When you step into your first capoeira class, you will undoubtedly be bombarded by many foreign words. Don’t worry though, this article is created to help you go through your first experience in Capoeira. You don’t need to be fluent in Brazilian Portuguese to play Capoeira, but it would help you to know a few basic words you may hear while training.


 Number Portuguese How to Pronounce
 One Um Oohm
 Two  Dois Doy-z
 Three Três Treh-z
 Four Quatro Kwah-troh
 Five Cinco Seen-coh
 Six Seis Say-z
 Seven Sete Seh-chee
 Eight Oito Oy-too
 Nine Nove Noh-vee
 Ten Dez Deh-z

Body Parts

 Hand Mao
 Arm Braco
 Head Cabeca
 Elbow Cotovelo
 Leg Perna
 Foot Pe
 Knee Joelho


 I Eu
 You Voçê
 He / She Ele / Ela
 We Nós
 You (Plural) Voçês
 They (Masculine) Eles
 They (Feminine) Elas

Notice that there are two forms of “you” in Portuguese. “Voçê” is used when talking to one person. The plural form, “Voçês,” is used when talking to a group. We do not distinguish between the two in English. We have also listed here two forms of “they.”

The first, “eles,” is used when referring to a group that is all male or of mixed gender. The word “elas” is used when the group is exclusively female.


 When Quando
 Where Onde
 What O que
 Why Por que
 Who Quem
 How Como

These words are used in Portuguese very much the same way they are in English. To form a question you start the sentence off with one of these words and leave the rest of it the same.


 Again De novo
 One more time Mais uma vez
 Like this Assim
 Worse Pior
 Better Melhor
 Few / Little Pouco
 Many / Very Muito
 Left Esquerda
 Right Direita
 Backwards / to the back Para trás
 Forward / to the front Para frente
 More Mais
 Less Menos
 Fast Rápido
 Slow Devagar

Capoeira Terms

 Roda Circle/wheel, this is the circle of people in which the capoeira game is played
 Jogo Game, jogar capoeira is to play capoeira
 Volta Ao Mundo Around the world, this is when capoeiristas circle the roda, usually to catch their breath or take a break in the game
 Mestre A master of capoeira
 Esquiva Dodging / evading
 Movimento Movement
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