24 November 2009: Portuguese Orthographic Accord adopted by Guinea Bissau, only two countries remain

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Found an article here in Spanish on the ratification. See here if you've never read about this orthographic accord before. The main strength of the accord for the Portuguese language is the fact that it presents a unified script for the language which is a big plus for countries like East Timor, where the language is used officially but not by a majority of the population, and in cases such as those a single script is a good way to avoid confusion over which orthography to use.

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English technically has the same situation as Portuguese with a fairly well-off country as the originator of the language (England compares with Portugal here) and a much larger country with a slightly different orthography that is often thought of as being the main driving force for the language in the world (United States and Brazil). The difference here though is that English is in a strong enough position that variation in orthography isn't really a big deal.

Here's part of the article:

The Parliament of Guinea Bissau ratifies the Portuguese Orthographic Accord

The National Assembly of Guinea Bissau has unanimously ratified the orthographic accord of the Portuguese language, said the Portuguese press on the 24th of November.

Of the eight countries in the world that use Portuguese, the only ones that have still not ratified the document are Angola and Mozambique.

Augusto Olivais from the PAIGC (The African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) said that this orthographic accord "is great for those that speak Portuguese in the world".


The government of Guinea Bissau approved the new orthographic accord on the 14th of November in an extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers presided by the president of the country, MAlam Bacai Sanhá.

Portugal approved the accord on 6 March 2008 and set up a period of six years for the adoption and entry into force of the new orthography.


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