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Lawmaker criticises inconsistent use of Portuguese in judicial system and government

Portuguese translations of official documents can take as long as two years to appear, legislator Che Sai Wang says, affecting the rights of some residents.

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Portuguese translations of official documents can take as long as two years to appear, legislator Che Sai Wang says, affecting the rights of some residents.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

A legislator has voiced concern over the tardy use of Portuguese in the judicial system and government.

In a written submission to the government, reported in Hoje Macau, Che Sai Wang drew attention to the time lag between the release of Chinese and Portuguese-language versions of court judgements, saying that there could be as much as a two-year gap.

Portuguese is the official language of Macao alongside Chinese.

Che asked the government what measures were put in place to “ensure the simultaneous use of the two languages” and suggested that the government hire more translators, Hoje Macau said.

[See more: The anniversary of poet Camilo Pessanha passes unnoticed in Macao]

Failure to communicate in both languages, the lawmaker argued, would potentially harm the rights and interests of some residents. He reminded officials of the law that stated that residents had the right “to receive a response in the official language of their choice” when making official queries.

“Currently, how many public services comply with and rigorously put this into practice?” he asked.

Concerns have been expressed for the future of Portuguese language and culture in Macao. 

In a recent meeting with Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng, the Portuguese consul-general Alexandre Leitão called for the preservation of Portuguese and said the language was of economic benefit to Macao as the gateway between mainland China and the lusophone world.

 

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