Catalonia in dispute with the LEGO Group over language

The government of Catalonia is launching legal proceedings against the LEGO Group and Playmobil as the companies do not include the region’s language on toy packaging.

A 2010 consumer law in Catalonia states that all texts sold with products in the north-eastern region of Spain must include the Catalan language. Plataforma per la Llengua, a non-governmental organisation instigating the legal action, has said that the LEGO Group and Playmobil have refused to comply with this law as the local language is not featured in instructions or on packaging, the Irish Times reports.

The Catalan Consumer Agency is now looking into the case, with a possible fine for each company of up to €100,000.

“It’s not as if the Catalan government wants to impose Catalan just for the sake of it, it’s because [the companies] are breaking the law,” the Irish Times reports a spokesman for the Plataforma per la Llengua as saying.

According to Plataforma per la Llengua, only 8% of toys sold in Catalan comply with the law. With the LEGO Group and Playmobil both having a big share of the market, it seems that they have been targeted first.

In response, the LEGO Group’s Roar Rude Tranbaek said the language not being included was down to LEGO products being sold around the world: “This means we have to prioritise certain language versions and we aren’t able to provide information in every language.”

There is a tension in certain regions of Spain between local governments and the national government over the importance of the Catalan language.

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Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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