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Almada, André Alvares d', fl. 1594, et al. / Brief treatise on the rivers of Guinea
Part I (1984)

Introduction [with maps],   pp. 1-12 ff.


Page 9



Points to note about the translation and notes


1.   Numbering of chapters and paragraphs
The number of chapters (19) is that in the Porto version and hence
in the modern editions. The Lisbon version divides the same
material into only 10 chapters. For ease of reference, the present
edition numbers the paragraphs throughout each chapter.
2.   Brackets
Since there are very few round brackets ( ) in the original Portuguese
text, round brackets are used in the translation to indicate insertions
by the translator, either to make clear the meaning of a phrase or
sentence, or to explain a word. Where the text does have round
brackets, these are changed in the translation into dashes -    -
3.   Underlining
Words underlined in the translation and notes are either terms in
African languages or untranslatable terms in Portuguese. An example
of the latter is milho, whose exact meaning at this period is uncertain
- hence, it is usually given with a general meaning, thus, milho (corn).
4.   Toponyms and ethnonyms
Toponyms and ethnonyms are given in the form they appear in the text
available to me, that is, in orthography to some extent modernized
(see Donelha, p.66).  But the followingexceptions are to be noted.
(a)  Well-known toponyms or ethnonyms are often given, after their
first appearance in the textual form, subsequently in the modern
form, e.g. 'River Sanaga' becomes 'River Senegal' and 'Soussos'
becomes 'Susu'. But in cases where there is doubt whether the
toponym or ethnonym has precisely the same reference as the
modern corresponding term, then the textual form is retained.
Thus, 'Jalofs' and 'Fulos' are retained because these terms do
not seem to indicate a group coterminous with the modern
Jolof and Fula.
(b)  Major landmarks, mainly capes and rivers, are given the accepted
English name, thus, 'Cape Verde' not 'Cabo Verde', 'River
Gambia/Gambia River' not 'Rio de Gambia'. However toponyms
whose names are descriptive or significant are translated into
English, e.g. 'Heretics' River' not 'Rio dos Hereges', 'Cape
Joyous' not 'Cabo Ledo', 'Wild Islands' not 'Ilhas Bravas'.
But 'Serra Leoa' is retained because the modern equivalent
'Sierra Leone' on the one hand conceals the original meaning of
the Portuguese ('Leonine Hills') and on the other has different
and more specific meanings than 'Serra Leoa' had in Almada's day.


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