In this lesson I will tackle a few problems students often get wrong when they try to talk about the time in Luxembourgish. Please note that this lesson is not a lesson on how to tell the time. So, let’s start!
How would you translate the word TIME in Luxembourgish?
Well, there are several translations and they are often a source of confusion themselves. If you are referring to time as a general notion you are going to use the word Zäit.
- Ech hunn haut keng Zäit. – I have no time today.
- D’Zäit vergeet séier. – Time passes quickly. (Time flies by.)
If you mean Do you have some time available or Do you have time? as a general notion that would be:
- Hutt Dir Zäit? (formal)
- Hues du Zäit? (informal)
However, if you refer to time as an occurrence: something that is happening once, twice, three times etc, you will use the word Mol
- Ech widderhuelen dat net dräi Mol. – I will not repeat that 3 times.
- Mir ginn 2 Mol d’Joer an d’Vakanz. – We go twice a year on vacation.
So use eemol /1 Mol, zweemol /2 Mol, dräimol /3 Mol etc for the occurence.
How to ask What time is it?
When referring to time as the unit that is displayed on your watch basically you will translate time by Auer. Use Auer to answer the question What time is it? and to tell the time.
Oddly enough What time is it translates to Wéi vill Auer ass et.
- Wéi vill Auer ass et? – What time is is?
- Et ass 10 Auer. – It is 10 o’clock
Now the numbers one een and two zwee change their form when followed by a noun. The form they take depends on the gender of the noun that follows. Knowing that Auer is a feminine noun you have to say eng when it is one o’clock and zwou when it is two o’clock.
- Et ass eng Auer. – It is one o’clock.
- Et ass zwou Auer. – It is two o’clock.
However when you are talking about a time period of 60 minutes or more, so the word for “hour” use the word Stonn (feminine)
- De Cours dauert eng Stonn. – The course lasts for one hour.
- Ech hunn eng hallef Stonn Mëttespaus. – I have half an hour lunch break.
When are the 12 hour clock and the 24 hour clock used?
I am often asked by students if Luxembourgish people more use the 12 hour clock or the 24 hour clock. Well both. The 24 hour clock is more formal because it prevents all confusion. It is used for written documents like timetables or schedules at the airport or at the train station and in tv guides for example. There you will read 19h25 for 7h25 pm.
Otherwise we are using the 12 hour system for more casual situations like spoken Luxembourgish. And to say if it is am or pm of the morning, of the afternoon, of the evening, you are going to hear moies, mëttes, nomëttes or owes.
- Den Zuch fiert um 8 Auer moies. – The train leaves at 8.00 am.
- Ech ginn ëmmer um eng Auer mëttes an d’Kantin. – I always go at 1.00 pm to the cantin.
Now, we use owes when the number 6 is mentioned. That actually also includes the time that is just before 6, for example, when it is 5.40 pm we will say et ass zwanzeg vir sechs owes.
Translate the following sentences into Luxembourgish:
- At what time do you have time for me?
- I have no time now.
- The swimming pool closes at 8.00 pm.
Check the solution by downloading the PDF and practice with MORE sentences to translate !
I hope you liked it and found it useful. And …. why not sharing this lesson with your friends:-)