For reasons previously stated, the language or dialect of the German settlers in Brazil underwent an almost immediate change, not in its syntax, but in its vocabulary. Had the immigrants and their descendants only adopted such words as had no equivalent in their mother-tongue, our case would be much simpler. They went, however, much further, and, as a result even many of the commonest words dealing with the household or farm were replaced at an early date by Brazilian Portuguese terms, or by new formations based on them.
In the following representation of Brazilian German words and phrases an attempt has been made to select only such as have been adopted by German-speaking citizens in all parts of the country in question. In the few cases where words or phrases noted seem characteristic of any particular section of Brazil that fact is indicated. The glossary, moreover, makes no claim to completeness.
The sources of the expressions listed are Brazilian German newspapers, books, almanacs, pamphlets, advertisements, “Festschriften,” etc., as well as conversation with colonists. In the latter instance only such terms as were repeatedly used to the exclusion of the corresponding German terms were noted.
In the glossary is given first the Brazilian German term (in certain cases with variations), followed, by way of comparison as well as definition, by the corresponding High German form. If the Brazilian Portuguese equivalent differs in form or gender it is given in parentheses. If no such parenthetical form appears it signifies that both languages are in the particular instance identical. The German element in mixed compounds being self-evident, such words are treated as the simple Brazilian German forms.