Overview of the Luxembourgish Language
Luxembourgish is the national language of Luxembourg. It is a member of the High Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family.
In Luxembourg, the Luxembourgish language is used at home and for much of everyday communication by native speakers. It is also used as the language of instruction in many primary schools. However, most schools also teach French, which the government prefers to use as the language of administration, and German, which is also widely spoken and used for official purposes. Radio programs, television broadcasts, and newspapers are available in all three languages. Many residents of Luxembourg are equally comfortable speaking Luxembourgish, French, and German.
The Luxembourgish Alphabet and Luxembourgish Pronunciation
The Luxembourgish alphabet consists of 29 letters: the 26 letters that make up the English alphabet followed by the letters Ä, Ë, and È. Some Luxembourgish letters are pronounced like their English equivalents, while others have different sounds. German speakers, who can quickly master written Luxembourgish, nonetheless often have some trouble with the French-influenced aspects of Luxembourgish pronunciation.
The Luxembourgish language bears a close resemblance to German, especially in its written form, but also displays a heavy French influence. This combination can result in some interesting words, such as Buschauffeur (bus driver), which uses the French word chauffeur in a German-style compound. The spelling and pronunciation of many Luxembourgish words also differs from that of their German cognates, even if the words are still recognizable to German speakers.
Luxembourgish nouns are always written with a capital letter, similar to German nouns. Luxembourgish nouns are declined for case, meaning they change form to indicate their role in a sentence. Luxembourgish adjectives come before the nouns they modify. Luxembourgish verbs are conjugated to show tense and person. Like German verbs, Luxembourgish verbs often use prefixes.
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