Lëtzebuergesch - the national language

Lëtzebuergesch (Luxembourgish) — a Moselle Franconian dialect — is the mother tongue of most Luxembourgers. The 1984 Languages Law bestowed on it the status of national language. Luxembourgish is also one of the administrative languages, on a par with French and German.

According to the provisions of the Languages Law of 1984, the three languages of the Grand Duchy — Luxembourgish, French and German — are the languages used in administration and the judiciary system.

This parity is somewhat moderated by a provision in the law (Article 3), according to which the three languages are to be used 'as far as possible'. French nevertheless remains the language of legislation (Article 2), since the latter is based on the French Napoleonic Code.

The law therefore maintains the historic importance of both, German and French. And by maintaining the historic importance of 'foreign' languages, the Grand Duchy continues to stand as a meeting place.

This trilingualismmakes it easier for foreigners to integrate, as they are able to live in the Grand Duchy using French or German. It thus represents the openness of the Grand Duchy to the outside world.

Although French has developed into the lingua franca, Luxembourgish is still the language of integration.

The Grand Ducal Regulation of 30 July1999 reformed official spelling in Luxembourgish.

As well as in the Grand Duchy, Luxembourgish is also spoken in the eastern part of the province of Luxembourg (Belgium), the north-west of the Moselle département (France), and along the border between the Grand Duchy and Germany.

  • Updated 06-05-2015