Office language

an office language is the language, in which the authorities (government, courts) of a state can communicate with one another and with the population and turn with the citizens and inhabitants to the administrative mechanisms. A country can have several office languages at the same time.Contrary to the office language school language designates a language, which is used in instruction at the schools of a country.

Office languages are common also at international authorities, like the UN and the European patent office.

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which becomes the office language?

Always the office languages do not reflect the actual native languages of the inhabitantsa country against.

In Europe, Asia or America usually the most frequently spoken language of a country is also simultaneous its office language; like that German is the office language of Germany and Portuguese the office language of Brazil. In Africa against it are usually colonial languagesOffice language, so French in Mali or English in Zambia. This language politics often favour the dominant elite, which knows, contrary to the common people as only class the office language. With the bearing languages is until today as only those new ZealandSign LANGUAGE defined as office language.

Only in few cases (Switzerland with four office languages, South Africa with eleven) all common languages of a country are also office languages. So is about in Germany also over two million native speakers (of it nearly thoseHalf of German nationality) strongly represented Turkish no office language just as little office language in France is as of Alsace. This tendency is justified with the necessity for the national unit and administrative additional expenditure (training of all officials and expression of all forms in several languages),leads however in practice to a social devaluation of the speakers of such non--office languages.

A compromise is that minority languages receive the status of an office language only on regional level (so German in South Tyrol, Sorbisch in the Lausitz) or inCase of the Austrian bearing language country-wide.

office languages in individual countries

not all states specified their office language officially.

the USA

in the USA specified some Federal States English as office language, the legislation of the United Stateseven however it never raised into this status. Since however the condition and all laws on English are present, it can be quite regarded as official language. The statement often belonged, German would be in 18. Century almost office language of the USAbecome, a legend is - the so-called mill mountain legend. In some Federal States, like e.g. in new Mexico and Puerto Rico is fixed to Spanish apart from English also as the second office language.


in Germany becomes the office language in differentLaws arranged. For the administrative authorities of the federation § 23 exp. put. 1 administrative proceedings law (VwVfG) the German language as office language firmly. For federation and national fiscal authorities the definition of the German takes place as office language after §87 tax code (AO 1977) , for social agencies after§19 I social legislation X (SGB X). In accordance with §184 Judiciary Act (GVG) is the court language the German. It is considerable that the linguistic usage of the German legislator deviates here of the colloquial importance of the word “office language”, as it is described above in as much asthat “office language” and “court language” to be conceptually differentiated. Because of §126 Patent Act is German also the language of the patent office and the patent court. The legal term “office language” does not seize, again deviating of the common importance, the language of the legislator. In the absence of oneRegulation in the Basic Law is not at all fixed such. All laws, which became to issue in the Federal Republic of Germany, are however written on German.

The office language of the authorities of the Lands of the Federal Republic is regulated by the administrative proceedings laws of the Lands of the Federal Republic. By the European Charterthe regional and minority languages are authorities of individual Lands of the Federal Republic obligated, also in the regional languages of Lower Saxony (colloquially called Niederdeutsch), Friesisch, Danish and/or. To correspond Sorbisch.


in Austria is German as office language fixed. The minority languages are in Austrian convention 1955 and in numerous regulations on the exact regions fixed.

Minority languages as office languages are (arranged according to number of speakers):

further under minority languages in Austria

to Switzerland

in Switzerland four office languages exist:


regional office languages exist to India in India (apart from the 2 supraregional office languages Hindi and English):

South Africa

South Africa has 1994 eleven official national languages, which are considered all among themselves as equal since the end of the apartheid in the year:

see also


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Wiktionary: Office language - word origin, synonyms and translations

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