Studying languages

What Language You Need to Know So That People Understand You in Luxembourg

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Multilingualism is a hallmark of the Grand Duchy. Its residents commonly know 3 to 4 languages.


You are highly likely to be understood if you speak English, German, French, or Luxembourgish.

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There are three official languages in Luxembourg:

  • Luxembourgish;
  • French;
  • German.

They are used not only as communication languages but also for records management, that is, for legal purposes. You can see the signs in French and German, or in French and Luxembourgish, or in German and Luxembourgish.

Luxembourgish is the language of everyday life. It combines German and French, but it is an entirely independent language.

However, the media are mainly published in French and German since Luxembourgish was not the official language until 1984. By the time, German and French were already national ones. Therefore, people traditionally read newspapers and magazines in German or French and speak Luxembourgish.

Schools teach all three languages. Students start learning German from the first grade and proceed to French the next year. At the same time, there is a pilot project launched for several schools, under which, on the contrary, students will first learn French and proceed to German the following year. The Luxembourgish language is taught in high school for one hour a week.

Almost everyone in Luxembourg speaks English well since it is a part of the school curriculum as the first foreign language.

Students in Luxembourg spend 50% of the curriculum throughout the course on language learning.

Moreover, there is a large Portuguese-speaking community in the country. That is why many residents speak Portuguese well.

"Since the working population mainly consists of resident foreign nationals, as well as coming French, Belgian and German nationals who cross the Luxembourg border daily for work purposes, the main language is French followed by Luxembourgish, German, English and Portuguese".

In other words, because of the multilingual environment in Luxembourg, you can get help even if you speak English only.

But to understand the country’s residents and be integrated into the cultural space, you should learn one of the three official languages. This could be the first step towards obtaining citizenship by naturalization.

Read more: Ways to learn Luxembourgish: courses, schools, language centers

How to obtain citizenship in Luxembourg
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