Multilingualism is the strength of Luxembourgers, as their literature also reveals. Luxembourgish, French, German, Italian, English - Luxembourg's literature speaks many languages, just like its authors.
Languages for everybody
Luxembourg has benefited from linguistic influences across the centuries. French-German ones initially, followed by Italian, Portuguese and English ones. Luxembourgish society's openness in the face of other languages - which comes across as obvious in everyday life - has been of great benefit for Luxembourg's many authors. In Luxembourg, authors find their audience of readers by writing in the language they are the most passionate about. Although Luxembourgish, French and German remain the most popular languages, other languages such as Italian also find readers in Luxembourg.
The majority of authors expresses themselves in a preferred language. This is the case of Jean Portante, for example, who writes in French, or of Claudine Muno, Nico Helminger or Jemp Schuster whose language of expression is Luxembourgish. However, it is not rare for authors to switch languages between their works, as is the case with Anise Koltz, Guy Rewenig, Carine Krecké or Lambert Schlechter.
Children's books are also available in various languages. German is the most widely used language in this field, but a large number of Luxembourgish works do exist, whether they are original Luxembourgish texts or translations of foreign books.
As a result, it is impossible to define Luxembourg's literature as purely 'Luxembourgish'. In fact, the diversity of languages mirrors Luxembourg's rich language context. Taken as a whole, this polyphonic production can be summed up by the collective term Luxemburgensia, an expression which stands for everything written, printed or composed by Luxembourgers, in Luxembourg or about Luxembourg, regardless of the language used.
Discover the universe of Luxembourg's literary scene in our brochure 'About... Literature in Luxembourg'.
For more information
- Discover Luxembourg's literature on the 'Luxemburgensia' website of the National Library (in French)
- Meet Luxembourg's authors on the Author's Lexicon (in French and German)
- Discover the laureates of the National Literary Prize (in French and German).
- And here are the laureates of the Batty-Weber-Prize (in French and German).
- Discover the Servias-Prize (in French).