Luxembourgish is a Germanic language spoken by about 400,000 people in Luxembourg, France, Belgium and Germany. There are also a few Luxembourgish speakers in the USA. It has a lot in common with German and Dutch, and has also borrowed some words from French.
Luxembourgish has been spoken since Frankish times (c. 1,000 AD), along the banks of the Moselle. Literature in Luxembourgish flourished during the 19th century. Luxembourgish started to be used as a language of instruction in schools in 1914. A new spelling system was devised by Jean Feltes, a phonetician, in 1946, though it never really caught on. In 1950 Joseph Tockert, Helene Palgen, and Robert Bruch were commissioned to produce a new Luxembourgish dictionary. They invented a new spelling system for the dictionary, which was adopted as the official one in 1976, when Feltes' system was dropped.
The written communication form of Luxembourgers borrows heavily from French and German. French is considered the official written language for the authorities; many official documents (e.g. parliamentary documents and bills) are written in French. However, when it comes to dissemination of official information, the documents are printed in German, as German is believed to be more accessible to the 'masses' in Luxembourg. Street names, menus, tickets are mostly in French, but some street and place names are also in Luxembourgish. Newspapers are printed in German, but most advertisements are in French.
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