Galician 101

The current official Galician orthography was introduced in 1982, and made law in 1983, by the Real Academia Galega (RAG), based on a report by the ILG. It remains a source of contention, however; a minority of citizens would rather have the institutions recognize Galician as a Portuguese variety as cited before, and therefore still opt for the use of writing systems that range from adapted medieval Galician-Portuguese writing system or European Portuguese one (see reintegrationism).

In July 2003 the Real Academia Galega (Galician Royal Academy) modified the language normative to admit some archaic Galician-Portuguese forms conserved in modern Portuguese. These changes have been considered an attempt to build a consensus among major Galician philology trends and represent, in words of the Galician Language Academy, "the ortography desired by 95% of Galician people." The 2003 reform is thought to put an end to the so-called "normative wars" raised by the different points of view at the relationship between the modern Galician and Portuguese languages. This modification has been accepted only by a part of the reintegrationist movement a this point.

The question of the spelling system has very significant political connotations in Galicia. At present there are minor but significant political parties representing points of view that range from greater self-government for Galicia within the Spanish political setup to total political independence from Spain designed to preserve Galician culture and language from the risk of being absorbed into Spanish one. Since modern Galician spelling system is somewhat influenced by Spanish one, it's seen by these parties as some form of Spanish influence that it is necessary to remove. Since medieval Galician and medieval Portuguese were a language unity, Portuguese spelling is nearer to medieval Galician than to modern Galician Spanish-style spelling. Language unification would also have the benefit of linking the Galician language to another major language with its own extensive cultural production, which would weaken the links that bind Galicia and Spain and ultimately favor the people's aspiration toward an independent state. However, although all three concepts are frequently associated, there is no correlation between reintegrationism, independentism and defending Galician and Portuguese linguistic unity, and in fact reintegrationism has a small force in the whole Galician nationalist movement.

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