Nowadays, our globe is becoming a global village. More and more people can travel every corner of the world as they like. For me, I’d like to travel to Luxembourg, which is my dream country. But first of all, I have to learn something about the Luxembourgish language for a better visit to that country. If I know nothing about Luxembourgish, you can image how awful it will be.
Bearing that in mind, I have searched some books and Luxembourgish translation dictionaries to learn some basic Luxembourgish in daily life. Here I would like to share some information about the Luxembourgish language. It will be helpful, if you are planning to visit Luxembourg or even to be a Luxembourgish translator in the future.
Luxembourgish (Lëtzebuergesch; French: Luxembourgeois, German: Luxemburgisch, Dutch: Luxemburgs, Walloon: Lussimbordjwès), is a Moselle Franconian language spoken primarily in Luxembourg. About 390,000 people worldwide speak Luxembourgish.
Luxembourgish belongs to the West Central German group of High German languages and is the good example of a Moselle Franconian language. Hence, Luxembourgish translations will have some rules in common with German. A Luxembourgish translator can understand some basic grammar rules in German.
Luxembourgish is the national language of Luxembourg and one of three administrative languages, together with French and German. People also speak it in some smaller areas of the surrounding countries of Belgium (in Arelerland, in the Province of Luxembourg), France (in small parts of Lorraine) and Germany (around Bitburg and Trier).
In Germany and Lorraine people just regard it as the local German dialect. These days however, Luxembourgish is largely restricted to the older generations, as it has not been taught in these countries since the Second World War.
Additionally, it is also spoken by a few descendants of Luxembourg immigrants in the United States, and a closely related variety is spoken by ethnic Germans long settled in Transylvania, Romania (Siebenbürgen).
There are a number of diverse dialect forms of Luxembourgish including Areler (from Arlon), Eechternoacher (Echternach), Kliärrwer (Clervaux), Miseler (Moselle), Stater (Luxembourg), Veiner (Vianden), Minetter (Southern Luxembourg) and Weelzer (Wiltz).
Further small vocabulary differences may be seen even between small villages. If you are required to do a Luxembourgish translation, it is better to verify which dialect formats you need for a clear understanding.
The rising mobility of the residents and the spreading of the language through mass media such as radio and television lead to a gradual standardization towards a “Standard Luxembourgish”. In linguistics, this process is called koineization.
There are no distinctive geographic borders between the use of Luxembourgish and that of other closely related High German dialects (for example Lorraine Franconian); instead it forms a dialect continuum of gradual change. Spoken Luxembourgish is relatively hard to understand for speakers of German who are generally not familiar with Moselle Franconian dialects, though they can usually read the language.
For those Germans familiar with Moselle Franconian dialects, it is relatively easy to understand Luxembourgish, but more difficult to speak it properly because of the French influence. Even literary German, as it is written in Luxembourg, tends to include many French words and phrases.
There is no mutual intelligibility between Luxembourgish and French or any of the Romance dialects spoken in the adjacent parts of Belgium and France.
Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, President of the Christian Social People’s Party of Luxembourg 1995-2003, was active in promoting the language beyond Luxembourg’s borders.
So, you see, Luxembourgish shares some of the same rules as other languages. The more you learn it, the more interesting you will become in the Luxembourgish language and its translations.