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and consequently his conclusions bear particular weight.

Taking up the states in the order as previously, we have:

Bahia. No reliable estimates except as contained below
in "Northern and Central States."

Minas Geraes............... 5,000. Sommer.
Espirito Santo............. 25,000. Ludwig[39]
Rio (Fed. Dist.)........... 18,000. Sommer.
São Paulo.................. 32,000. Ibid.
Paraná .................... 35,000. Ibid.
Santa Catharina............ 100,000. Müller von Königswinter
Rio Grande do Sul.......... 250,000. Ibid.
Northern and Central States
(including Bahia)........ 10,000. Sommer.
Total...................... 475,000.

Making a fairly liberal allowance for underestimates, we may regard the
number 500,000 as representing the total number of citizens of German
descent in Brazil to-day.[40]


[Footnote 1: _V._ Tootal, p. XCV.]

[Footnote 2: _V._ Klüpfel, pp. 121 and 162.]

[Footnote 3: _Cf._ Sommer: "Manoel Beckmann." _German American Annals._
New Series. Vol. 14, Nos. 5 and 6, 1916, pp. 189-196. Also Pereira da
Silva: _Quadros_.... p. 111.]

[Footnote 4: _V._ Ludwig, p. 27.]

[Footnote 5: It is emphasized that only colonies (state, provincial, or
private) in which the German element forms an important part of the
population are noted.]

[Footnote 6: These are commonly designated as "Imperial Colonies."]

[Footnote 7: A comparatively very small number of Germans are located in
the northern and western states of Brazil. They primarily follow
business or professional careers and can hardly be classed as settlers.
Consequently they do not come in consideration in this work.]

[Footnote 8: _Cf._ Sellin, _Das Kaiserreich Brasilien_, Vol. II, p. 80.]

[Footnote 9: Ibid.]

[Footnote 10: Formerly called "Philadelphia."]

[Footnote 11: _Cf._ Report of Pedro Rache, _Inspector do Serviço de
Povoamento_, in _Relatorio._]

[Footnote 12: Koehler was born in Mainz in 1810. At the age of 23 he
went to Brazil and soon became a naturalized citizen of the country. He
entered the government service and was promoted to the rank of major in
the engineering corps in 1842. Died in Petropolis in 1847.]

[Footnote 13: _Cf._ report of the inspector Antonio Ribeiro de Castro
Sobrinho in _Relatorio._]

[Footnote 14: _V._ Marcondes de Souza: _O Estado de São Paulo_, p. 195.
_Cf._ statement by Ernst Heinke in _Jahrbuch, Erstes_ ..., p. 250.]

[Footnote 15: I.e., lease of a section of land for the return of
one-half of the yearly products.]

[Footnote 16: A Prussian ministerial decree (also adopted by other
German states) forbidding the emigration of German citizens to Brazil.
In 1896 it was revoked for the three most southern states of Brazil,
i.e., Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catharina and Paraná.]

[Footnote 17: _Cf._ statements by C.F. Scheler in _Jahrbuch, Erstes_
..., p. 175 ff.]

[Footnote 18: In 1828 according to Grossi, p. 168.]

[Footnote 19: Paraná was separated from São Paulo in 1853.]

[Footnote 20: _V._ Sellin, _Das Kaiserreich Brasilien_, Vol. II, p.

[Footnote 21: _Cf._ report of the inspector Manoel F. Ferreira Correia
in _Relatorio._]

[Footnote 22: Information furnished by Johann Potucek,
Austro-Hungarian Consul in Curityba.]

[Footnote 23: This is commonly referred to as the first colony in Santa
Catharina. However, Grossi (p. 168) refers to a _Colonia Alemão o
Conselheiro Pedreira_ (state colony) founded in 1827.]

[Footnote 24: Lacmann (p. 8) states that _Gross Itajahy_ was founded in

[Footnote 25: Born 1819 at Hasselfelde in Braunschweig. Specialized in
pharmacy. In 1849 came to Brazil and laid out plans for a colony. From
1850 to 1880 he was primarily occupied in directing the colony which
bears his name. This colony was emancipated in 1880, but Dr. Blumenau
remained on the scene of his former activities until 1884, when he
returned to Germany. Died 1898.]

[Footnote 26: _V. Le Brésil Meridional,_ p. 309.]

[Footnote 27: The term "municipio" denotes a city or town together with
the surrounding districts coming under the same jurisdiction; frequently
(as used in this work) an emancipated colony.]

[Footnote 28: According to census of 1907 and calculations to date
(September, 1916) in the archives at Blumenau.]

[Footnote 29: The term "Stadtplatz" as used by the colonists designates
the seat or governmental center of a particular colony. Portuguese

[Footnote 30: So named in honor of the president of the state at the
time, Dr. Araujo Brusque.]

[Footnote 31: Information furnished by E. Bloch, _Engenheiro Chefe da
Estrada de Ferro Santa Catharina._]

[Footnote 32: Grossi, p. 162.]

[Footnote 33: _Cf._ Ludwig, p. 84.]

[Footnote 34: A particularly strong current of German settlers has in
recent years been moving into Ijuhy, mostly by indirect immigration.]

[Footnote 35: _Cf._ report of the inspector C. Lila da Silveira in

[Footnote 36: About equal to that of the United States without the
colonies and Alaska, but with the state of Texas doubled.]

[Footnote 37: The study of emigration reports in European archives does
not help us much because by no means did all persons listed as emigrants
for Brazil finally arrive in the latter country.]

[Footnote 38: In order to enable the reader to put a correct valuation
on the popular bugaboo, the "perigo allemão" (German peril), the
following facts are noted by way of comparison:

According to the statistics above referred to, the German immigrants
occupy fourth place in point of numbers for the period 1820-1915,
inclusive. They are superseded by:

a) Italians. First mentioned in the records 1836.
Total to 1862.................................... 209
Total to and including 1915...................... 1,348,777

b) Portuguese. First noted in 1837.
Total to and including 1915...................... 977,524

c) Spaniards. First noted 1841.
Total to 1868.................................... 274
Total to and including 1915...................... 470,107]

[Footnote 39: Dr. Ernst Wagemann, of the Kolonialinstitut, Hamburg,
recently estimated the German population of Espirito Santo at
20,000-30,000, according to statements by W. Münzenthaler, German
Consular-General in Rio.]

[Footnote 40: The above estimates refer to conditions at the end of
1915. The estimate for the total population of the country for that year
was 23,000,000.]




As may be inferred from chapter I, the German immigration into Brazil
antedating the nineteenth century was quite insignificant. Beginning
with the early years of that century, however, there was a steady
current of new settlers from the German-speaking sections of Europe into
the southern part of the country. The people who made up this current
settled, particularly during the early years, in small, widely separated
colonial nuclei where they found themselves more or less thoroughly cut
off from the outside world and its influences. It is not surprising,
therefore, to find that these people have developed a new dialect which
we may call "Brazilian German."

The Germanic settlers from Europe who had come to Brazil found
themselves located in surroundings radically different from the ones to
which they had been accustomed in the land of their nativity. Physically
they had to adapt themselves to a new climate. From the moment of their
arrival on the parcel of land allotted to them they were in contact with
many objects for which their mother tongue offered no designation. The
animals, plants, insects and even the agricultural implements in the new
home land had, to a large extent, names for which the German language
offered no equivalent. As a result, many non-germanic words had to be
immediately adopted.

In reference to the older colonies, the German-speaking immigrants from
any particular section of Germany, Switzerland or Austria would more or
less settle in a particular section of Brazil. Thus we have Petropolis
in Rio de Janeiro settled by former inhabitants of the Coblenz district
and Blumenau in Santa Catharina settled largely by Pomeranians. In a
general way it may be stated that the older colonies were in this
respect relatively homogenious, while those founded since the middle of
the past century drew their settlers to a larger extent from different
German-speaking sections of Europe.

The settlers, largely drawn from the agricultural class, naturally
brought with them from Europe a variety of German dialects. These were
more or less preserved depending on the relative isolation of the
colonies. In cases where a considerable and constant influx of settlers
either by direct or indirect immigration was kept up after the first
years of the history of any particular colony the original dialect
largely gave way to a modified form of High German, due primarily to the
normalizing influence of the German school and church. Such is the case
in the "Stadtplätze"[41] of Dona Francisca, Blumenau, Santa Cruz and São

The preceding statements are intended to present, as it were, the
background or basis on which the new dialect was developed. We now come
to the most potent influence in the formation of that dialect. It is the
Brazilian Portuguese, a language which has no connection with the
Germanic group. In this point, therefore, our case differs radically
from that of the student of the German dialects which have been
developed in North America.

The degree of linguistic influence exerted by the Brazilian Portuguese
on the High German or its various dialects as spoken by the immigrants
varies again according to the relative isolation of the settlements. We
have degrees ranging from that of the old settlements in the Santo Amaro
district of São Paulo,[42] where the German language has practically in
its entirety given way to the Brazilian Portuguese, to that of some of
the sections of the "municipios"[43] of Blumenau in Santa Catharina and
São Leopoldo in Rio Grande do Sul where a modified German has not only
held its own among the inhabitants of German extraction, but has also
become the language of parts of the Luso-Brazilian[44] and negro
elements as well.[45] About half way between these two extremes we might
range the case of Petropolis in Rio de Janeiro.


The following general principles are observed in connection with the
dialect which has been developed by the German element in Brazil.

Nouns form by far the greatest number of words taken over, followed next
in order by verbs, exclamatory words and phrases, adjectives and
adverbs. The last two appear relatively rarely.


I. Nouns.

A. Masculines.

1) In the case of masculines the vowel ending is as a rule dropped,

_Brazilian_ _Brazilian_
_Portuguese._ _German._ _English._

abatimento... abatiment... discount.
campo........ camp........ field, plain.
facão-....... fac......... hunting-knife.
intendente... intendent... administrator.
pasto........ past........ pasture.

2) The same holds for words of the following type where there have been
further orthographical changes with preserve, however, the same phonetic

_Brazilian_ _Brazilian_
_Portuguese._ _German._ _English._

macaco....... makak....... monkey.
trapiche..... trapisch.... warehouse (on the wharf).

3) Internal phonetic changes have taken place in such words as:

_Brazilian_ _Brazilian_
_Portuguese._ _German._ _English._

kaschero..... kaschör..... shop-man, clerk (in a store).
municipio.... munizip..... district.

B. Feminines.

In feminines the final vowel '_-a_' is as a rule weakened to _'e'_,

_Brazilian_ _Brazilian_
_Portuguese._ _German._ _English._

capoeira..... capoeire.... copse.
carreta...... carrete..... cart.
garaffa...... garaffe..... bottle.
lancha....... lanche...... barge.
larancha..... laranche.... orange.
mula......... mule........ mule.
persianna.... persianne... Venetian-blind.
picada....... picade...... lane (through a forest).
pimenta...... pimente..... pepper.
pipa......... pipe........ barrel, tun.
roça......... rosse....... clearing (of a forest).
sanga........ sange....... ditch.
tolda........ tolde....... cover, hood (of a wagon).
traça........ trace....... track, design.
venda........ vende....... inn, store.

C. Change of gender in nouns.

1) Masculine to feminine, e.g.,

_Brazilian_ _Brazilian_
_Portuguese._ _German._ _English._

barranco _m._ barranke _f._ slope.
cabresto _m._ cabreste _f._ halter.
cachimbo _m._ kaschimbe _f._ tobacco-pipe.
camarote _m._ camarote _f._ box (in a theater).
cangalho _m._ cangalhe _f._ packsaddle.
charuto _m._. charute _f._. cigar.
farelo _m._.. farelle _f._. bran.
hiate _m._... jatte _f._... yacht.
portreiro _m._ portreere _f._ pasture-ground.
rio _m._..... rio _f._.....
(rarely _m._) stream, river.

2) Feminine to masculine, e.g.,

_Brazilian_ _Brazilian_
_Portuguese._ _German._ _English._

cachaça _f._. cachass _m._ gin, brandy (of sugar-cane).
troca _f._... troc _m._... change (of money).

3) Masculine to neuter, e.g.,

_Brazilian_ _Brazilian_
_Portuguese._ _German._ _English._

doce _m._.... doss _n._... candy, confectionery.
fosforo _m._. fosforo _n._ match.
tatú _m._.... tatú _n._... armadillo.
xarque _m._.. xarque _n._. jerked beef.

4) Feminine to neuter, e.g.,

_Brazilian_ _Brazilian_
_Portuguese._ _German._ _English._

canoa _f._... kanoe _n._.. monoxylon, dugout.
farinha _f._. farin _n._.. flour.

From the above examples it will be observed that the gender of the
Brazilian German noun is, where there has been a change from that of
the original Brazilian Portuguese, as a rule, the same as that of the
High German word replaced, e.g.,

_Brazilian German._ _High German._

barranke _f._........ Böschung_f._
cachass _m._......... Schnaps _m._
camarote _f._........ Theaterloge _f._
charute _f._......... Zigarre _f._
doss _n._............ Konfekt _n._
farelle _f._......... Kleie _f._
farin _n._........... Mehl _n._
fosforon _n._........ Streichholz_n._
kaschimbe _f._....... Tabakspfeife _f._
portreere _f._....... Weide _m._
troc _m._............ Wechsel _m._

D. Nouns of mixed origin are quite frequent, e.g.,

_Brazilian German._ _English._

aboboramus........... stewed (and mashed) pumpkin.
korbgarrafão......... demijohn.
miljekolben.......... cob (of corn).
mesclahosen.......... trousers (striped).
ochsencarrete........ ox-cart
palhazigarrette...... cigarette (with cornhusk wrapper).
polizeidelegado...... inspector of police.
puschochse........... draught-ox.
rocewirtschaft....... agriculture, farming.
sellofiskal.......... revenue agent.
vendaschuld.......... drinking-score, debt for drink.

II. Verbs.

Brazilian German verbs are commonly formed by adding a weak ending,
_'-en'_ or _'-ieren'_ to the Portuguese stem, e.g.,

_Portuguese._ _Brazilian German._ _English._

amolar......... amolieren.......... to grind, sharpen.
capinar........ capinen............ to weed.
cobrar......... cobrieren.......... to cash, take in (money),
laçar ......... lassen............. to throw the lasso.
puxar.......... puschen, pussen.... to pull.
repousar....... posen.............. to rest.
requerer....... rekerieren......... to request.
roçar.......... rossieren.......... to clear of weeds.
sellar......... sellieren.......... to stamp.
tocar.......... tocken............. to beat, strike.
trocar......... trocken............ to change (money etc.).

In pronunciation the Brazilian German differs still more from the
Portuguese than the printed forms would indicate. The main additional
differences in this case are the following:

1) The noun ending '_-ão'_ has the value of _'-ong'_ instead of the
Portuguese sound represented by _'-ão.'_ Thus, by phonetic spelling we
would have, e.g.,

_Brazilian German._ _Portuguese._

algodong for algodão.
capong " capão,
garrafong " garrafão,
patakong " patacão.
questong " questão,
sertong " sertão,
violong " violão.

2) The _'j'_ instead of remaining sonant as in Portuguese,
becomes surd.[46] Thus

_Brazilian German._ _Portuguese._

feschong for feijão,
schakaré " jacaré.
Schwong " João.

3) In the case of infinitives the final _'-n'_ is not sounded,
particularly in sections influenced by the Hunsrück dialect. These forms
are therefore pronounced, e.g.,

_Brazilian German._ _Portuguese._

amoliere for amolieren.
kapine " kapinen.
pusche " puschen.
tocke " tocken.


As a general rule German family names are retained in their original
form in all sections where the German language held its own among the
colonists. This is especially true where such names offer no difficulty
in their pronunciation to people having Portuguese as their mother
tongue. On the other hand, where such names could not be readily
pronounced by Luso-Brazilians,[47] they underwent changes to greater or
less extent even in communities where the German element is most
strongly represented. Where the German language disappeared the German
family name as a rule disappeared with it, or was retained in such a
form as to be hardly recognizable.

By way of example a number of modifications in surnames are noted below;
first, from a section where the German language has almost entirely
given way to Portuguese[48], and second, from one of the strongest
German-speaking sections of Brazil.[49]


Emmich became _M'_. The Portuguese could not pronounce the "-ich" and
consequently it dropped off, resulting in the formation of what is
probably one of the shortest family names in existence.[50]

Felippoffsky became _Felippe, Franz,_ or _Franço_. In this instance one
branch of the family adopted the first part of the original family name
and other branches made surnames out of the Christian name of the first
immigrant, i.e., Franz Felippoffsky.

Glaser became _Frittenmaku_. The first immigrant was Fritz Glaser. One
of his characteristics was lameness. The new family name is equivalent
in meaning to "der lahme Fritz."

Gottfried became _Gottesfried, Gottesfrid_ or _Gottesfritz_.

Helfenstein became _Helfestein_.

Hessel became _Essel_.

Klein became _Cleene_. In this instance a German dialect variant of the
original became the new family name.

Reinberg became _Remberg_.

Rochenbach became _Rocumbak_ or _Rocumbaque_.

Roschel became _Rocha_.

Toll became _Doll_ or _Doro_.

Weisshaupt became _Sapateiro_. In this instance the first Weisshaupt was
a shoemaker. The trade name translated into Portuguese became the family

Züllich became _Sills_.


Wächter became _Walter_.

Werner became _Vierne_.

From the above examples it will be noticed that the new family names
show, as a general rule, an adaptation of the original to Portuguese


So far as baptismal names are concerned, the case is quite different
from that applying to surnames. While the latter have been modified to a
great extent only where the German language gave way to the Portuguese
almost entirely, as stated, the former have been replaced by their
Portuguese counterparts, as a rule, in all parts of Brazil.[51] Probably
the chief reason for this is sentiment, or, to use what is in this case
perhaps a more accurate term, patriotism. The Portuguese Christian name
in the country in question distinguishes the individual as a Brazilian,
not as a German. The people under discussion regard themselves first of
all as Brazilians.[52] While, according to their idea the retention and
cultivation of their "Deutschthum" makes them better and more valuable
Brazilian citizens, they carefully differentiate between "Deutschthum"
and (to use their own expression) "Deutschländerthum."

The following are examples of Portuguese baptismal names which are
commonly substituted for their German counterparts by Brazilian Germans.

_Portuguese form._ _German form._

Adolfo for Adolf.
Alberto " Albert.
Augusto " August.
Bernardo " Bernard.
Carlos " Karl.
Edmundo " Edmund.
Eduardo " Eduard.
Emilio " Emil.
Ernesto " Ernst.
Estevão " Stephan.
Ewaldo " Ewald.
Francisco " Franz.
Frederico " Friedrich.
Germano " Hermann.
Guilhermo " Wilhelm.
Gustavo " Gustav.
Henrique " Heinrich.
Ignacio " Ignaz.
João " Johann.
Jorge " Georg.
José " Joseph.
Julio " Julius.
Leopoldo " Leopold.
Luiz " Ludwig.
Maximiliano " Maximilian
Paulo " Paul.
Pedro " Peter.
Ricardo " Richard.
Roberto " Robert.
Rodolfo (Rudolfo) " Rudolf.
Theodoro " Theodor.


For the terms of family relationship in titles (business, etc.) the
Portuguese forms are commonly used where the German forms would
naturally be expected (i.e., in exclusively Brazilian German
publications, etc.). Among the forms most frequently used in this manner
(in full or abbreviated form, singular or plural) are the following:[53]

_Portuguese form._ _German form._

Filho for Sohn.
Irmão " Bruder.
Sobrinho " Neffe.
Viuva " Witwe.


The Written Language.

The following is an excerpt made from a short story entitled "Unrecht
schlägt seinen eigenen Herrn."[54]

Der reiche Estancieiro[55] João Rodrigues sass eines Tages unter der
grossen schattigen Figueira,[56] welche das Wahrzeichen der Estancia[57]
São Manoel bildete. Er berechnete eben, wie viel Schlachtvieh er dieses
Jahr verkaufen könnte, und fand, dass es mindestens 700 Stück seien. Das
gab ein schönes Häufchen Geld; denn die Viehpreise waren dieses Jahr
hoch. Unter 60$000[58] sollte ihm kein Stück aus der Invernada[59] fort;
das machte rund 42 Contos[60] aus.

... "Compadre,[61] ich habe einen Auftrag, für eine benachbarte
Charqueada[62] rund 1000 Stück Schlachtvieh aufzukaufen...."

... Damit war der Handel abgeschlossen, und die beiden Compadres
verabschiedeten sich, jeder zufrieden: Der Estancieiro, weil er ein
gutes Geschäft gemacht hatte, und der Tropeiro,[63] weil er morgen ein
noch besseres zu machen hoffte!

Des anderen Tages stellte sich unser Estancieiro bei guter Zeit im
Geschäftshause ein und fand daselbst seinen Compadre Bento schon in
angeheiteter Stimmung in der Venda[64] sitzen.

... "Noch für einen Augenblick," stotterte da wieder der betrunkene
Tropeiro. "Unter uns beiden braucht's zwar keine Quittung, ich habe
dein Vieh und du hast mein Geld; damit ist unsere Sache erledigt. Aber
bei den Herren von der Charqueada muss ich etwas Schwarz auf Weiss
vorweisen; ..."

... So wollte er gleich heute die ein paar hundert Milréis betragene

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Online LibraryBenjamin Franklin SchappelleThe German Element in Brazil Colonies and Dialect → online text (page 2 of 5)