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Illiteracy is illiterate as a word of Latin origin (analphabētus), which means any person that cannot read nor write. However, the term contains a broad meaning and is used to refer to individuals who are ignorant or lack basic training in any material.
Illiteracy arises at the lack of learning. That said, in countries with compulsory schooling programmes, illiteracy is minority, beyond that people reading comprehension may be low.
In such cases, one speaks of functional illiteracy or inability to understand ideas explicit and implicit text and issue a judgment critical on these. This means that the functional illiterate know pronounce and decipher written words but can't seem to apply in practice or to understand.
In addition, in recent years, the concept of digital illiteracy has developed. It concerns persons who do not have the knowledge necessary to interact with the new technologies (e.g. Internet).
It is worth mentioning that there are countries that have regulated laws with special provisions for the illiterate. In France, for example, the law provides for the authentic testament. It allows the illiterate, as testators, to dictate their wishes to the notary and then sign the Act after reading. This Act must be passed before two notaries or in front of a notary and two witnesses.
Nowadays, there are several programs for the eradication of illiteracy, including through television to reach populations who live in more remote areas.