Portuguese language spelling accord (Acordo Ortográfico de 1990) now adopted by Brazil

Thursday, October 02, 2008

This looks like good news considering that getting two countries to agree on spelling alone is a monumentous task and I assume that having two variations has been a hindrance in areas like promoting the language and in projects like Wikipedia, but I've seen some posts online from people that don't like how the new spelling accord moves Portuguese a bit farther away from other Romance languages (and English too) in terms of recognizability, like these words for example:

(the new system is on the right)

Norma actual (pt-PT) Acordo ortográfico
acção ação
acto ato
afecto afeto
aspecto aspeto
respectivo respetivo
infecção infeção
óptimo ótimo
concepção conceção
recepção receção
intersecção interseção
intercepção interceção
asséptico assético
Egipto Egito
adoptar adotar

The words on the right are less recognizable for me at well. I'm not sure if I would have guessed that Egito was Egypt for example without some context. Ato and afeto too.

The South American country will be the first to begin adopting the new laws under the Portuguese Language Spelling Accord in 2009, Folha said. Lula also plans to open a public library in every Brazilian municipality by 2009, Folha said.

The spelling reform, which has been in discussion since 1990 by the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, will affect about 0.5 percent of words in Brazil and aims to simplify spellings by eliminating some ``silent'' letters and accents, the newspaper said. The reform will also standardize some spellings that differ from country to country, Folha said.


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