The Luxembourgish language is at the core of our identity. It plays a key role in communicating our culture, our traditions and our history. As an integration language and as an everyday language, it plays a vital role in social cohesion.
In 2017, the Minister of Education, Claude Meisch, developed a comprehensive strategy to strengthen the role of the Luxembourgish language, to promote its standardization, use and study, as well as to further the Luxembourgish-language culture and the learning of the Luxembourgish language.
In this context, the Ministry of Education, together with the Ministry of Culture, created the position of Commissioner for the Luxembourg Language and a Center for the Luxembourg Language (ZLS). In addition, an ambitious 20-year plan for the promotion of the Luxembourgish language was developed.
With the introduction of multilingual early childhood education during the last legislative period, Minister Claude Meisch has ensured that Luxembourgish is spoken in all state-supported childcare facilities. The children are thus introduced to the Luxembourgish language early on and are prepared for school in a playful manner. The offer of Luxembourgish language courses for adults has also been increased.
In its 2018-2023 election manifesto, the DP has clearly advocated the implementation of a 20-year plan. In addition to the construction of a “Luxembourg House”, the DP wants to introduce compulsory Luxembourgish language courses in private schools and further expand the offer of courses in the health care sector. Furthermore, in the future citizens should be able to address the EU institutions in Luxembourgish and to also receive an answer in Luxembourgish.
Besides these points, the goal is to grant the Luxembourgish language access to the virtual world and to document its rich vocabulary as part of our culture. And this is where the DP-led Ministry of Education has already achieved a great deal!
The expansion of the Luxembourgish Online Dictionary (LOD) and the proofreading program Spellchecker were a first great success. The next milestone was set by the collaboration with Microsoft: the LOD word list was integrated into the Word writing program.
Recently then came the next big project. In December 2020, the Ministry of Education, together with the ZLS, developed a dictionary containing old Luxembourgish words, expressions and sayings, which are likely to be forgotten. “Aläert, jauwen, Zockerboun – 123 pearls from the Luxembourgish language” – is the title of the first volume of the new series “Lëtzebuerger Wuertschatz” A total of 12 volumes are planned. One could even imagine a book with Luxembourgish insults such as Blani, Dräibiz, and Hännes.
The great thing about this first book was that the citizens themselves were able to suggest words that are close to their hearts and that they think should not be forgotten. The #Wonschwuert campaign will be launched again for the next books as well. In addition to the series “Lëtzebuerger Wuertschatz“, the ZLS has also published books for the learning of the Luxembourgish language – “D’Lëtzebuerger Verben“, “Lëtzebuerger Grammatik” and “Lëtzebuerger Orthografie“.
Moreover, an anatomy map with Luxembourgish names of body parts is currently being elaborated. It could then be hung in the waiting rooms of doctors’ practices, said Claude Meisch. At the same time, a Covid-19 glossary with Luxembourgish terminology on the pandemic is being developed. In the future a LOD app will also be launched.