Radio Vatican: Portuguese language is gaining ground in East Timor

Sunday, February 12, 2012

From here (Brazilian Portuguese version of Radio Vatican) in Portuguese yesterday. I have a few more Portuguese-related articles to write about in the next few days too.

Prohibited for nearly 25 years in East Timor, Portuguese has been gaining ground. By means of crossword puzzles, word searches and colouring pages for children, Brazil has been encouraging the dissemination of the language in the Asian country, which became independent from Indonesia ten years ago. Until then Indonesian was the official language of the country, now the official languages are Tetum and Portuguese. Because of this vacuum, there is a "repressed desire" for the Timorese to learn the language, according to the Brazilian ambassador in Dili, Edson Monteiro.

He says that in a book fair in 2010, all copies in Portuguese were sold on the first morning of the event. After that, the embassy contacted Brazilian publishers to partner with them. One of these donated 80,000 Portuguese titles.

In March, about 70 East Timorese will go to Brazil to learn Portuguese and attend college, according to Folhapress.

Barazilian TV is also seen in East Timor: programs such as "A Grande Família" (The Large Family) and "A Diarista" (The Diarist) have been broadcast on RTTL (Rede de Televisão do Timor-Leste - East Timor Television Channel).

"The Timorese identify with the scenario and Brazilian stories, in particular those that come from a rural environment. The film "Dois Filhos de Francisco" (Francisco's Two Sons) has had the most success here", said the ambassador.

After that follows a general introduction to Portuguese and the countries that speak it, information that can easily be obtained on Wikipedia or elsewhere.

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