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The Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement

During the transition from traditional Portuguese spelling to new spellings, there were many contradictions that concerned everything from schoolchildren to hopeful translators. One of the largest gaps was in education. From 2011, the children of the school were trained to learn the new Portuguese spellings. However, at that time, publishers were lagging behind in the transition and many newspapers were still published in the traditional spellings of the language. In addition, from 2009 to 2012, Portuguese translators were able to choose between traditional Portuguese or new Portuguese in their qualifying exams. After 2012, all exams were only written with the new spellings. Thus, the reform maintained certain graphemic distinctions for phonological characteristics that did not exist in all dialects, but were still present at least in some areas: between z and s intervocalic (/dz/ and /z/ in medieval Portuguese, but now reduced to /z/ in most dialects), between c/ç and s(s) (/ts/ and /s/ in medieval Portuguese), but now reduced to /s/ in most dialects) and between ch and x (initially /tʃ/ and /ʃ/, now only /ʃ/ in most dialects, although the distinction is maintained in some). The untopiced vowels e and o were also maintained for homogeneity of the word family and etymology, if they were pronounced as i or u, and the digraph or was distinguished by o, although many spokespeople have now both pronounced as /o/. These distinctions have close parallels in the spellings of other Western European languages. This results in two legal spelling standards, two official systems: one in Brazil, known as Brazilian Portuguese and the other in Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries, known as European Portuguese or Portuguese Portuguese.

The long-awaited transformation of the Luso-Brazilian language reform now seems to be complete. What exactly is the impact of this reform on these countries? And what impact has this had on the translation and localization industry? Vasco Graça Moura, a writer and former MEP, the most well-known critic of the agreement, says that the second protocol of amendment, like any other international convention, only commits its implementation in each country if it is ratified by all the signatories, which has not yet been done. In other words, it is only after ratification of the treaty by all countries that they will have the obligation to implement the changes after ratification by three members on the national territory. The rationality of a legal treaty that obliges a country to accept another treaty if it is approved by third countries is controversial. This argument of the alleged illegality of the 2004 ratification was questioned by the lawyer and MEP, Vital Moreira. Like French and English, Portuguese has become a post-colonial language in Africa and one of the working languages of the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Portuguese coexists in Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde and São Tomé and Principe with Portuguese Creoles (Upper Guinea and Gulf of Guinea) and in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau with indigenous African languages (mainly Niger-Congo family languages). . . .

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