Culture

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg - a multilingual country

STATEC study on linguistic integration and multilingualism in the Grand Duchy

Le Luxembourg est le pays du multilinguisme par excellenceThe Grand Duchy is a perfect example of a multilingual country: no fewer than 37 linguistic communities (with at least one hundred people speaking a specific language) live in the Grand Duchy. This was revealed by a study by STATEC, the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, and the University of Luxembourg, based on data for 2011.

The aim of the study was to analyse the linguistic situation in the Grand Duchy: which language is used most in private? And which in the workplace? What percentage of foreigners speak Luxembourgish? Etc. Researchers Fernand Fehlen and Andreas Heinz of the University of Luxembourg have incorporated the results of the STATEC study in their work entitled 'Die Luxemburger Mehrsprachigkeit' (Luxembourgish multilingualism). According to the STATEC report, the main languages spoken in the Grand Duchy are Luxembourgish (55.7%), Portuguese (15.7%) and French (12.1%).

There is even a difference between the languages spoken in a private environment and those used in the workplace. While Luxembourgish is the most frequently used language in the private environment (64.9%), followed by Portuguese and French, it is French that dominates in the workplace (68.5%), followed by Luxembourgish (60.5%) and German (34.2%).  At school, the languages used most are Luxembourgish (79.6%), French (49.1%) and German (39.3%).

As for foreigners coming to live in the Grand Duchy, it transpired than nearly half of them learn to speak Luxembourgish. According to the researchers, there are currently 400,000 speakers of Luxembourgish. What is more, Luxembourgish is gaining ground - it is being used increasingly frequently in a number of areas.

(Article written by the editorial team of the portal www.luxembourg.lu / Source: Statec)

  • Updated 02-10-2016