Mozambique’s Independence Day: Key Data on the Use of Portuguese for Your Next Development Project

June 25 marked the 43rd anniversary of Mozambique’s independence.

Geography and political context: Mozambique sits on the southeast coast of Africa with a population of about 28 million. After three decades of conflict between the Frelimo (ruling party) and the Renamo (rebel group turned opposition), a truce is in sight. Municipal elections are scheduled in 2018 and presidential elections in 2019.

Economic outlook: Mozambique has successfully expanded its economy, achieving growth rates in excess of 6%, and has attracted the confidence of foreign investors. The economic outlook of the country has slightly deteriorated in the last year and despite its rapid economic expansion over the past decades, the country still relies on international development actors to overcome economic challenges.

Interested in Mozambique’s development? Portuguese translations are key to communicating effectively with Mozambicans.

The rise of public-private partnerships and continued involvement of the international community in the country are encouraging greater knowledge sharing among international entities. As translators specialized in international development with a team of experienced continental Portuguese linguists, JPD Systems has witnessed a rise in translation requests from English to Portuguese (and vice versa)

Key facts to keep in mind when communicating with a Mozambican audience:

  • Continental Portuguese is the official language, and Mozambique is a full member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.
  • Country-wide, 50% of Mozambicans are fluent in Portuguese, 80% in rural areas.
  • Mozambique is also a multilingual country; a number of Bantu languages are indigenous to Mozambique.
  • Mozambique did not ratify the Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement (Portuguese abbreviation: NaO), a controversial spelling reform implemented by Portugal and Brazil last year that affects around 1.5% of Portuguese words.

JPD Systems has translated nearly 2 million words from English into Portuguese in areas such as education, nutrition, agriculture and rural development, water supply, road, rail, and telecommunications infrastructure, community-driven development, etc.

A professor at Universidade Catolica de Moçambique said about one of our translations on an infrastructure project in Maputo: “Real Portuguese at last!”

Jean-Paul Dailly on the Role of Language in Development

On May 11, 2017 JPDS’s Founder and Vice President Jean-Paul Dailly participated in the two-day symposium organized by the Study Group on Language and the United Nations.

Speaking to an audience composed of scholars, UN staff, and development professionals,
Mr. Dailly highlighted the role of language in fostering participation and governance with a focus on French-speaking Africa.

“While a lot of progress has been made by international organizations to produce knowledge in languages other than English,  more is needed,” he declared in his introduction.

Drawing from his experience as a former development practitioner and founder of a translation agency with 20 years of experience  in economic development, he illustrated the impact of translation in ensuring successful project implementation with real-life examples and offered recommendations on financing options to increase the number of publications available in all UN official languages.

Interested in learning more about this topic? Contact us to receive the full presentation.

The Symbols of Green in Different Cultures

Today is the day to pull all the green you own out of your wardrobe to show off your best St. Patrick’s Day spirit (or to avoid getting pinched). But, as linguists, we are always thinking about how aspects of culture are interpreted around the world. What effect does the color green have in other societies? What is the significance of this color around the world?


Beautifully nicknamed, “The Emerald Isle” by poet William Drennan, green holds an important symbolic meaning for Ireland, not only for its glorious green countryside but also for St. Patrick. The holiday and the color both have a spiritual significance in the country.

Western (except Ireland)

In Western cultures, green symbolizes luck, money, and jealousy. On St. Patty’s day, it also usually means pub-hopping.

Latin America

Though South America is known for its rich forests, green usually symbolizes death. In Mexico, green is associated with independence since it is one of the main colors on the country’s flag.

Muslim World

Green is very important to Islamic cultures because it was supposedly the prophet Muhammed’s favorite color. The flags of Iran and Saudi Arabia include the color. It can also symbolize respect, which causes it to be held to a high honor.


In Asian cultures, green usually symbolizes eternity, wealth, fertility and sometimes, infidelity! If a man is wearing a green hat in China, it means his wife has cheated on him! Ironically, the jade stone in China also represents virtue. In Japan, green represents eternity and vitality, while in places like Indonesia, the color used to be banned.

So if you’re planning to use the color green in your next global communication campaign, make sure the color is in line with the message you are willing to share with your target audience. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask us!