel

Toilets:           Case da banho

Tomorrow : Amanhã

Train:  Comboio

Traveller:        Viajante

Until next time : Até a proxima

Until tomorrow : Até amanhã

Visa:   Um visto

Wash : Lavar

We want to go to...: Queremos ir a…

Week : Semana

What is this thing?: 0 que esta coisa?

What’s your name?: Como se chama?

When? : Quando?

Where? : Onde?

Write it down : Escrever por favor

Year : Ano

Yes : Sim

Yesterday: Ontem

 

All that: Todos

Beer: Cerveja

Beer: local/imported : Cerveja: nacional/ importada

Beverage: Bebida

Boiled water : Agua fervida

Bread : Pão

Butter : Manteiga

Butterbean : Fava

Cashew nuts: Castanha de caju

Cheap: Barato

Cheese: Queijo

Chicken : Galinha, Frango (baby chicken) ,

Cooking oil : Azeite

Corn on the cob : Espiga de milho

Crab: Caranguejo

Crayfish : Lagostim

Dirty : Sujo

Eggs:  Ovos

Fair price! : Bom preço!

Fish : Peixe

For sale?: Vende-se?

Fresh : Fresco

Fresh water : Água fresca

Fruit : Fruta

Garlic : Alho

Hot chips: Batata frita

Hot water : Água quente

How much?: Quanto custa?

I am hungry: Tenho fome

I like ... : Gosto…

I want to buy ... : Quero comprar

(pointing) - good to eat?/edible : bom para comer?/comestivel?

Jam : Compota

Less: Menos

Lobster : Lagosta

Maize meal : Farinha de milho

Meat: Carne

Milk : Leite

Mineral Water : Água mineral (água Vumba)

More: Mais

Olive oil : Azeite

Onions: Cebola

Peanut butter: Manteiga de

amendoim

Peanuts : Amendoim

Pepper: Pimento

Pineapple : Ananás

Potato: Batata

Prawn : Camarão

Rice : Arroz

Running water : Água corrente

Salt : Sal

Sauce : Molho

Snacks : Petiscos

Spices: Especiar/a

Spring water : Agua doçe

Sugar : Açúcar

That’s enough! : Chega!

The other: Outro

This is stale! : Isto está passado!

Tomatoes: Tomate

Too expensive! : Muito caro!

Vegetables: Legumes

When was this caught?: Quando foi capturado isto?

 

Breakfast: Pequeno almoço

Coffee: Um café

Fresh fruit : Fruta fresca

Glass/beer mug/cup: Copo/caneco/chávena

Hand-written menu : Ementa

I like my food really hot: Quero minha comida muito quente

I would like this ... : Quero isto

I would like to order now: Quero pedir agora

Ice cream : Gelado

Lunch Almoço

Plate/knife/fork/spoon Prato/faca/garfo/ colher

Printed menu : Cardápio

Restaurant: Restaurante

Roadside restaurant: Quiosque

Set menu Menu

Steak/well done/medium/rare : Filé bife/

bem passado/rnédio/mal passado

Supper : Jantar

Take-away food : Comida para levar/ Pronto-a -comer

Tea: Chá

The bill : Quanto

The receipt : Recibo

Water : Agua

 

Calamari (squid) : Lulas

Cheese: Queijo

Dried cod : Bacalhau

Fillet of fish : Filete de peixe

Fried eggs: Ovos estrelados

Grilled pork chops : Febras de porco na brasa

Ice cream sorbet: Gelado sorvete

Kebab (sosatie) : Espetada

Mixed salad : Salada mista

Mixed vegetables: Vegetais misturados

Pen-pen fried chicken : Galinha frita com peri-peri

Potato chips : Batata frita

Prawn crumbed rissoles : Rissois de camarão

Pudding : Pudim

Samoosas: Chamuças

Scrambled eggs: Ovos mexidos

Shellfish soup : Sopa de mariscos

Spicy sausage (black pudding): Chouriço

Steak roll : Prego

Stewed fish with ‘the works (vegetables and salads)’ : Peixe cozido 'com todos’

Stuffed crab : Caranguejo recheado

 

Avenue : Avenida

Beach : Praía

Bus: Ônibus (machimbombo)

Car: Carro

Corner : Esquina

Do you have a room?: Tem um quarto?

How far to ... by car? : Quantos kilometros ate ... com carro?

How far to ... on foot?: Quantos kilometros até... a pé?

I want to go to ... : Quero viajar parñ Main road : Estrada Nacional (E.N.)

May I camp here? :  ermitido acampar aqui?

Name of next village? : Nome da proxima aldeia?

Name of this town? : Nome desta vila? Square (traffic circle) : Praça Street: Rua

Taxi (individual): Taxi Taxi (mass transport) : Chapacem To hike : Excursão

To the left : A esquerda To the right : A direita To walk : Andar

When does that bus leave? : Quando sai este machimbombo?

When does the bus arrive?: Quando chega este machimbombo?

Where is...?: Onde... ?

 

I (or point to someone else) feel sick : Estou doente

I am lost: (Eu) estou perdido

I need a mechanic/spares: Quero um mecánico/peças

My car is broken down : Meu carro está quebrado

Take me to the hospital please : Levar-me para hospital, faz favor

Where is a doctor?: Onde está um médico?

Where is the nearest village?: Onde próxima vila?

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