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Portuguese Language Reform Law Goes Global

source:未知 Editor:supermanTime:2015-05-30 12:26

The Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement (NaO) became law on May 13, 2015. The agreement, which was signed in 1990, establishes new spelling and grammar rules with the goal of standardizing the Portuguese language. Implementation of the law began in 2009. Following several years of transition, the NaO changes were introduced into school systems in 2011. In 2012, all official public documents were required to follow the new rules. The NaO agreement applies to nine countries where Portuguese is the official language: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé, Principe, and Timor Leste. However, 80% of the 261,000-million Portuguese speakers reside in Brazil, and some cite this dominance as the reason the agreement heavily favors Brazilian Portuguese. Critics on both sides of the language divide view NaO as an attack on diversity. Language Professor Marcelo Leite says, "Difference is the cool thing " in cultural heritage. Proponents, on the other hand, see the differences in pronunciation and grammar as problems that can and should be fixed. They note that it's often difficult for Brazilian- and Portuguese-speakers to understand one another, and, they add, that doesn't benefit anyone.

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