Back to the spelling reform

Recovering the subject of our post on the new Portuguese spelling reform, in this post I will try to keep you abreast of the latest updates 2016 brings about.

As of January, 1st, 2016 the number of Portuguese speakers officially using the new spelling reform has risen to 215 million: 204 million from Brazil alone, 10,3 million from Portugal and 512 thousand from Cape Verde (which has been officially using the new spelling since last October). Although Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau have ratified the agreement, they still don’t have a fixed date for its official implementation.

In spite of cooperating actively to the elaboration of the Common Orthographic Vocabulary, and of being the Portuguese speaking country which made the highest financial contribution to the creation of a digital vocabulary platform, Angola hasn’t ratified the new reform so far. Consequently, it hasn’t been officially approved at any governmental level, according to Marisa Guião de Mendonça, CEO of the International Portuguese Language Institute (IILP). The reason for that lies in the fact that Angola has been asking to include some loans from other national languages. In fact, apart from Portuguese, there are six other national languages in Angola, and the vocabulary should include such native diversity.

On the contrary, in line with the same source, the implementation of the agreement in São Tomé and Príncipe has been running “seamlessly“, and a visit by Marisa Guião de Mendonça is scheduled for early 2016, in order to make out in loco how far the process has been carried out.

In Timor-Leste, on the other hand, local authorities seem to have defined a different priority regarding linguistic issues: the spreading and usage of the Portuguese language throughout the population. Although Portuguese is the official language, the majority of the Timorese people rather speak other national languages, such as Tetum. Therefore, the greatest concern right now is the sound implantation of the language at a broader level, regardless of its version.

Obviously each country is progressing at its own pace, and as we all know languages do not evolve by decree. In particular, in the case of the Portuguese language, which is spoken in eight countries but spread through four continents, a handful of different levels, numerous customs and diverse perspectives have to be considered. Just think of it as a beautiful typical Portuguese tile panel!

tile heart

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