An Act of Parliament
Dated November 15, 1995
on the State Language of the Slovak Republic

 

 

 

The National Council of the Slovak Republic, be it resolved the fact that the Slovak language is the most important feature of distinctiveness of the Slovak nation, the most esteemed value of its cultural heritage and an articulation of sovereignty of the Slovak Republic, as well as a universal means of understanding for its citizens, providing them with freedom and of equality of dignity and rights 1 on the territory of the Slovak Republic, has passed a resolution on the following law:

§ 1
INTRODUCTORY ENACTMENT

 

[1] The State language on the territory of the Slovak Republic is the Slovak language.2

[2] The State language has a priority over other languages applied on the whole territory of the Slovak Republic.

[3] The law does not regulate the usage of liturgic languages. Usage of those languages is arranged by the regulations of  churches and religious communities.3

[4] The law does not regulate the usage of languages of national minorities and ethnic groups. Usage of those languages is arranged by separate laws.4

 

 

§ 2
THE STATE LANGUAGE AND ITS PROTECTION

 

[1] The State
a) settles in the educational, scientific and information system such conditions, which enable every citizen of the Slovak Republic to have the command of, and to use, the State language by word of mouth and writing,
b) takes care of the scientific research of the State language, of its historical development, of exploration of local and social dialects, of codification of the State language and of improvement of the language culture.

[2] The codified form of the State language is promulgated by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic (further referred to as "The Ministry of Culture"), in virtue of a proposal of specialistic linguistic departments of Slovak studie

[3] Any interference into the codified form of the State language in contradiction with its dispositions is inadmissible.

§ 3
USAGE OF THE STATE LANGUAGE IN OFFICIAL CONTACT

[1] In the course of accomplishment of their duties, the State authorities and State organizations, the authorities of territorial self-administration and the authorities of public and legal institutions 5 (further referred to as "public and legal authorities"), the State language shall be, by those authorities, used compulsorily on the whole territory of the Slovak Republic. Demonstration of commensurate knowledge of the State language by word of mouth and writing is a qualification for being taken into service, or for entering a similar occupational relationship, as well as a prerequisite for accomplishing work agreed within specified job description at a public and legal authority.

[2] The employees and officials of the public and legal authorities, employees in transport and communications, as well as the armed forces officers, the officers of armed security corps, of other armed corps and fire brigades, shall use the State language in contact on official lines.

[3] In the State language,
a) the laws, decrees of the Government, as well as all the other generally compulsory legal regulations, including the regulations of the authorities of the territorial self-administration, adjudication and other public documents are issued,except the certificates issued by schools in which the education has been carried out in the language of the minorities or in the foreign languages5a; issuing such certificates is covered by special regulation5b,
b) conferences of the public and legal authorities are conducted,
c) the overall official agenda (registers, minutes, resolutions, statistics, evidence, balance sheets, official records, information for the public, etc.), and the agenda of churches and religious communities which is intended for public, is conducted,
d) official names of municipalities and their districts, denomination of the streets and other public places, other geographical names, as well as the data in the layout of the State map works, including the land-registry maps, are conducted; denomination of municipalities in other languages are regulated by a separate law,6
e) chronicles of the municipalities are conducted. An alternative version in another language shall be a translation from the State language.

[4] Public and legal authorities, as well as organizations established by those, are obliged to use the State language in all the information systems, as well as in the mutual contact ; they may use also another language along with the State language in information systems, if stipulated by a special regulation. 6a

[5] Canceled by the Ruling of Constitutional Court from 4 October 1997.

[6] Every citizen of the Slovak Republic has a right to alter, free of charge, his first name 7 and his family name into a Slovak orthographic form.

§ 4
USAGE OF THE STATE LANGUAGE IN THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

[1] Education of the State language is compulsory at all the elementary schools and high schools. A language other than the State language shall be a language of instruction and of examination in an extent administered by specific regulations. 8

[2] Pedagogical workers at all the schools and educational facilities on the territory of the Slovak Republic, with the exception of foreign pedagogues and lecturers, are obliged to have a command of, and to use, the State language by word of mouth and writing.

[3] The complete pedagogical documentation is conducted in the State language, except of pedagogical documentation, which is conducted in the schools according to the special regulations 8a, the way in which the pedagogical documentation is conducted in these schools have been stipulated by special regulations. 8b

[4] Textbooks and instructional texts used in the educational and instruction process in the Slovak Republic are issued in the State language, with the exception of textbooks and instructional texts intended for education in the language of national minorities, ethnic groups and other foreign languages. The usage of those is administered by special regulations. 9

[5] Provisions of sections Nos. 1, 2 and 4 do neither relate to usage of the State language at universities, to education of other languages, to upbringing and education in a language other from the State language 8, nor to usage of textbooks and instructional texts in education at universities.

§ 5
USAGE OF THE STATE LANGUAGE IN INFORMATION MASS MEDIA, AT CULTURAL EVENTS AND PUBLIC MEETINGS

 

[1] Radio and television broadcasting is, on the whole territory of the Slovak Republic, conducted in the State language. Exceptions are as follows:
a) television broadcasting and radio broadcasting productions in foreign language, composed of audio-visual works and of other recordings of sound and picture, equipped with subtitles in the State language, or those fulfilling in any other way the requirement of essential understandability from the point of view of the State language,
b) Slovak Radio international broadcasting, television and radio language courses and programmes of related orientation,
c) works of music with original texts.

Broadcasting in the languages of national minorities and ethnic groups is administered by specific regulations.10

[2] Audio-visual works of art intended for children up to 12 years of age must be dubbed into the State language.

[3] Radio and television broadcasters, telecasters, moderators and editors are obliged to use the State language in broadcasting.

[4] Broadcasting of regional or local television stations, radio stations and radio equipment is, as a rule, conducted in the State language. Other languages may be used before and after the programme is broadcast in the State language.

[5] Periodical publications and non-periodical publications are issued in the State language. Publishing in other languages is administered by a specific regulation.11

[6] Occasional publications intended for the public, catalogues of galleries, museums, libraries, programme sheets of cinemas, theatres, concerts and other cultural events are issued in the State language. In case of need, they may incorporate foreign-language translations.

[7] Cultural, educational and instructional events are conducted in the State language, provided they fulfil the requirement of essential understandability from the point of view of the State language. Exception to this are the cultural events of national minorities, of ethnic groups, of visiting foreign artists and the works of music with original texts. Conferential introduction of the programmes shall be performed in the State language first.

[8] Each participant of a meeting or a lecture on the territory of the Slovak Republic has the right to present his speech in the State language.

§ 6
USAGE OF THE STATE LANGUAGE IN THE ARMED FORCES, IN ARMED CORPS AND IN FIRE BRIGADES

 

[1] In the Army of the Slovak Republic, in the forces of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic, in the Police Corps, in the Slovak Information Service, in the Corps of Custody and Judicial Guard of the Slovak Republic, in the Railway Police of the Slovak Republic and in the Municipal Police, the State language is used in contact on official lines.

[2] The complete agenda and documentation of the armed forces, armed security corps, other armed corps and fire brigades, is conducted in the State language.

[3] Provision of section 1 does neither relate to air fleet in course of flight operation, nor to the international activities of the armed corps.

 

 

§ 7
USAGE OF THE STATE LANGUAGE IN JUDICIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS

[1] Mutual contact of the courts with citizens, court proceedings, administrative proceedings, verdicts and minutes of courts and of administrative authorities, shall all be conducted and issued in the State language.

[2] The rights of persons pertaining to national minorities and ethnic groups, or the rights of foreigners not having a command of the State language, resulting from specific regulations12, remain untouched by this law.

§ 8
USAGE OF THE STATE LANGUAGE IN ECONOMY, SERVICES AND IN MEDICAL CARE

 

[1] As a matter of concern in the protection of a consumer, usage of the State language is obligatory at marking the contents of either home-made or imported goods, in the manuals for product use, concerning especially the articles of food and medicaments, in the certificates of guarantee and other consumer-related information. 13

[2] Written legal procedures in an occupational and legal relation, or in an analogous occupational relation, are made out in the State language.

[3] The financial and technical documentation, Slovak technical standards, constitutions of associations, societies, political parties and trade companies, are made out in the State language.

[4] The complete agenda of medical care institutions is conducted in the State language. The contact of the medical care personnel with the patients is conducted, as a rule, in the State language; in case of a citizen or foreigner not having a command of the State language, also in the language in which mutual understanding with the patient is possible.

[5] In proceedings with the public and legal authorities concerning contracts settling the involvement relations, only the wording in the State language is acknowledged.

[6] All inscriptions, advertisements and announcements intended for public information, especially in the shops, at the sports fields, in restaurants, in the streets, along the roads and above them, at the airports, bus and railway stations, inside the carriages and the means of public transport, must be carried out in the State language. They may be translated into other languages as well, but the texts in other language(s) shall follow the text of the same size in the State language.

§ 9
SUPERVISION

 

The Ministry of Culture supervises the adherence to obligations resulting from this law. In case it reveals imperfections, it notifies those to the persons at law and to the physical persons, in activities of whose those imperfections were identified, and it has the legitimacy to request a remedy of this illegitimate state.

 

 

§ 10
PENALTIES

Canceled by the Act No. 184/1999 Coll. on the usage of national minority languages.

§ 11
GENERAL AND TEMPORARY ENACTMENT

 

[1] Usage of accustomed foreign-language denominations, special terms or designations of new virtualities not having, meanwhile, an apt equivalent expression in the State language, remain untouched by this law.

[2] Responsible for adherence to the enactment of this law are the persons in charge at the public and legal authorities, as well as other persons at law and physical persons (§ 10, section 1).

[3] Costs of all modifications of the informatory tables, inscriptions and other texts are, under this law, refunded by legitimate authorities and by other persons at law and physical persons. Those modifications shall be made within one-year after this law acquires its legal force.

[4] For the intendment of §2 section 1 letters a) and b), §3 sections 1 and 2 and section 3 letters a) c) d) and e), §4, §5 sections 5 and 8, §6 section 2 and §8 sections 1 to 5, the Slovak language in its codified form (§2, section 2) is to be understood as the State language.

§ 12
VOIDANCE ENACTMENT

 

The Act No. 428/1990 Coll., of the Slovak National Council, on the official language in the Slovak Republic, is made void.

§ 13

 

This law acquires its legal force on January 1, 1996, with an exception of §10, which acquires its legal force on January 1, 1997.

The President of the SlovakRepublic
The Chairman of the National Council of the SlovakRepublic
The Prime Minister of the Government of the SlovakRepublic

Footnotes:


1 Article 12, Section 1, of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic
2 Article 6, Section 1, of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic
3 The Act No. 308/1991 Coll. on freedom of religious faith and on the status of the churches and religious communities.
4 E.g. the Act No. 141/1961 Coll. on judicial criminal dealings (the Criminal Code), in wording of the subsequent regulations, the Civic Judicial Code, the Code No. 81/1966 Coll. on periodical press and on other information mass media in wording of the subsequent regulations, the Act  No. 29/1984 Coll. on system of elementary and high schools (The School Act) in wording of the subsequent regulations, the Act No. 254/1991 Coll. of the Slovak National Council, on Slovak television, in wording of the subsequent regulations, the Act No. 255/1991 Coll. of the Slovak National Council, on the Slovak radio broadcasting, in wording of the subsequent regulations, the Act No. 191/1994 Coll. of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, on denomination of municipalities in the languages of the minorities.
5 E.g. the Act No. 254/1991 Coll. of the Slovak National Council, in wording of the subsequent regulations, the Act No. 255/1991 Coll. of the Slovak National Council, in wording of the subsequent regulations, the Act No. 273/1994 Coll. of the Slovak National Council of the Slovak Republic, on health insurance, financing of health insurance, on setting up the General Health Insurance Company and on setting up the departmental, sectoral, company and civic health insurance companies, in wording of the subsequent regulations, the Act No. 274/1994 Coll. of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, on Social Insurance Company, in wording of the subsequent regulations.
5a The Act No. 29/1984 Coll. on a system of elementary and high schools, §3 and §3a.
5b The Act No. 542/1990 Coll. on state administration in school system and school self-administration in wording of the subsequent regulations, §11.
6 The Act No. 191/1994 Coll. of the National Council of the Slovak Republic.
6a For example § 3 Section 6 of Act No. 530/2003 Coll. on the commercial register and on the change and amendment to some Acts in the wording of Act No. 24/2007 Coll.
7 The Act No. 300/1993 Coll. of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, on the first name and the family name, §7, Section 1.
8 The Act No. 29/1984 Coll., §3 and 3a), in wording of the Act No. 171/1990 Coll. and of the Act No. 230/1994 Coll. of the National Council of the Slovak Republic.
8a The Act No. 29/1984 Coll., §3.

8b The Act No. 542/1990 Coll. in wording of the subsequent regulations, §11a.
 
9 The Act No. 29/1984 Coll. in wording of the subsequent regulations.
Instruction of the Government of the Slovak Republic No. 282/1994 Coll. on usage of textbooks and instructional texts.
10 The Act No. 254/1991 Coll. of the Slovak National Council, in wording of the subsequent
regulations, §3, Section 3.The Act No. 255/1991 Coll. of the Slovak National Council, in wording of the subsequent regulations, §5.
11 The Act No. 81/1966 Coll. on periodical press and other information mass media, in wording of the subsequent regulations.
12 Civic Judicial Code, §18.
The Act No. 141/1961 Coll. on penal judicial proceedings (Criminal Code), §2, Section 14.
The Act No. 36/1967 Coll. on connoisseurs and interpreters.
An Edict No. 37/1967 Coll. of the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic, on administrating the Act on experts and interpreters in wording of the subsequent regulations.
13 The Act No. 634/1992 Coll. on protection of a customer, §9, Section 1 and 2 and §11.
The Act No. 152/1995 Coll. of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, on articles of food.

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