Jo and mol are two words in Luxembourgish that are frequently used as filler words in speech. That is to say, they are inserted in a sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence but only the tone of voice. Filler words are used in speech to convey extra emphasis or emotion, without any real grammatical function. These words are so useful in spoken Luxembourgish. So learn them straight away and use them and they will as well help you to understand native speakers. Today learn these two words:
jo & mol
The Luxembourgish word jo means, first of all, yes in English BUT is also frequently used as a filler word in Luxembourgish random speech.
a) Dat ass jo mäi Buch. This is my book.
b) Do has du jo Gléck! You were lucky there!
c) Dat kanns du jo net wëssen. You cannot know that.
Here, the meaning of jo can be compared to the meaning of indeed. By inserting jo you emphasize your own personal conviction that something is true, so to say. This is especially applicable to sentences b) and c). In sentence a) the word jo expresses rather surprise. For example, let’s say, I am missing one of my books. One day I am at my friend’s place and I spot it there, then I would say: Dat ass jo mäi Buch! Hey, this is my book!
1 In statements, jo appeals for agreement
a) by using jo the speaker insists that what he is saying is correct:
Mir hu jo gëschter doriwwer geschwat! We did talk about that yesterday!
2 In exclamations, jo expresses surprise
Haut ass et jo sou kal! Oh, it’s really cold today!
Du hues jo deen neie Smartphone kaaft! Hey you’ve bought the new smartphone !
3 jo intensifies a command
using jo in a command can serve as an implied warning/threat, especially if the jo is stressed.
Du bleifs jo doheem! You are staying at home, aren’t you!
Hie soll jo näischt soen! He really mustn’t say anything (or else)!
4 jo as the affirmative particle
Et geet jo um aacht lass? It is starting at eight, yes/isn’t it?
Mir gi jo haut bei d’Marie an den Tom? We are going to Marie and Tom today, aren’t we?
You can hear very often that Luxembourgers insert the word mol in their utterances, like:
Gëff mer mol d’Schéier! Give me the scissors!
Hei, géi mol op d’Säit. Hey, step aside!
Loss mech mol fir d’éischt schwätzen! Do let me speak first!
Kuck mol, wat ech hei fonnt hunn! Look, what I have found!
In the examples above, mol is the colloquial form of eemol – once. Luxembourgers insert this word, for example, to make a command sound more polite. Such constructions are more time-saving and less complex than politer forms like Kéins du mir d’Schéier ginn? – Could you hand me the scissors? or Kanns du mir d’ Schéier ginn. – Can you hand me the scissors. Additionally, the word mol does also modify the speech flow and the intonation of the utterance, which causes to make it sound friendlier and not too harsh and commanding. It is often used with the following verbs: kucken, goen, ginn, loossen, maachen, froen …
Last but not least: none of these two words will ever modify the meaning of a sentence in a way that it is impossible for you to understand it not at all.