Learn to talk correctly about the time in Luxembourgish

 

In this lesson I will tackle a few problems students often get wrong when they try to talk about the time in Luxembourgish. Please note that this lesson is not a lesson on how to say the time. So, let’s start!

How would you translate the word “time” in Luxembourgish?

Well, there are several translations and they are often a source of confusion themselves. If you are referring to time” as a “general notion” you are going to use the word Zäit.

Examples:

Ech hunn haut keng Zäit. I have no time today.
D’Zäit vergeet séier. Time passes quickly. (Time flies by.)

If you mean “do you have some time available” or “do you have time?” as a general notion that would be:

Hutt Dir Zäit? (formal)
Hues du Zäit? (informal)

However, if you refer to “time” as an “occurrence“: something that is happening once, twice, three times etc, you will use the word Mol

Examples: 

Ech widderhuelen dat net 3 Mol. I will not repeat that 3 times.
Mir ginn 2 Mol d’Joer an d’Vakanz. We go twice a year on holidays.

So use eemol /1 Mol, zweemol /2 Mol, dräimol /3 Mol etc for the occurence.

How to ask “what time is it?” in Luxembourgish?

When referring to time as the unit that is displayed on your watch basically you will translate “time” by Auer. Use Auer to answer the question “what time is it?” and to tell the time.

Oddly enough “what time is it” translates to “wéi vill Auer ass et” in Luxembourgish.

Examples:

Wéi vill Auer ass et? What time is is?
Et ass 10 Auer. It is 10 o’clock

Now the numbers “one” eent and “two”  zwee change their form when followed by a noun. The form they take depends on the gender of the noun that follows. Knowing that Auer is a feminine noun  you have to say eng when it is one o’clock and zwou when it is two o’clock.

Et ass eng Auer.  It is one o’clock
Et ass zwou Auer It is two o’clock

However when you are talking about a time period of 60 minutes or more, so the word for “hour” use the word Stonn

Examples:

De Cours dauert eng Stonn. The course lasts one hour.
Ech hunn eng hallef Stonn Mëttespaus. I have half an hour lunch break.

When are the 12 hour clock and the 24 hour clock used?

I am often asked by students if Luxembourgish people more use the 12 hour clock or the 24 hour clock. Well both. The 24 hour clock is more formal because  it prevents all confusion. It is used for written documents like timetables or schedules at the airport or at the train station and in tv guides for example. There you will read 19h25 for 7h25 pm.

Otherwise we are using the 12 hour system for more casual situations like spoken Luxembourgish. And to say if it is am or pm  “of the morning“, “of the afternoon“, “of the evening“, you are going to hear moies, mëttes, nomëttes or owes.

Example:

Den Zuch fiert um 8 Auer moies. The train leaves at 8.00 am.
Ech ginn ëmmer um eng Auer mëttes an d’Kantin. I always go at 1.00 pm to the cantine.
D’Schwämm mécht um 8 Auer owes zou. The swimming pool is closes at 8.00 pm.

Now, we use owes when the number 6 is mentioned. That actually also includes the time that is just before 6, for example, when “it is 5h40 pm” we will say et ass zwanzeg vir sechs owes. Don’t forget to start with the minutes and then with the hours. So “5h40”  is zwanzeg vir sechs. And we don’t mention the word Minutten.  When it is “3h10” just say  zéng op dräi and not zéng Minutten op dräi.

I hope this little lesson helped you and that it gave you more confidence about how to ask for the time or give the time properly in Luxembourgish.

If you have a question, leave your question in the comment section under this lesson.


So tell me:

Wéi vill Auer ass et elo?

You can write the answer in Luxembourgish in the comment section  of this lesson! And  you can as well ask my any question you might have about the time. I will get back to you or ….  even better: may be I will post in the near future another lesson about the subject of your question!