The language situation in the Grand Duchy features the practice and legal recognition of three languages: Luxembourgish, French and German. The importance of the coexistence of these languages is an integral part of the national identity. Multilingualism has deep roots in the everyday life of the country and permeates every level of society.
National language: Luxembourgish (Lëtzebuergesch), a Moselle-Frankish dialect belonging to the family of Germanic languages, became the national language under the Law of 24 February 1984 on language policy
Administrative languages: French, German and Luxembourgish
Legislative language: French
Languages used for legal purposes: French, German and Luxembourgish
Languages used in the workplace: since the majority of the active population is made up of foreigners (71%), French is the main language of communication, followed by Luxembourgish, German, English and Portuguese.
Languages used at public schools in the Grand Duchy: German and French at fundamental schools; German, French and English at secondary schools
Languages in the Grand Duchy's media:
- Luxembourgish (radio and television)
- German, French (written press)
- Portuguese for media directed at the Portuguese community, English for the international community
- For more information, read our pages on Media in Luxembourg!
Recognition of the Luxembourgish language nationally and Internationally
- Luxembourgish is not an official language of the European Union.
- 1989: recognition of Luxembourgish by the European 'Lingua' programme
- 1999: creation of the Permanent Council for the Luxembourgish Language (Conseil permanent de la langue luxembourgeoise) and spelling reform
- 2005: Luxembourg ratifies the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. The aim of the Charter is to protect regional and minority languages in Europe in both public and private life.
- Since 2009, the University of Luxembourg has been offering a master's course in Languages, Culture and the Media - Lëtzebuerger Studien
- The Law of 22 May 2009 created the function of Luxembourgish language teacher and the 'Zertifikat Lëtzebuerger Sprooch a Kultur' (certificate of Luxembourgish language and culture).
- A number of foreign universities, including Sheffield and Trier, have centres for Luxembourgish studies.
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