Culture minister to redefine Language Act

Culture minister Daniel Krajcer (SaS) is proposing an amendment to the Language Act aimed at easing up the conditions for using minority languages. He plans for the new law to take effect from the beginning of next year.

The amendment would mean the Ministry of Culture would not be responsible any more for checking compliance to the law in official communication. At present the Ministry has the power to impose fines of up to EUR 5,000 for improper use of the national language, although this would have to be an extreme case.

There should no longer be a threat of penalties for materials printed in minority languages, for cultural purposes, catalogues, galleries, museums, and other cultural events.

The former government put restrictions on the use of minority languages in places that did not have at least a 20% minority population, but the new revision would make any language possible if everyone at the respective meeting agrees.

The revision will see various restrictions lifted when it comes to normal communication in advertisements, for instance, because at present these have to be bilingual and have the Slovak language first.

It will basically annul all the limitations and conditions that the previous government imposed through its revision of the Language Act, but official communication of employees in some public capacity will still have to be in Slovak.

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