46. Excerpt from the budget of the Estado da Índia, detail of the fund allocated for the payment of interpreters.

National Archive of Torre do Tombo (Portugal)
Contos do Reino e Casa, Núcleo Antigo 874, fol. 41r

The selected passage of this budget highlights the importance of the interpreter (lingoa) of the viceroy (fifth register in the image). The interpreter’s role was fundamental in allowing efficient communication between the Portuguese highest official in Asia and the local rulers and their representatives. This register reveals that he received a substantial salary (36,000 reais per year), more than the sums paid to the apothecary (24,000), the bailiff (30,000) and the musicians who accompanied the viceroy.

(Roger Lee de Jesús)