New campaign in France to counter image of the Portuguese language

Associations from the Portuguese-speaking world, teachers and prominent figures of the Portuguese community in France are preparing to launch a national campaign to promote the learning of the Portuguese language and, thus, to counter the prejudices against the language of Camões.

“The Portuguese language suffers from a bad image with the French, and one of the axes of the campaign we are promoting is to change that image and make Portuguese an attractive language for the French as well. the French) and does not have the prestige of a foreign language such as Chinese, “said Anna Martins, president of the association Cap Magellan, in statements.

Cap Magellan coordinated the second edition of the General States of the Lusodescedência in the Maison du Portugal, in the International University City of Paris, this weekend. This initiative brought together more than 120 Portuguese, Cape Verdean, Brazilian and Angolan people to find strategies to promote the teaching of Portuguese in France and to launch a national campaign to encourage the learning of Portuguese.

Although the Portuguese language is still considered as an immigration language, the perception has been changing in recent years. “From the political point of view, there has not even been a great evolution, but in French mentalities I have seen things change gradually and I have seen even more in recent years with the increase of French tourism in Portugal,” said Paul Branquinho, a Portuguese teacher at the school and at the lycée de l’Ivroise in Brest.

If, on the one hand, this teacher has more Luso-descendent students or the Portuguese-speaking world until the 9th year, this change of attitude towards Portuguese is already more visible in high school. “It is in this audience that we observe the effects of the dissemination of Portuguese culture through demonstrations such as sport, of the song – and here I also speak of Brazilian songs that are successful in France – and also with the fact that Portuguese is an institution in our establishment “added Paul Branquinho.

According to this professor, “an organized lobi” is now lacking in Portuguese to promote his teaching, saying that in his region there is already “an advertising strategy” that has worked with the promotion of annual study trips to Portugal and the dissemination of culture Portuguese

João Gil, the coordinator of the Portugal Maior initiative, which will carry out an inventory of Portuguese professional musicians and musical groups with regular activity abroad in Portuguese communities, was present at this meeting in Paris and considers that the articulation between Portugal and associations is the key of the success of the Portuguese language.

We are in contact, articulating everything that is public and not a public body in order to communicate our Portuguese identity, whether through language, through music and even as it already happens with football. Of course, music is a factor of brutal union and let’s take advantage of it to take a step forward in the huge divorce that has happened between the parts that make up Portugal, “said the musician.

This meeting in Paris also served to draw up a plan of action to be implemented in September 2019, in time for the return to school. From learning how to open a Portuguese class, we also discussed how to communicate the language teaching campaign, defined a timetable and thought about how to finance a campaign of this magnitude, one of the possible ideas being to appeal to the ‘crowdfunding ‘, widely used by various civic initiatives in France.

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