economically impenetrable

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
    AE (US English)
    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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