Portugal has voted to adopted Brasilian Portguese as its national language. It’s a sign of the times, as the South American country is economically in ascendancy and has a population many times in excess of its former colonial master.

The changes include spelling and the addition of three letters to the alphabet: k, w, and y. All letters Irish lacks, incidentally, apart from loan words.

But there will inevitably be opposition, as the change is as drastic as having Britain adopt American English (I work in a newspaper which has made North Americans conform to Anglo stylings, so I know how difficult it can be to change habits). Such is the way of language and life. Of course, I’m biased toward Brasil, but all the same I can understand the reason behind the change. It standardises the language, which is good for internet searches as well as contracts and the like; these points are made in the BBC article linked to above.

However, it does raise an interesting question. When faced with many variations, should the root be forced to change to come into line with the branches? Or, as with English, should the two distinctions be maintained?

Hat tip to Catholicgauze for coming across this news.

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