Word of the day – Moien

Today’s word, Moien, is the Luxembourgish for hello. A related phrase is Gudden Moien, Good morning – Moien also means morning.

Here are some more ‘useful’ phrases in Luxembourgish:

Nee, ech hunn keng Zait fir dengem Monni seng Teppechfabrik.
No, we don’t have time to visit your uncle’s carpet factory.

Ech mengen ar Geessen setzt op menger Plaatz.
I think your goats are in my seat.

These phrases come from The Day12 Phrase Book, which contains phrases in a variety of other languages. I think the same template, which includes the above phrases, is used for all languages.

According to this site, most Luxembourgers speak at least three languages – Luxembourgish, French and German, and use them in their daily lives. Luxembourgish is the national language, French is used for legislative matters, all three languages are used in education, and French and German are the main written languages.

By the way, I’ve just put together a page of useful phrases in Luxembourgish.

Does any one know how to say “My hovercraft is full of eels” or “one language is never enough” in Luxembourgish?

13 thoughts on “Word of the day – Moien

  1. I know someone who went to Luxembourg, and everyone he met also spoke English. It seems like a lot of Indo-European and Romance languages in particular have similar words for Hello and Morning.

  2. Hm… ‘Luxembourgish’ seems too much like a German dialect to call it a language.

  3. Hahaha, sure ;-). Bu just look at the phrases and it looks like a slang version of German. By the way: many Germans see “Luxembourgish” as a dialect.

  4. Sorry James, I disagree. Dutch may have the same roots as German, being a Germanic language; but then so are Danish or Swedish. Nobody would call those a German dialect.
    Granted, in the North East, people speak a Saxon derived dialect, closely related to and mutually comprehensible with Platt Duetsch.

    In general, most Dutch speakers can understand a fair bit of German, while the reverse is not true.

  5. The same thing with Yiddish… most Yiddish speakers can understand more German than German speakers can understand Yiddish… besides Daytshmerish, of course.

    S’iz di zilbe zakh in der batsiung tsvishn Yidish un Daytsh… s’rov Yiddish-redenke mentshn ken farshteyn Dayts, khotsh s’rov Daytsh-redenke mentshn ken nisht farshteyn Yidish… khuts Daytshmerish, avade.

  6. I am learning German and I can understand written Yiddish, Dutch, and Luxembourgish to some extent. Now for the spoken languages this would probably not be true.

    Why is the word for “we” and “I” the same in Luxembourgish (ech, according to these phrases)?

  7. I’ve always been interested in Luxembourgish- not interested to learn it, mind you- but interested by the sound. It’s so pleasant sounding. I don’t know if it’s the french influence or what, but it has a beautifully romantic. I can’t generally say this for Germanic languages either.

  8. That’s for sure. I’ve never heard “romantic” and “Germanic” spoken in the same breath. 🙂

  9. Interesting site! Am doing a bit of research for a linguistics project and so I came across this site.
    As native Luxembourgian I’d say “One language is never enough” is “Eng Sprooch as ni genuch” but I think I’d better not try to translate the other sentence as I haven’t been home in a year and, to be honest, the word for “eels” has slipped my mind. 😉

  10. BG Said “Why is the word for “we” and “I” the same in Luxembourgish (ech, according to these phrases)?”

    BG, I think this is a mistake and the first phrase is also “I have”.

    We is ‘mir’ as in “Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn” the motto of Luxembourg. (We want to remain what we are).

    I must disagree with Josh that Luxembourgish could be considered “pleasant sounding”, that is possibly the last thing I would ever say about it! Horses for courses though 😉

  11. Luxembourgish is officially a language since 1984.

    “By the way: many Germans see “Luxembourgish” as a dialect.”
    That is maybe because they are ignorant about Luxembourg. It seems very arrogant to define someone’s language as your own dialect, only because it has similarities.

    The most impressive thing about the native Luxembourgish people is, that they are able to juggle between minimum 3 languages, and usually even more.

    To clarify there are 2 different words for ‘I’ and ‘We’ : ‘Ech’ and ‘Mir’.

    ‘One language is never enough’
    = “Nemmen eng Sprooch geet nie duer”.
    or another version = ” Just eng Sprooch as nie genuch”.

    If you don’t mind I’d like to correct the above samples (I wonder how this crossed your mind):
    Nee, ech hunn keng Zait fir dengem Monni seng Teppechfabrik.
    No, I don’t have time for your uncle’s carpet factory.

    Ech mengen ar Geessen setzten op menger Plaatz.
    I think your goats are sitting on my seat.

    can you see the changes?

    “eels” = Aaler.

    bye, Addi

  12. I visited Luxembourg twice recently and I have to say the language mix there is really confusing. The language you hear spoken by people in the streets is mostly French, but the language of the newspapers, TV and radio seems to be mainly German. I seemed to get by okay speaking just German (I have no French), except in fancy restaurants where they look at you like a backward bumpkin if you can’t speak French. Not that I visit fancy restaurants much, mind you.

    And Luxembourgish, that is a language you only come across late at night. I wonder why that is, but I never heard any Luxembourgish spoken during daytime, although late-night TV and radio is full of it. Not that I watch late-night TV much, mind you.

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