Brazil may delay implementation of orthographic accord

Sunday, December 09, 2012

From Público yesterday:

The Brazilian government is preparing a presidential decree to postpone the mandatory term of the orthographic accord to 31 December 2015. The extention of the accord, originally scheduled for January 2013, should be done by next Wednesday. The text of the presidential decree is ready at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is waiting for the signatures of Antonio Patriota and Dilma Rousseff.

We're not in any condition to bring it in force on the first day. The accord is a 'patchwork quilt' and many teachers still don't know how to apply it, said senator Cyro Miranda to Lusa.

The postponement emerged from a public hearing with Portuguese language teachers who criticized the accord and made a petition with more than 20,000 signatures against it.

Besides the postponement, the senator said he believes the text of the accord will be revised:  "The orthographic accord is very confusing. I believe that both Portugal as well as Brazil will ask for it to be revised.“

I personally don't see a huge need for the spelling reform - while it is true that Spanish is written in one way worldwide and so is French, English has a number of differences from country to country that have not done a thing to impede its status as a world language...and the Portuguese accord wouldn't bring all written Portuguese in line anyway:

Na prática, o acordo estabelece uma unidade ortográfica de 98% das palavras, contra cerca de 96% na situação anterior.

By the way, I've seen a lot of these Telecurso Portuguese language lessons in my inbox lately and they're quite a lot of fun if Brazilian Portuguese is the kind you prefer:


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