The Portuguese Ortographic Reform and freedom of choice

<hidden> anonymous
Created: 2 years and 7 months ago • Updated: 2 years and 7 months ago
As many might know (or maybe not), some years ago, the portuguese government imposed a new Ortographic Reform in Portugal. This reform brought major changes to the way the language is written and even spoken. Needless to say, the majority of the portuguese people doesn't agree with this reform and yet the government and all companies insist on imposing this thing.

The thing is: it would be great if DuckDuckGo could have two versions of its Portuguese of Portugal translations. One accordingly to the new Ortographic Reform, and another one with the old one. This would even help to boost the popularity of this search engine amongst the portuguese. Having these two versions would even prove that DuckDuckGo besides being a search engine that protects the privacy of its users, it also allows freedom of choice, as opposed to other search engines that force this new Reform to its users.

These two versions could be named this way:
Portuguese of Portugal (preOR) [pt_PT] - no Ortographic Reform
Portuguese of Portugal (OR) [pt_PT] - with Ortographic Reform

Finally, to show how opposed the portuguese are to this reform, I leave a link to a Microsoft sugestion page, where it's written all the details about this reform:

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Thank you all for the many comments, questions and suggestions. Particular thanks go to user x.15a2 for constantly monitoring, replying and helping so many users here. To continue these discussions, please head over to the DuckDuckGo subreddit.

dat shood b pritee ez ta do. all ya need iz a simpl wrd translatr so dat wen sumwun puts ina reqwest fonetiklee da enjin kan jus use da oldskool inglish to match up wit da old skool kontent :)
posted by <hidden> • 2 years and 7 months ago Link
posted by MyUser 2 years and 7 months ago Link
Hey. I'm new here. People don't seem to care much about this topic here. Is there anything I can do to spread the awareness about the issue I discussed on the post? Thanks.
posted by <hidden> • 2 years and 7 months ago Link
I care about what you are talking about. You might want to go here: and send the developers a note explaining your concern.

As a linguist myself, I can understand how annoying it can be when a government decides to go and change the entire way a language is written, especially when they have no reason to.

"Removing unpronounced letters that are only etymological" is not a good reason to remove them. Language can have flavour to it, y'know? Look at French: their spelling system is etymological just like English's is. They don't pronounce half of the letters that they use.

So arguing to remove letters just because they aren't pronounced is not a good argument if they actually belong there. It doesn't help young children either who need to learn how to break down words by word parts. And if, in a certain word, word parts are not pronounced, the spelling can at least tell a person what the word is supposed to be a compound of. Take "waistcoat" for instance. That, traditionally, was pronounced "Weskit" as opposed to "waist coat". Only fairly recently did the "waist coat" pronunciation come back into use ("weskit" developed in pronunciation when people said "waist coat" very fast) after having not been used for hundreds of years.

If the spelling system had changed to spell waistcoat "weskit", no one would be able to break the word down to understand it. That's the kind of thing that spelling reform advocates don't seem to understand. Having a spelling system like the one English has or like the one French has actually helps a language, because it often indicates how a word was formed and/or from whence it was derived.

But then again, governments probably don't care one bit about any of that. Governments are usually selfish and don't care about anything other than what is good for those in office.
posted by Tharthan 2 years and 7 months ago Link
YES!!! You really understand how bad this Reform is! And how stupid it is to remove letters just because they aren´t pronouced!! This reform is destroying the last bit of etymoly the portuguese language has... it's depressing... Thank you so much for the link you provided and also for being so comprehensive!
posted by <hidden> • 2 years and 6 months ago Link
No problem. I'm always happy to help!
posted by Tharthan 2 years and 6 months ago Link