Read this before registering Portuguese #ENS

@ensPortugues não está a favor do AO90! :portugal:

Forewarning to all #ENS degens registering Portuguese words.

A thread🧵

You might be surprised to learn that Portuguese has a variety of variants, same as English. In the Anglosaxon world, your ears can savour the complexity and quirkiness of Australian English or the straightforwardness of the American variant. Similarly in Portuguese variants exist including the colourful Brazilian Portuguese, the East European-sounding European variant, and the creative African Portuguese variant. There are also numerous unofficial variations within the African variant, but that is a whole separate topic.

This is only to mention that different Portuguese variants have varying word spellings and meanings, so please keep that in mind when registering Portuguese words.

However, the real reason I wanted to write this thread is to warn non-native speakers about the existence and implementation of the Ortographic Agreement of 1990.

The Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement of 1990 (Portuguese: Acordo Ortográfico da Língua Portuguesa de 1990, AO90) is an international treaty whose claimed purpose is to create a unified orthography for the Portuguese language, to be used by all the countries that have Portuguese as their official language.

The Orthographic Agreement of 1990 intends to establish a single official orthography for the Portuguese language by putting an end to the existence of two official orthographic norms: one in Brazil and another in the remaining Portuguese-speaking countries

Until the beginning of the 20th century, in Portugal as in Brazil, employed orthography that, typically, relied on Greek or Latin etymology to form words, e.g. pharmacia (“pharmacy”), lyrio (“lily”), and diccionario (“dictionary”), among others.

That all changed with the establishment of the Republic in Portugal in 1910.
Portugal enacted The Orthographic Reform of 1911, drastically altering the written language’s appearance and bringing it more in line with modern pronunciation. Unfortunately, this change was made without consulting Brazil, and as a result leaving both nations’ orthography standards wholly different.

Over time, efforts to establish a common spelling between the two nations were spearheaded by the Academy of Sciences in Lisbon and the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 1931, 1945 and 1971, with varying degrees of success; resulting in the Ortographic Agreement of 1990.

The 1990 orthographic agreement proposes the elimination of the letters c and p from the European/African spelling whenever they are silent, the elimination of the diaeresis mark (ü) from the Brazilian spelling, but also establishes some common guidelines for the use of hyphens and capitalization. As for divergent spellings such as anónimo and anônimo, facto and fato, both will be considered legitimate, according to the dialect of the author or person being transcribed.

Let me draw your attention to this excerpt, which sums up the thinking behind this treaty, “(…) facto and fato, both will be considered legitimate, according to the dialect of the author or person being transcribed”.

The contents and the legal value of the treaty have not achieved a consensus among linguists, philologists, scholars, journalists, writers, translators and figures of the arts, politics and business both in Brazil and Portugal.

The Orthographic Agreement of 1990 was set to take effect on January 1st, 1994. However, as only Cape Verde, Brazil, and Portugal (on 18 April 1995, 23 August 1991) ratified the agreement, implementation was postponed.

After a few amendments and conferences, as of January 2016, Portugal, Cape Verde and Brazil, have concluded their transitions periods, making the reformed Portuguese orthography obligatory; however, six lusophone countries have yet to ratify.

Anecdotally, both orthographies can still be found coexisting to this day, sometimes in the same article by the same author. But also on official documents, books, tv ads and so on. Meanwhile a silent majority carries on writing how they were taught. And some of us get out of their way to deliberately write in defiance of AO90.

All in all, the goal of this thread is to highlight the complexities unfolding in the Portuguese-speaking world and their effects on the lexicon. Along with the spelling and punctuation, the culture in which these terms are used is also important to consider. And that is precisely what this political agreement fails to acknowledge. Languages are living things that develop naturally as part of the human experience rather than as a result of political edict. Brazil should not adopt European Portuguese spelling for the sake of simplification or vice versa, in detriment of its own culture. On the same token, African variants shouldn’t abide by a treaty fabricated in Lisbon or Rio de Janeiro that don’t take into account the influence of Portuguese based Creole spoken in Luanda ou Maputo. Or the hundreds of African languages and dialects, wildly spoken in the beaches of Beira or Ilha do Sal.

Frens, instead of focusing on “official” this or “official” that when you want to register a Portuguese word, look to the individuals.
That’s the bottom line.

Besides punctuation, different spellings in different Portuguese-speaking countries and meanings. There’s another factor to have into account when registering a Portuguese #ENS.
Since 1990 governments of the CPLP ( The Community of Portuguese Language Countries) have agreed on an artificial and flawed spelling standard to unify all Portuguese variants. Fastforward to 2022, only 3 out of the 9 countries committed to this objective have ratified and implemented this treaty.
Additionally, people of all stripes in all 9 lusophone countries abject to this concoction and even in official documents both spellings coexist. A ortographic chaos.

In conclusion, please practice patience and pays to ask a native.


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