Local Lingo

Most Mozambicans speak one of 17 African languages (of the Bantu group) and Portuguese. African languages spoken in Mozambique include Makua-Lomwe dialects, spoken in northern Mozambique, several Tsonga and Shona dialects – such as Sena – spoken in central Mozambique and more Tsonga dialects – such as Changane – are spoken in the south. English is often spoken at tourist destinations, other European and Asian languages are rarely spoken.

Below are just a few words and phrases for everyday usage in Portuguese
English Portuguese
General
Good Morning (until 12.00) Bom dia
Good Afternoon (after 12.00) Boa tarde
Good Evening (after 6.00pm) Boa noite
What is your name? Como se chama?
Nice to meet you Prazer em te conhecer
See you later Até logo
Please/Thank You Faz favor/Obrigado
It was a pleasure (after thank you) de nada
Excuse me (permit me) Com licença
Yes/No sim/não
How are you? Como está?
Everything is fine Tudo bem!
Where is…? Onde está…?
When…? Quando…?
What time..? A que horas?
What time is it? Que horas são?
Shopping/Eating
It want to buy… Quero comprar…
(It’s) too expensive (É) muito caro
I would like… Queria
…a cup of tea …um copo de chá
…a cup of coffee with milk and sugar …um café com leite e açucar
…an espresso …um café espresso
…a beer …uma cerveja
…a glass of wine (red) (white) …um copo de vinho (tinto) (branco)
…a garlic steak sandwich (very popular fast food) …um prego no pão
Where is the bathroom? Onde é a casa de banho?
How much (does it cost)? Quanto custa?
Can you help me? Pode ajudar-me?

And if you really want to go local…

Kanimambo is local lingo for “Thank You”
Maningue nice is local lingo for “Very nice”

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