Today I am going to talk about common mistakes Luxembourgish learners make when speaking Luxembourgish and that I have heard in my experience as a Luxemburgish teacher. I have compiled a list of what are the most common mistakes I keep hearing again and again. So today I am going to present to you 8 common mistakes and I will give you some hints how you can avoid them. Let’s start!
To ask someone in an informal situation “How are you ?” say:
How are you (informal)? → Wéi geet et dir?
Fine and you? → Gutt, an dir?
And to ask someone in a formal situation that same question say:
How are you (formal)? → Wéi geet et Iech?
Fine and you? → Gutt, an Iech.
Dir vs Si
Don’t mix up Dir and Si when speaking in a formal situation to a woman
Dir is formal way of saying you in Luxembourgish when ADDRESSING one or more people who
- you do not know very well,
- are in a position of authority, or
- are older than yourself.
Si is only used when talking ABOUT a woman
- you respect
- you do not know very well,
- who is older than you , or
- who has a position of power
Do you (formal) live as well in Luxembourg? → Wunnt Dir och zu Lëtzebuerg?
Does she (formal) live as well in Luxembourg? → Wunnt Si och zu Lëtzebuerg?
doheem vs heem
Use doheem when you ARE at home at heem when you go, come or drive home using the verbs goen, kommen, fueren.
At what time do you go home? → Um wéi vill Auer gees du heem?
I am at home at 6 o’clock. → Ech sinn um 6 Auer doheem.
Although it is okay to say “I’m hot/cold” in English, this is not the case in Luxembourgish. A Luxembourger says “to me it is hot” rather than “I am hot“ using the Dative Pronoun: mir
I am cold / warm. → Mir ass et kal / waarm.
The misuse of gär.
Gär is used to express that one likes something or likes doing something. And I often hear my students starting a sentence with “Ech gär …” That’s not possible.
Gär is NOT a verb but an adverb. This means you have to use it in connection with a verb. Use these easy thumb rule:
Verb + gär
I like eating cheesecake. → Ech iesse gär Kéistaart.
moies vs de Moien
Use moies to express that you do something regularly or every morning. de Moien simply means this morning
I drink two cups of coffee in the mornings. → Ech drénke moies zwou Tase Kaffi.
I drank two cups of coffee this morning. → Ech hunn de Moien zwou Tase Kaffi gedronk.
vill vs ganz
A common mistake among people learning Luxembourgish is to mix up the words ganz and vill. But these words are far from interchangeable.
Anne: Haut ass schéint Wieder, gell! It’s nice weather today, isn’t it?
Student: Jo, et ass
vill schéin. Yes, it is much nice.
As you can see vill is not the correct word. The correct word is ganz:
Jo et ass ganz schéin. Yes it is very nice.
ganz – very
vill – a lot / much
“vill” is used to express the quantity and it cannot be placed before an adjective.
We have a lot of work. → Mir hu vill Aarbecht.
And you can use ganz before vill to empahsize vill:
I have a lot to do today. → Ech hunn haut ganz vill ze dinn.
Auer vs Stonn
Stonn – hour
I’ve been waiting one hour for the train. → Ech hunn eng Stonn op den Zuch gewaart.
Auer – o’clock (time)
The train departs at 8 o’clock? → Den Zuch fiert um 8 Auer?
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