economically impenetrable

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dauthehoang

Senior Member
Vietnamese
Hello everyone,
The following sentence is confusing to me. So, Could anybody help me out of the problem that i have been stuck for days?

Had Columbus reached Asia, perhaps he’d have proved a keen entrepreneur. As it happened, he landed on Caribbean shores, in a densely populated region that was economically impenetrable for an Old World trader.

source: Five myths about Christopher Columbus

Thanks for your help in advance.
 
  • RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    That struck me as odd when I read the sentence. There was no real economy in the Caribbean. No gold, nothing you could ship back to Spain. I guess that's what the author is getting at. All the gold was in Mexico. And the people weren't welcoming him with open arms.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    economically impenetrable
    I think economically impenetrable is not a standard expression with a well-known meaning. We just need to understand each word.

    The author says Columbus was probably a good enterpeneur, but an "old world trader" - skilled in business, but only skilled in the Europeans way of doing business.

    He tried to penetrate the economy of the new place: to get inside it, to be part of it, to be someone within that economy. And he failed.
     

    dauthehoang

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    It was such a difficult expression that i must interpret. What an author! thanks for your clear and reasonable explanation.
     
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