Brazil or Brasil: which is right?

You may have heard that there is a bit of confusion when it comes to the name ‘Brasil’ or ‘Brazil’. It is just one letter that is different, however, it can cause uncertainty about which one is the correct one.

We are here to tell you everything about this difference. We hope that you will find this article interesting.

If you are reading our posts, you already know that the language used in Brazil is the Portuguese language. The name of the country in Portuguese is written with -s, so it is Brasil. It was not so simple in the past. You will read more about it below.

In English, we spell it with -z, so it is Brazil. It varies in different languages. 

The origin of the word Brazil

Where did the country get its name from? Brazil is a shortened version of the ‘land of Brazil’. The country was named after the brazilwood tree ‘pau brasil’. The tree is known for its characteristic colour of the wood. It is reddish and resembles hot ember – in Portuguese ember is called brasa.

The pau brasil is the national tree of Brazil and is really beautiful. It may reach up to 15 metres in height and has amazing yellow flowers.

The tree is also known from the dye that is produced with the use of it – the dye is called Brazilin. It has been used for ages to make paints and inks and of course dye fabrics.

 

The appropriate spelling of the name of the country

 

Actually, until the year 1897, it was not stated anywhere, what is the proper spelling. Both versions were then correct.

The Brazilian Academy of Letters was founded to normalize all the norms on Portuguese orthography. Do you remember the name ‘brasa’ we have told you about?

The academy has decided that the appropriate way to spell the word is ‘brasa’ – not ‘braza’ – so the appropriate way to spell the name of the country is thus ‘Brasil’.

In 1945 both Brazil and Portugal have agreed that this spelling is officially correct.

The name of the country in different languages

We have already told you how is the name of the country spelt in English, however, it is also interesting to know how it is in other languages:

Albanian – Brazil, Brazili

Czech – Brazílie

English – Brazil

Esperanto – Brazilo

French – Brésil

Spanish – Brasil

Latin – Brasilia

German – Brasilien

Polish – Brazylia

Swedish – Brasilien

Turkish – Brezilya

Italian – Brasile 

Those are just a few languages that we have chosen as an example to show you, how the name of the country is spelt in other languages. As you may have noticed the letter -s is used as often as the letter -z in the middle of the name. 

If we have not listed your language – please leave it in the comments section below. Other readers are for sure curious as much as we are about who reads our posts. From what countries do you come from? 

If you plan to visit Brazil, be sure to look for the brazilwood tree. If you love nature, you will love it. It is listed as endangered species. You may try to find it in botanical gardens and of course around Brazil.

 

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