On the personal advantages gained from knowing Luxembourgish
Can you imagine lying on a hospital bed trying to explain the anesthetic you need to a room full of foreign-speaking doctors? This is what happened to my husband at the beginning of our time in Luxembourg.
Learning a foreign language as an adult can seem like a daunting task, especially with a busy work and family schedule. Many people simply don’t have the time to sit in a classroom three times a week and question the utility of knowing an additional language. However, just like my husband not so long ago, you may find yourself in a situation where knowing the local language is immensely useful.
Luckily, technology allows for many options when it comes to learning languages: learn new vocabulary on dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages or get an online tutor to teach your target language over Skype when it suits you.
So, knowing that there are ways of learning Luxembourgish, why should you?
Of course, there is the question of practicality. Besides my husband’s hospital experience, there are many other times when Luxembourgish will come in handy. From communicating with Government office workers to befriending your neighbours, Luxembourgish makes daily activities that much easier.
Knowing the language of the country you visit is definitely a door opener. People really appreciate the effort when you speak to them in their native language and are likely to go out of their way to help you.
Understanding Luxembourgish also allows you to work more effectively as you can catch all the nuances of what is being said around you. It can be a real asset to let experts speak in their language as they won’t feel hampered getting complex ideas across.
Learning a language is about improving yourself and your situation at every level: knowing what your neighbours, coworkers, clients and customers are saying, taking part in the social, cultural and political life, and, on a cerebral level, exercising your brain and expanding your mind.
This article also appeared in the inflight magazine Discover Benelux.