Discussion in 'Português (Portuguese)' started by Zbigniew, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Zbigniew Member

    História do Brasil Colônia, a história do descobrimento do Brasil, os primeiros contatos
    entre portugueses e índios, o escambo, a exploração do pau-brasil

    this is a title of an article on the webside about history or Brasil

    I would translate: history of the Brazil Colony, history of discovery of
    Brazil, first contacts between portugals and indians, o escambo? exploration of pau-brasil?
    The word escambo cannot be found in this dictionary, and I can't guess what is pau-brasil
    could you please help me?
  2. almufadado

    almufadado Senior Member

    Português de Portugal
    Escambro could be in the sense of "abuse", "rape of", "exploitation"...

    "Pau-brasil" is a wood variety and quality. The scientific name is Caesalpinia echinata.It's name in the tupi language is ibira pitanga, or "red wood".

    Also "exploração" is not in the sense of discovery but rather of exploitation, enterprise, business .
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  3. coolbrowne Senior Member

    Bethesda, MD - USA
    Português-BR/English-US bilingual
    Hi Zbigniew

    The unusual word "escambo" (not "escambro", mind you) is a variation of "escâmbio" and it means simply "exchange"; I confirm that "pau-brasil" is usually called (Brazilian) "redwood". Therefore
    I know that it is common to remove definite articles when translating into English but that's by no means a fixed rule: all the ones above marked in red are required. Also "Brasil Colônia" is a classic idiom in Portuguese. It does not become "Brazil Colony" (and yes, that one definite article is to be omitted)

  4. Macunaíma

    Macunaíma Senior Member

    Um ninho de mafagalfinhos
    português, Brasil
    Escambo in the context you mention refers to the practice by the early Portuguese explorers to trade cheap objects like glass beads, mirror pieces, knives, garments and trinkets for wood and, to a lesser extent, gold with the indigenous people. This rudimentary form of commerce with the natives lasted for the first few decades of colonial Brazil until the Portuguese started to actually settle the northeast of the country in the 1530's.
  5. Guigo

    Guigo Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro
    Português (Brasil)
    Just remembering that pau-brasil (Brazilian redwood) is the most possible origin for the country's name: Brasil.

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