The national language is Luxembourgish (“Ltzebuergesch”), but French is the administrative language. German is another extensively used and almost globally recognized language. Luxembourgish is a distinct language that developed from a German dialect (“Moselfränkisch”). German (Hochdeutsch) is an official language that appears in the media, is used in court, and is taught in schools. However, everything from road signs to menus to shop information will be in French. With the exception of areas close to the German border, such as Diekirch or Echternach, French is obviously the most helpful of the three languages to know, effectively making Luxembourg a Francophone nation for the tourist.
Foreigners make up more than one-third of Luxembourg’s total population, and this number increases to approximately 50% in the cities. As a result, speaking French is your best option if you want to communicate with the majority of people, particularly because most individuals working in stores and pubs are from France or Belgium and don’t bother learning the local native language. Although English is commonly recognized by bus drivers, many store workers would only reply if addressed in French or German. Educated Luxembourgers speak all four of the aforementioned languages well; it is the “frontaliers” (workers who reside across a border) who may not speak English well or at all. Except for the elderly, almost every Luxembourger knows and speaks basic German and French well. Luxembourgers are Europe’s polyglots, perhaps making the Swiss envious!