Live and work in Luxembourg
how to learn and speak many languages!
How did I first handle this country’s amazing and puzzling language situation?
😏 My life used to be so simple! I had learned a language, my ‘mother tongue’ as people say, and I used to get by using this one exclusively, at work, at home and everywhere, on every occasion of life. Since I arrived in Luxembourg, my life has been much more complicated!? 😀
🏡 My direct neighbours are not only Luxembourg nationals, they are also French, Belgian, German, as well as Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Indian or American. My neighbourhood really shows what the country is like: an enjoyable melting pot. Just imagine the hassle when organizing a party between neighbours.🎊 And my place is surely highly representative of the country’s situation! Luxembourg is a commendable example of integration👍. I have the clear feeling that speaking one language only is not enough, when more than 70% of the population speaks at least 3 languages, which may be the ultimate reason why the salaries are slightly higher here than in the rest of Europe.
🛒 For everyday life, I have no real problems as I speak at least one of the 3 official languages, on top of English, and I can always find someone who can help. French, however, is more common in Luxembourg-City and in the areas close to the Belgian and French borders, whereas German is preferred in the North and East of the Country. And Luxembourgish is even better, especially for contacts in the public sector. 💼 For children, the first language used at school being Luxembourgish, it is becoming mandatory as a common communication vector.
💻 At work, in my first job, I was part of a BENELUX team and so, speaking Dutch was the common practice and English was mandatory. I then moved to another company, with many English colleagues and other very international team-members (Polish, German, French, Argentinian, American, Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourgish) 😀 : the business language was English and it felt very much like being in a London office. Although English is often favoured in some companies, visitors here may experience the feeling of being in Frankfurt 🥨, Madrid 🕶️ or Shanghai ⛩️; so is Luxembourg city. The national roots remain very perceptible in Luxembourg.
🛠️ When we have technicians at home, I juggle between German, French, Italian and Portuguese. And there is no fundamental problem with this! We always find a solution. 😀
Now, I need to learn Luxembourgish to obtain citizenship, and it’s quite a big deal, honestly.
This linguistic diversity contributes to the surrounding open-mindedness, economic dynamism and strong European dedication, which are all very characteristic of Luxembourg.
👉 What about you? How do you feel with languages? As a newly-arrived expat or long-time resident, what’s your language challenge?
EVAtraining can advise you on the most appropriate language for you to learn and deal with your personal or private issues and even recommend you a language programme that you can study at your pace including blended-learning solutions. Put this very particular time to good use by investing in your future relationships and learning what you need. To know more, have a look at our website or feel free to contact us.
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