European languages have been around a long time. Many of them are even older than the true international language, English. Many a-reader will know how the English language was transported around the globe – yet, many still don’t understand that as English was – so were many others.
It wasn’t a matter that Elizabeth I decided that she wanted to bring an enormous empire to change the world and how it spoke – she wanted a lot of gold, the outcome of that was the beginnings of what we knew as the British Empire.
Other countries felt exactly the same, Spain, France, Portugal, and Holland. Each, in turn, spread their influence over the new world taking both language and custom with them.
Portugal has made an historic move, though. It – with the agreement of seven other nations, will add to their language certain letters bringing its alphabet in line with that of a former colony, Brazil. They, Portugal, will add the letters k, w and y.
As we would expect, or I did anyway, there was protests about this in the Portuguese country itself – over 33,000 signed a petition that this change should not happen. A Capitulation to Brazil it is said.
But a petition against the move was signed by 33,000 people who argue it is a capitulation to Brazilian influence.
Proponents counter the move will make the language more uniform globally, making such things as internet searches and legal documents easier to understand.
But is this a real problem? Many languages have changed over the years. We can look at English itself for proof of that. We now see that the Americanisation of English is prevalent because of the explosion of both personal computers and the Windows operating system. We see that writing such things as HTML code or CSS code has to be written in a bastardisation of English, known as British-English, for American-English. If you want to do a simple process of centring text – you have to use American-English “center”, which we do know is wrong – it should be centre. Yet – this isn’t a real problem – it is just that the language has changed and those who produce HTML, CSS and the other multitude of programs use American-English routinely.
The whole aspect of language and its spelling is unrecognisable from its first use.
The official language of more than 230m people worldwide, Portuguese is spoken in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, East Timor, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and Sao Tome and Principe, as well as Portugal.
Personally I am all for change if it makes life easier – after all, there are so many spell-check programs out there in the interweb that you really shouldn’t have a problem at all.
Unless of course you use text-speak – then you should be put against the wall and shot!
C U Ltr!