Council of Europe publishes report on minority languages in Germany
09.07.2008 The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers has today made public the third report on the situation of minority languages in Germany. This report has been drawn up by a committee of independent experts which monitors the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
On the basis of the report, the Committee of Ministers calls on Germany to adopt specific legislation to ensure that the Charter is actually implemented in practice. North Frisian, Sater Frisian and Lower Sorbian are deemed to be particularly endangered languages, and the Committee of Ministers urges the German authorities to adopt legislation to preserve them. They should in particular ensure that primary and secondary education is available in these languages and take measures for them to be used on radio and television. Germany is also encouraged to improve the provision of education in Upper Sorbian, Low German and Romani, and to provide the adequate resources. Finally, measures are also needed to ensure that all Germany's minority languages may be used in dealings with the administration and in courts.
The regional or minority languages protected under the Charter in Germany are Danish, Upper Sorbian, Lower Sorbian, North Frisian, Sater Frisian, Low German and Romani.
The full text of the report and the Committee of Ministers’ recommendations can be downloaded from the Charter's website: http://www.coe.int/minlang ("Documents" section).
Further information can also be found on the Charter's website, or by contacting the Charter Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org – Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 31 86).