RTP, the Portguese national broadcaster, has revealed that all three shows of Festival da Canção 2018, the Portuguese national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, will feature interpretation into Portuguese Sign Language (LGP).
All three shows will feature interpreters who will interpret the dialogue and songs into LGP for the deaf and hard of hearing community. This wil be available to watch on the RTP website.
This will not be the first time that sign language interpretation will be provided for a Eurovision show. Melodifestivalen in Sweden and Supernova in Latvia have both interpretation of their selections into their country’s sign languages. The Eurovision Song Contest itself has also been broadcast online with International Sign Language interpretation in recent years.
The 2 semi-finals of this year’s Festival da Canção will take place on February 18 and 25. The grand final will then take place on 4 March. The winner of the contest will go on to represent Portugal on home soil at the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest in May. This will be the first time that Portugal will host the Eurovision Song Contest in their 50-year history of participation.
Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest
Portugal debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1964 represented by António Calvário, the country finished last scoring nul points. Prior to 2016, the best result of Portugal in the contest was 6th place. This 6th place came in 1996 when Lúcia Moniz performed “O meu coração não tem cor” on stage in Oslo, Norway. She scored 92 points receiving 12 points from both Norway and Cyprus. Since their debut in 1964 Portugal has missed a total of five contests, the latest being in 2016. After their spectacular win last May, in Kyiv, Portugal will host the 2018 edition of the contest in the capital, Lisbon.