Portuguese Spelling Initiative Part 1

On January 1, 2009, all eight Portuguese-speaking countries signed the 1990 Orthographic Agreement, which implements new standardized spelling rules to unify Brazilian and Iberian Portuguese. The goal of the reform is to improve technology-based research, standardize legal documents, and increase global markets particularly for film and book production. The countries were given a six-year transition period, ending in December 2014, to implement the new spelling and grammar rules in schools and governments.

The hope of many linguists when this was initiative started was that it would bring about a united Portuguese language that could be used everywhere. However, there continues to be a wide-range of syntactic, terminological, and phraseological differences between the dialects, and they will remain classified as distinct and separate.

Effects on Linguists
Linguists started implementing these changes in 2009. Reminders will be sent to Portuguese linguists that the reform rules should be implemented, but the majority of professionals should have already taken the rule changes into consideration.

If you have an existing Portuguese translation memory, you should have it reviewed by native speakers familiar with the reform rules and updated for accuracy. Iberian and Brazilian translation memories should not be combined and native-speakers must still be used for projects.

Written by Katie Steuck © 2015 The Geo Group Corporation

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