10 Common Luxembourgish Pronunciation Mistakes

Luxembourgish pronunciation is challenging. There are many exceptions and a number of words are not pronounced the way their spelling would suggest. Take for example the word Jus (juice). How would you pronounce it? … Well it is pronounced as in French “Jus“. 

Listen to this lesson so to practise the correct pronunciation. 

So, in this Luxembourgish pronunciation lesson, I’m going to show you how to pronounce 10 common words. These words that I’ve chosen are often mispronounced because they are words we took over from other languages such as Jus, or because of the combination of letters or sounds in Luxembourgish. In fact the letters that you see, don’t sound and are not pronounced like you think they should.

Dag (day)

Did you hear how I pronounced Dag. This means day and most of my students pronounce it DAG which is not correct. The Luxembourgish letter “g” is pronounced in this “ch” as in maachen.

Haut ass net mäin Dag Today hasn’t been a good day.

Clienten (clients)

This is the plural of the word Client (client). The letter “c” is pronounced like a “k”  and the final “t” is silent. And to build the plural we add “en” but the “t” remains silent. So pronounce it: Clienten. And not Clienten or Clienen. BUT Clienten. We do this with all the French words where the final consonant is silent:

Jus (singular) / Jusen (plural)
Restaurant (singular) / Restauranten (plural)
Rapport (singular) / Rapporten (plural)

Cours (course)

This one is so often mispronounced! It is not Kurs or Course or Cour. “ours” is pronounced “uer” as in muer (tomorrow) and as this is as well a French word the final “s” is silent.  So the plural is pronounced Coursen.

Lëtzebuergesch (Luxembourgish)

You have to work harder to get this one correct! So many of my students say “This one is too hard! I’m just not going to use this word!” and I say “NO, we are going to get it right, right now, together here in this lesson!”.  Lëtzebuergesch  means luxembourgish, the language.The Luxembourgish letter “g” is silent here and the letters “ue” sound more like “oi”: Lëtzebuergesch.

Stad (city)

Here we have the “st”-sound:  “sch-t”. And the final “d” sounds like a “t”. Stad means city and for us it is Luxembourg city. 

Ech schaffen an der Stad. (I work in Luxembourg city)

Uebst (fruits)

 I often hear “Ubest” or “Ubescht” which is incorrect. The letter “b” sounds more like “p” and to pronounce the sound “ue” you slide from “u” to “e”. And … here the letters “st” are pronounced as they are spelled  s t :  Uebst

Zuch (train)

Here we have the  “tsss” – sound for the letter Z.  And  the paired consonant –ch is pronounced as in maachen. So pronounce it “TSuch”.

Ech huelen all Dag den Zuch. (I take every day the train.) 

Samschdeg  (saturday)

 In the word Samschdeg we first have the “sch”-sound and the final “eg” is pronounced like “ech”.

Many native speakers though pronounce it Samsdeg which is correct as well.

Siechzéng (16)

This word is a challenge because we have the 2 vowels ie followed by the “ch” sound as in “ech” and together they are pronounced: “siech”. Listen and repeat: siechzéng and in “zéng” we have again the letter “z” pronounced”tsss”.

Kolleeg (colleague)

The final “g” is not pronounced “g” but together with the 2 vowels “ee” it is pronounced “ch”: eech. The plural of Kolleeg is Kolleegen and then the “g” is pronounced like “j”.

Übung (exercise):

Listen to this lesson so to practise the correct pronunciation. 

How would you pronounce the words in bold?

Ech war haut mat zwee Clienten an der Stad iessen.
Ech iessen all Dag Uebst.
Mir hunn haut iwwer Grammatik am Cours geschwat.
Ech léieren all Dag Lëtzebuergesch.
Dat kascht 16
Mäi Mann fiert e Samschdeg mat 2 Kolleegen  an d’Vakanz.

Well that’s my official list of the words that you are probably mispronouncing and I didn’t just make that list up, I built that list over years of coaching Luxembourgish students to improve their Luxembourgish pronunciation. They’re the words that students consistently get wrong! Listen to these words and practice repeating them.

You can get more training inside my Luxembourgish Pronunciation Online Course

Now there is no better way to practise and improve your pronunciation than with my Pronunciation Online Course (will be available on July 8th). In this course you will learn all the different Luxembourgish sounds such as “ä”, “ö”, “ü”, paired consonants such as “ch”or “chs”, the 7 different sounds of the letter “g” and a lots of practise.

Imagine yourself speaking Luxembourgish clearly and confidently!

Clear pronunciation is one evaluation criteria of the Luxembourgish language test called Sproochentest  so to able to apply for the citizenship.