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About The Sousaphone

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A Lusophone is someone who speaks the Portuguese language natively or by adoption. As an adjective, it means “Portuguese-speaking.” The word itself is derived from the name of the ancient Roman province of Lusitania, which covered an area that is today Portugal.

Sousafone é um instrumento de sopro da família dos metais. Trata-se de uma tuba especial que o executante apoia no ombro para que possa executá-la enquanto anda ou marcha.

Colin Brayton is a Brooklyn, New York business and technical translator, writer, editor and journalist living in São Paulo, Brazil with his wife, Neuza Paranhos. Reach me by e-mail at colin.brayton17@gmail.com.

Translations published on this Web log are draft-quality, presented for informational purposes only, and have no commercial value. Any views expressed are the author’s personal (and possibly misguided) opinions and do not reflect the views of the author’s employers and clients.

This is an open-source reporter’s jotbook on newsflow about Brazilian business and finance, along with an assortment of tangentially related topics — human rights, the press and media business, discourse analysis, traddutore traditore, informal fallacies for fun and profit, barefoot troubadours, the epidemiology of media-driven mass hysteria, tropical Gnosticism, and things like that.

An important guiding principle — “The Rohter Maxim,” in honor of the New York Times’ former man in Copacabana — is that some local sources of news and information need to be boiled before they are fit for human consumption. See also

If I tend to find myself posting more about the boiling than about about the substance boiled — about the moral hazards of the native press — it is simply because it takes an awful lot of work sometimes to extract a credible account of what the hell is going on around here by cross-checking various journalistic sources.

Why is it called the Tupiwire?

Brazilians sometimes refer to themselves as tupiniquins or tupi, after one of the indigenous peoples the first scurvy-suffering Portuguese colonists found standing on the shore, gaping and innocently awaiting mass slaughter, when they arrived.

Brazilian geography is shot through with names and terms derived from the languages of native peoples — Anhangambaú! — much as gringo geography is rife with Minnetonkas and Manahattans.

Del.icio.us makes a handy tool for clipping news items as you run across them and assembling them into a headline newswire.

The Google Notebook is handy for the same purpose, but also gives you the ability to clip and edit long excerpts. I will use that to publish translations of articles that might be of interest. Call them “the news hole” and “the feature well,” if you like.

The blog I will reserve for original leads and commentaries, if I manage to dig any up in my (shrinking) spare time.

The New World Lusophone Sousaphone is a reorganization and reformulation of The New Market Machines, which wandered off topic — big tech digs in the financial services sector — over the years, especially after I disappeared into the thick jungles of South America, foreseeing the coming economic apocalypse back home.

Past blogs by the same fool for disorganized jottings include The Red Actor (working notes of an assignment and copy desk editor) and Blogalization (working notes of a technical translator).

Once I get my permanent visa squared away, I will be opening a Brazilian chapter of my editorial and translation consultancy, Boi Zebu Editorial Services.

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The author at Piritininga on a Sunday night, listening to bad jazz piano. Source: Mina de Letras for the Fotoagência Sousaphone-Tabajara.


2 Responses

  1. Hey Colin! Do you still play the trombone?

    • An apple-checked bone blower, always getting yelled at by Mr. Jameson, the meanest band director in the world. I remember Steve Sarno! How weird is that? Answer: Yes, I have a silver valve trombone but I left it back in New York.

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