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More than 9,000 people are learning Luxembourgish
Luxembourg

More than 9,000 people are learning Luxembourgish

09.07.2015 From our online archive
It is a common complaint in Luxembourg that not enough foreign residents learn Luxembourgish but learning figures for the country appear to challenge this assertion.

It is a common complaint in Luxembourg that not enough foreign residents learn Luxembourgish but language learning figures for the country appear to challenge this assertion.

According to statistics published by Justice Minister Félix Braz responding to a parliamentary question, more than 9,000 people signed up to learn Luxembourgish for the 2013-2014 academic year, and the number of learners has risen steadily in recent years.

A total 9,119 people participated in language courses offered at the Institut National de Langue (INL) and adult training centres (SFA), with the latter taking most of the strain.

Demand is so high that at the INL, “often there are not enough places available” for Luxembourgish courses, the minister said.

Courses from A1 to B1 were oversubscribed and had lengthy waiting lists, around half of the people on which were subsequently able to get on courses.

Mr Braz said that the INL had increased its course offering every year since 2008, rising from 100 courses to 160 in 2014. The SFA, meanwhile, has seen learner numbers more than double, from 2,879 in 2008 to 6,153 in 2014.

The minister did not expand on the motivations behind the people learning Luxembourgish.

However, he said that around a fifth of candidates taking the language test in order to apply for the Luxembourgish nationality had not taken Luxembourgish language classes. 

Luxembourgish is one of three national languages used in the Grand Duchy, along with French and German. The language as an integration tool became topical following the June 7 referendum in which Luxembourgers voted overwhelmingly against full foreigner voting rights. 

Among other things, deputies said that more courses should be offered while the ADR party proposed making all classes free.

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