We're welcoming a Portuguese flatmate tomorrow who's moving in, and want to put some nice bunting up. What would be an appropriate phrase to use?
Bem-vindo if he's a boy, bem-vinda if she's a girl, is Portuguese for welcome. So, the male version only:
Welcome to England is Bem-vindo à Inglaterra (*)
Welcome Home is Bem-vindo a Casa
If you want a touch of self-deprecating humour you might want
Welcome to Perfidious Albion: Bem-vindo à Pérfida Álbion
Not everyone will know pérfida Álbion though. So you may want to go for
Welcome to the Land of the bifes: Bem-vindo à Terra dos Bifes
Bife is of course a mildly jocular Portuguese nickname for an English person. It literally means (meat) steak, and comes from the English word beef. The food connection notwithstanding bife, unlike frog in the case of a French person, is not derogatory.
(*) À or a in Portugal, à only in Brazil.
I'm probably too late, but if you don't know the gender of your flatmate, and you think "Inglaterra" is hard to pronounce, you can simply say:
In a more formal way (treating the person as an important guest) and resembling Jacinto's examples you can add "seja":
Seja bem-vindo à Inglaterra!
You may want to pronounce:
- each a as the uh sound in "duh";
- the o as you'd pronounce the o in "no";
- the i as the ee sound in "piss";
- the last s of each word as the sh in "shmuck";
- the rr sound as a guttural sound and you definitely want to sound like this girl when she pronounces the words "rato", "Roma", "carro" or "cachorro";
- the e sound as the eh sound in "meh";
- the j as a "gee";
- the à sound as the ah sound in "nah".
Here's how "boas vindas!" sounds, and you can say this sentence anytime a person returns back from somewhere, as you'd say "welcome back".
If you truly want to buff up your welcome, I also recommend to follow Jacinto's suggestion and replace "Inglaterra" by "Terra dos Bifes" or even better: "Bifolândia" (pronounced as: beef'olandeeuh).
Btw, how did your flatmate react?