Bilingual labelling goes ahead in South Tyrol- but not for Ladin

Christina Paulston paulston+ at
Tue Jan 6 21:18:37 UTC 2004

Nor is Ladin standardized and has a variety of dialects (at least according
to the chapter on Ladin BE in Christian and Genesee BILINGUAL EDUCATION) so
it is hard to see how they could. Christina Paulston

>From: "Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs at>
>To: Language Policy-List <lgpolicy-list at>
>Subject: Bilingual labelling goes ahead in South Tyrol- but not for Ladin
>Date: Tue, Jan 6, 2004, 3:12 PM

> Eurolang, the European news agency for minority languages
> Bilingual labelling goes ahead in South Tyrol- but not for Ladin
> Torino / Turin  6/01/04, by Marco Stolfo
> The labelling of pharmaceutical products in the Autonomous Province of
> South Tyrol, in northern Italy, is now available in German and from
> December German-speaking customers of pharmacies have been receiving
> information leaflets and brochures in their mother tongue.
> This measure has been introduced with the support of the Association of
> Pharmacists (Federfarma) and the main pharmaceutical producers and
> distributors in the region where German, Italian and Ladin are spoken.
> It follows a lengthy process beginning with a presidential decree in 1988
> (DPR no. 574 on the use of German and Ladin in dealings of citizens with
> the public administration and in court proceeding), followed by a circular
> issued by the Ministry of Health in 1997 and confirmed by a new decree two
> years ago (D. Lgs. 283/2001).
> Fifteen years later, this provision finally becomes a reality. Speaking to
> Eurolang Uberto Cimatti, President of Federfarma in South Tyrol, said
> that: There was a legal obligation to give customers bilingual packaging,
> but it was very difficult to implement it. Now, with information
> technology, it is easier to do.
> It began with a project started by Unifarma, the main distributor of
> pharmaceutical products, to give every chemists shop in South Tyrol the
> possibility of giving their customers bilingual information leaflets, says
> Cimatti.
> It was clear that the best way to reach this goal was to install computers
> and printers in every pharmacy.  This measure currently covers 10% of
> products on the National Health Service [which means 50% of all the
> medicines distributed], but the number is increasing, states Cimatti.
> People in the province have welcomed the move; German-speakers were
> waiting for it for a long time while pharmaceutical producers are covering
> the costs.
> The initiative illustrates where market requirements and linguistic rights
> can operate in tandem. I think it could also be realised for other
> linguistic minorities, says Cimatti.  However, the measure does not cover
> South Tyrols Ladin speakers. According to Cimatti it is because the Ladins
> are a small community, they can read German or Italian, they didn't ask
> for it and laws and decrees provide for this measure only in German.
> (Eurolang)

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