Languages

Luxembourgeois

Fact corner

  • Language: Luxembourgeois
  • Alternate names: LUXEMBURGISH, LUXEMBURGIAN, LUXEMBOURGISH, LETZBURGISCH, LÜTZEBUERGESCH, MOSELLE FRANCONIAN, FRANKISH
  • SIL-code: Ethnologue:ltz
  • Language family: Indo-European, Germanic, West, High German, German, Middle German, Moselle Franconian
  • Number of speakers: 300000
  • Script: -

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Introduction

As distinct from Standard German as is Dutch (Stephens 1976), and not inherently intelligible with it. A Moselle variety of Frankish-German origin, related to varieties of Mitteldeutsch of Belgium.

Bilingual level estimates for French are 0 0%, 1 10%, 2 25%, 3 40%, 4 15%, 5 10%. Speakers learn French and German mainly in school. Younger well-educated people speak English. Most written statements are in French (official) or German (less official, TV, newspaper). French used in high school, for speaking to foreigners at work. German used in school for technical terms, speaking to tourists, commuters from Germany. Everyday life, home, school for explanations, court, parliament. All ages. Vigorous use.

The mother tongue of most of the population. Taught in school. For most people it is the language of creativity. Literature flourishes at a modest level. Pride in ethnic identity and language. West and Central varieties considered to be more sophisticated, North considered more rural, peasant-like. The variety used by older Belgian-border inhabitants is considered old-fashioned and riddled with French words, but perfectly intelligible. German is considered to be a foreign language, not to be used with others who speak Luxembourgeois. National language. Dictionary. Grammar. SVO; prepositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives before noun heads; question word initial; 3 prefixes, 2 suffixes on a word; rigid word order; passives; nontonal. Literacy rate in second language: 99% German, French. Written Luxembourgeois not taught in school, so use depends on individual. Letters often written in it. Newspapers, radio programs, TV. Christian.


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