Luxembourgish is a West Germanic language spoken by about 600,000 people in Luxembourg (Lëtzebuerg), France (Frankräich), Belgium (Belsch) and Germany (Däitschland). There are also a few Luxembourgish speakers in the USA. It has a lot in common with German, particularly with Moselle Franconian varieties of German, and includes many loanwords from French.
Luxembourgish has been spoken since Frankish times (c. 1,000 AD), along the banks of the Moselle. Literature in Luxembourgish flourished during the 19th century. The first book in Luxembourgish was E’ Schrek op de’ Lezebuerger Parnassus by Anton Meyer, which was published in 1829.
Luxembourgish started to be used as a language of instruction in schools in 1914. A new spelling system, Lëzebuurjer Ortografi, was devised by Jean Feltes, a phonetician, in 1946, though it never really caught on. In 1950 Joseph Tockert, Helene Palgen and Robert Bruch were commissioned to produce a new Luxembourgish dictionary. They devised a new spelling system for the dictionary, which was adopted as the official one in 1976, when Feltes' system was dropped.
Luxembourgish is used in pre-school education in Luxembourg. Primary education is in German and senior education is in French. Many people also learn another language, such as English or Dutch. Local radio stations broadcast in Luxembourgish every day.
Debates in the Luxembourg parliament are carried out mainly in Luxembourgish, though some deputies prefer to use French. Laws are drafted in French, but people are free to use French, German or Luxembourgish in when dealing with administrative and judicial matters.
Hear the Luxembourgish alphabet:
Information provided by Jack Gill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
All Mënsch kënnt fräi a mat deer selwechter Dignitéit an dene selwechte Rechter op d'Welt. Jiddereen huet säi Verstand a säi Gewësse krut an soll an engem Geescht vu Bridderlechkeet denen anere géintiwwer handelen.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about Luxembourgish
Online Luxembourgish lessons and other resources
Online Luxembourgish spell checker
EIS SPROOCH - De Website iwwer d'Lëtzebuerger Sprooch
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Page last modified: 16.12.21
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