Portuguese Orthographic Agreement

The Portuguese Orthographic Agreement: What Copy Editors Need to Know

The Portuguese Orthographic Agreement, or AO, is a set of spelling and grammar rules agreed upon by the Portuguese-speaking countries of Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, and East Timor. The agreement aims to standardize the written language across these countries, making it easier to communicate and share information.

For copy editors working in Portuguese, it`s essential to understand the AO and its impact on language use. Here`s what you need to know:

What`s Changed?

The most significant change brought about by the AO is the removal of the accent on certain letters. For example, the letter “u” in “aguentar” would no longer be accented, making it “aguentar.” This change affects a relatively small number of words, but it`s important to be aware of it.

Another significant change is the accentuation of words ending in “-al,” “-ar,” “-el,” “-ol,” and “-ul.” In these cases, the accent will be removed if the word ends in a vowel. For example, “estádio” will be accented as “estádio” but “estadio” when it`s at the end of a sentence.

Finally, the AO also changes the spelling of a few words, most notably “fato” (now spelled “facto”) and “receção” (now spelled “recepção”).

When Did the Changes Take Effect?

The AO was signed in 1990, but it took several years for the changes to take effect. In Brazil, the changes were implemented gradually between 2009 and 2016. In Portugal, the changes were implemented in 2012.

What Should Copy Editors Do?

Copy editors working in Portuguese should update their dictionaries and style guides to reflect the changes brought about by the AO. It`s also a good idea to stay up-to-date on any new changes or updates to the agreement.

In terms of editing, it`s important to be consistent in applying the new rules. Try to avoid mixing old and new spellings within the same document, and be aware of the different spellings between Portuguese-speaking countries.

Overall, the Portuguese Orthographic Agreement is an important step towards standardizing the Portuguese language across different regions. While it may take some time to adjust to the changes, copy editors who are familiar with the AO will be better equipped to produce high-quality content that meets the needs of Portuguese-speaking audiences.