In the Grand Duchy, public life would be unthinkable without the coexistence and even the simultaneous use of several languages, with variations according to location and activity.
Since the working population is mostly made up of foreign residents and French, Belgian and German cross-border employees, French is the main medium of communication, followed by Luxembourgish, German, English and Portuguese.
French is used particularly in trade, hotels, restaurants and cafes, mainly in the capital and surrounding area. The north of the country is the exception to the rule as it is the only region where Luxembourgish is more widespread than French.
The languages spoken at work, at school and/or at home was the subject of a French-language study published by STATEC in 2013, following the 2011 population census. The study showed that 70.5% of the population use Luxembourgish at work, at school and/or in the home, 55.7% use French, and 30.6% German. On average, 2.2 languages are used.
According to a 2015 study by the University of Luxembourg, French is the language most asked for in job vacancies advertised in the Grand Duchy (66%). Luxembourgish is an essential requirement in nearly 50% of the vacancies advertised.
English is the lingua franca of the large international community working at the European institutions and of people employed in the banking and industrial sectors. English has become the language for business and finance, and it is very frequently used at meetings among people of different nationalities.
Because the community of Portuguese immigrants is so large, they often use their mother tongue in the workplace (especially in the construction, hotel and cleaning industries) as well as during their leisure time (clubs, societies, cafes, etc.).