Portuguese to be a working language in the parliament of East Timor

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Here's an article in Portuguese from two days ago on East Timor, where Portuguese is going to be a working language in parliament. Here's part of the article:

The Parliament of East Timor approved a resolution at the end of October that makes the use of Portuguese obligatory in plenary sessions and meetings of parliamentary commissions, at least once a month.
The resolution states that "the Portuguele language, along with the Tetum language, makes up part of the national heritage, being an element of national unity, contributing decisively to societal cohesion and to the Timorese State."
Manuel Tilman of the Kota Party, one of the two deputies that abstained, said that "almost all public employees or those from other governmental institutions don't speak Portuguese well, including various deputies that have completed their studies in Indonesia".
The National Parliament of East Timor will be the host of the Parliamentary Assembly of the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries), whose next meeting will happen in the East Timorese capital of Dili in 2011, and for the members of various parties that endorsed the resolution, "the ability to respond to parliamentary services (for the meeting) is an imperative".
The issue of Portuguese as an official language in East Timor has been an issue since the country achieved independence in 2002, and since it hasn't even been a decade since then it's not yet certain whether the majority of the population (or a sizable minority) will be able to learn the language to fluency. A good sign for Portuguese though is how Brazil has continued to improve since then, as that really is the only country that counts when the fate of Portuguese as an international language is considered. It's nice that Portuguese is spoken in Portugal, Angola, Mozambique and a few other countries, but without Brazil its influence would be close to nothing on the world stage.

Over six years from 2002 to 2008, Brazil's GDP has grown to three times its size:

More important than GDP though for a country like Brazil are factors such as poverty and literacy, and we'll see by about 2016 whether Brazil can achieve what it is aiming for. That also happens to be the year Rio will host the Summer Olympics.

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