Brazil or Brazil?

Brazil or Brazil?

For a long time everything was completely clear to me. Brazil name Brazil in portuguese the Brazil in english. With accurate pronunciations since, in Portuguese, Brazil It is rather clear brazio ! basic. But it must be said that the central consonant s where z It offers some skepticism because it is pronounced the same way in Brazil/ Brazil than in Brazil ! Audio, it’s the same.

As a result, I systematically corrected my French friends who did not spell the country’s name correctly, and may have been greatly influenced by the film’s success. Brazilian, Written by Terry Gilliam, released 1985.

spelling blur

Soon after arriving in Rio de Janeiro, I visited the Federal Justice Cultural Center located in the city center. It is the former building of the Supreme Court, before it was moved to Brasilia. And there, at the top of a large stained glass window, somewhat hidden by a stair railing (see picture), Read : “Estados Unidos do Brazil” (United States of Brazil). if, with a z ! In the heart of the Brazilian Republic…

This is worthy of historical investigation. In fact, Brazil has long lived with great spelling blur. The pronunciation prevailed, and one of them wrote in one voice, indifferent s where z. Only in 1945 did the orthographic convention rule definitively for scompared with Has risen (the rose) or a house (the home). This choice also indicates the origin of the country name: tree Pau Brazil The scarlet red color of the wood evokes embers (Fire).

I also noticed that these spelling doubts persist today. Brazilians regularly misspelt words, especially foreign ones, without paying much attention to them. We are basically in an oral culture!

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big dilemma s or z It is also found in the international names of the country, Brazil. Some languages ​​besides s, Such as French, Italian, Spanish but also German or Danish. But there is a camp z, With English but also Dutch, Polish, Czech, Romanian, Croatian or Turkish. We have the option.


In the 1980s, songwriters took advantage of this spelling debate to emphasize a Brazilthe real Brazilian brazil (with a s) face Brazilian, Folkloric vision and caricature gringos (with one z). As the most famous song says, “Querelas do Brasil” (Brazilian brawls), Sung by the great Ellis Regina: “Brazil does not know Brazil. Brazil did not go to Brazil.” Singer Rita Lee (of North American descent!) brings this point home: “How confusing! Take a closer look: on the world map, he is with z, But who knows do not forget: Brazil is my country with s ! “

(click over here To listen to this song, very bossa nova, “Brasil com S” (Brazil with a sShe sang in a duet by Rita Lee and Joao Gilberto.

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About the Author: Aldina Antunes

"Praticante de tv incurável. Estudioso da cultura pop. Pioneiro de viagens dedicado. Viciado em álcool. Jogador."

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