It is a mistake to think that Luxembourgish pronunciation is any less important than reading, listening and speaking skills. Pronunciation is the bridge between you and a native Luxembourgish speaker. One of the biggest problem for you as a Luxembourgish learner is to find someone to speak to. But once you have an opportunity to speak and you show the slightest weakness in your pronunciation, then native speakers usually instantly switch to French, English or German or they might frown and ask Wat gelift?
This is VERY embarrassing?
What’s worse, it makes you lose your motivation and the confidence in your own Luxembourgish. You begin to doubt yourself, and then it will be even more difficult to speak the next time, because you’ll be worrying about whether or not people will understand you.
Let me tell you a personal anecdote about this.
To refresh my English, after having lived 3 years in France, I hired an English teacher to practise my oral expression. My teacher’s first question during our free lesson was: “So, do you speak good English?” I replied “I think so”, and the teacher took a pen and draw a ship sinking on the whiteboard. Then he looked at me with a friendly smile and said “Ah? You sink so! ”
Notice that I just said three words, and the teacher could already tell if my English was good or not. It wasn’t because I used wrong words or advanced grammar structures. It was the way I pronounced the English word “think”. The English “th – sound” is an unfamiliar sound for a Luxemburger and it takes time to practise to get the correct pronunciation.
You see, if you don’t have good pronunciation, people may simply not understand what you want to say or even worse, they may misunderstand you.
It is very important to work on your pronunciation
Pronunciation is not about removing your accent. It is about making your Luxembourgish sounds clear and natural, so there is no confusion about what you are saying.
PRONUNCIATION is a skill that needs specific study and particular attention. Now Luxembourgish is a much more phonetically consistent language than English. This means that Luxembourgish words almost sound the way they are spelled. BUT Luxembourgish has many compound letters which together make a new sound: there are vowel and consonant combinations like “éi”, “äi”, “ei”, “ou”, “sp”, “chs” to name just some of them. And there are the strange vowels ü, ä, ö called Ëmlauter.
It is crucial to pronounce each sound correctly so to avoid misunderstanding.
For example, if you pronounce DEIER like this instead of this native speakers will misunderstand you! Or if you pronounce ZUCH like this instead of this they will have some problems understanding you!
That’s the reason why any student of Luxembourgish should learn the sounds associated with certain spellings as soon as possible. When you learn to make the correct sounds, your Luxembourgish will become easier to understand and you will sound more natural. You will feel more confident and it will be easier for you to communicate in Luxembourgish.
Knowing how to pronounce a word will help you to use it in conversation.
I see some of my students systematically avoiding some words because they are not sure about the correct pronunciation. Thus they are limited in their communication.
So …. Just like you study and practice grammar, you should study and practice your pronunciation.
AND clear pronunciation is one important passing criteria of the oral part of the Sproochentest – The Luxembourgish language test to get the Luxembourgish citizenship.
You want to speak Luxembourgish clearly and confidently? I can help you!
Now there is a good way to learn, practise and improve your pronunciation with my Luxembourgish Pronunciation Online Course. This course is for everyone – beginners and for those who want to improve their pronunciation.
Start to practice your pronunciation today: Learn how to pronounce the Luxembourgish Vowels
I want you to try this lesson. It is short and you can practice with again and again, as you improve.