Luxembourgish is the national language of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the smallest European Union member state. In 1984 it joined French and German as the country’s third official language. It is also spoken in some adjoining areas of Belgium, France and Germany.
In all, just over 300,000 people speak Luxembourgish.
It belongs to the Germanic language family. Luxembourgish is therefore fairly easy for a German speaker to understand, and it can actually almost be considered as a local variant of the German language. The spelling and grammar are also similar to German, although Luxembourgish also shows signs of French influence, with a large number of words borrowed from that language. This reflects Luxembourg’s long-established alliance with Belgium, reinforced by the Benelux economic union, created in 1948.
Luxembourgish is taught in schools and is also used on TV. However, there are no newspapers in Luxembourgish, as French is the predominant language for the press.