Do Brazilian people understand English?

I know basic Portuguese. Would communication be an issue?

  • As a rule of thumb if a specific place got lots of tourists chances are there are many english speakers. You will don't get problems at any good hotel, touristics landmarks, international airports. Int the other hand find a english speaker at a big town suburb ill be hard. Find one in coutry side small town, very hard
    – jean
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


I'm Brazilian. Only 24% of the Brazilians who lives in Brazil speaks English. It is and this a issue.

However Brazilians people usually help people a lot. They normally will try understand your. Doesn't matter with language do you speak. They will try help you specially the waiters, salesperson, taxi drivers.

I recommend to you learn some of basics words like:

  • bus
  • food
  • drink
  • toilet
  • exit

Good luck.


That's a VERY general question.

That said, the short answer is: You'll have a hard time in Brazil if you only speak English.

Many middle class Brazilians understand basic English, and plenty working in the tourist industry understand some English, but you'll have a difficult time communicating when traveling in Brazil.

(I live in Brazil and speak some Portuguese.)

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