Monday, May 09, 2011
The Portuguese Institute of the Orient (IPOR, O Instituto Português do Oriente) put the first of ten Portuguese textbooks on sale today that follow the Portuguese orthographic accord. The director Rui Rocha said that the new manual "was tested for over a year in the classroom", a procedure that will be adopted in the next school year for the second and third volumes. "Eleven years after the transfer of power from Portuguese to China, we believe it to be important to have manuals that are adapted to the reality found in Macau and the cultural reality of those the books are for - that is, to students of Chinese origin that make up 99% of our students." The old manuals date to 1995 and 1996, when Macau was still a Portuguese overseas territory.
The IPOR now has around 2,100 students learning Portuguese in the various courses it offers, many of which are linked to the government of Macau - the security forces, and the Centre for Legal and Judicial Training, for example. Students of tourism also often choose to learn Portuguese.
IPOR's site is more interesting than most, and has a video here called "eight reasons to learn Portuguese" (8 Razões para Aprender Português). It's in Cantonese so I can't understand it, but I can read the subtitles...except the martial arts guy, because I don't really understand his point. Translation below.
Guy with book: Eu falo português (I speak Portuguese) - because because Portuguese is the 5th largest language in the world with 250 million users throughout the world.
Two girls exercising: Eu falo português - because Portuguese is the third largest European language, after English and Spanish.
Girl in white uniform: Eu falo português - because Portuguese is the language of the 5th-largest country in the world, Brazil, and Africa's 7th-largest country, Angola.
Guy with cellphone: Eu falo português - because Portuguese is an economic bridge between the People's Republic of China, Macau, the EU and the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries).
Kid with mom: Eu falo português - because Portuguese helps in learning other Latin (Romance) languages, like Spanish, French and Italian.
Martial arts guy: Eu falo português - because Portuguese is the official language of seven peaceful world countries. (or Portugal the 7th-most peaceful country? That doesn't make sense)
Couple eating tarts: Nós falamos português (we speak Portuguese) - because Portuguese, like Chinese, is an official language in Macau.
Dancing guys: Eu falo português - because Portuguese is an international language that extends over five continents.