Single Orthography for the Portuguese language

Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement, signed in Lisbon in 1990, establishes a single official orthography for the Portuguese language used by all the countries that have Portuguese as their official languageas of 1 January 2012.

Council of Ministers resolution No. 8 / 2011, Official Gazette No. 17, of 25/01/2011 determined the application of the Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement in the education system for the academic year 2011/2012 and its applicability in the Government and all governmental services and agencies as of 1 January 2012.

For all the information on the Agreement, visit the portal of the Portuguese language

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1 Response to Single Orthography for the Portuguese language

  1. Herminia Castro says:

    Absolutely, Gilberto.

    Even worse: the so-called “mute” consonnants that the “agreement” eliminates in Portugal are absolutely necessary even though those who defend the “agreement” state they are not. In Portugal, no one reads e.g. “acionar” in the same way they would read “accionar”, for the simple reason that the “mute” c is absolutely necessary to open the previous vowel. There is no such problem in Brazil, since the Brazilian accent will open the vowel anyway, which is why they had eliminated these vowels a long time ago. It makes absolutely no sense to introduce the same spelling in Portugal and in Brazil.

    Also, this “agreement” introduces ambiguity where it did not exist before (e.g. “para” [as in “stop!”]/”para” [to], instead of “pára”/”para” as it was before), random rules such as the use of hyphen in “cor-de-rosa” [pink] but not in “cor-de-laranja” [orange] (which would now be “cor de laranja”) and “facultative” spelling in hundreds of words (e.g. “característica/caraterística”). I had this naïve idea that orthography was meant to let us know how to spell correctly, not to introduce confusion and leave everybody scratching heir heads. Furthermore, it will achieve no harmonisation whatsoever, since two major African Portuguese-speaking countries, Angola and Mozambique, have not adopted it. The result is that it originates three kinds of written Portuguese: Brazilian Portuguese as per the “agreement”, European Portuguese as per the “agreement” and the Portuguese in Angola and Mozambique. How absurd is that?

    In Portugal, the transition period is until 2015, but about two thirds of people do not like the new “orthography” at all and there is currently a movement trying to gather enough signatures to take this to discussion in Parliament and revoke its introduction in Portugal. Many people in Brazil do not agree with the changes introduced either, even though they are not as radical as in Portugal. Fingers crossed that this whole nonsense will come to an end shortly.

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