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Slovenia Mandates Local Language Support for Electronic Devices

In a landmark decision on 22 November, the Slovenian government announced a significant amendment to its language legislation, necessitating manufacturers of consumer electronic devices to incorporate Slovenian language support. 

This legislative revision, pending parliamentary approval, emerges partially in response to American technology behemoth Apple’s omission of Slovenian in its device language options.

Culture Minister Asta Vrečko remarked that this long-overdue measure extends the safeguarding of the Slovenian language to include not just computer operating systems and smartphones, but also automobiles and other devices that interact with users through text and speech interfaces. The comprehensive list of affected devices is yet to be disclosed.

The current language law, enacted in 2004 and modified in 2010, was insufficient in offering such protections. It was established at a time when many of today’s services and devices were not yet in existence, as Vrečko highlighted following the cabinet meeting.

Previously, the onus of incorporating Slovenian language support was left to the discretion of companies, which often found little incentive to cater to Slovenia’s relatively small market. This legislative update aims to rectify this lack of language support, ensuring the accessibility and representation of the Slovenian language in modern consumer technology.

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