© RTL / Julia Maaluf
What time is it? When is your next meeting scheduled? And when is Jean-Pierre's birthday again?
In today's lesson, you'll learn all about time and dates in Luxembourgish!
Gudde Moien and welcome to another Luxembourgish lesson. Nice to have you back! In last week's lesson, we focused on directions and how we can find our way around town. So, after getting our riets, lénks, uewen, and ënnen sorted, it's only logical to move on to the other great concept that defines our experience of reality: time.
Once again, you'll find a neat vocabulary list with some general time-related words (morning, noon, today…etc) from the lesson alongside the fourth part of our more grammar-focussed article series "Language Basics" – which this time is about counting beyond 100. Once again, it is completely up to you whether you want that extra information, or whether you want to dive straight into the phrases. (MARTIN: cf end of document)
Telling the time
Firstly, a little bit about how Luxembourgers tell the time. While English-speaking folk use the 12-hour-clock both in spoken and in written speech, Luxembourgish makes use of both the 12-hour and 24-hour-clocks.
When talking to your friends and acquaintances, you are most likely to hear the 12-hour-clock, just as in English. However, in writing, the general standard is the 24-hour-clock, meaning that 2pm, for instance, will be written as 14 Auer. However, people will sometimes also use this clock in conversation! So, when you hear someone talking about something that happened at siechzéng (16) Auer, know that they mean 4pm.
All clear? Splendid, then let's look at some basic phrases we can use to talk about the time:
What time is it? -> Wéi vill Auer ass et?
It's … o'clock -> Et ass … Auer
It's … past … -> Et ass … op …
It's quarter past … -> Et ass Véierel op …
It's … to … -> Et ass … vir …
It's quarter to … -> Et ass Véierel vir …
It's half past … -> Et ass hallwer …
Good to know: When it comes to saying, "It's half past…", note that Luxembourgish does things "the other way around" compared to English. For instance, if you want to say, "It's half past six", you would say Et ass hallwer siwen (literally: "It's half seven"). In English, you look at the time that has already passed, while in Luxembourgish, you look at the time it is going to be.
The days of the week
Let's zoom out a little bit further and have a look at the days of the week. As both the English and Luxembourgish names of the weekdays have Germanic roots, some of these should sound at least a little bit familiar:
Monday -> Méindeg
Tuesday -> Dënschdeg
Wednesday -> Mëttwoch
Thursday -> Donneschdeg
Friday -> Freideg
Saturday -> Samschdeg
Sunday -> Sonndeg
The 12 months
Overall, this should not be too difficult: Like most other countries, Luxembourgish uses the Roman names of the 12 months. Most of them are outright the same, very similar, or just slightly different from their English equivalents.
January -> Januar
February -> Februar
March -> Mäerz
April -> Abrëll
May -> Mee
June -> Juni
July -> Juli
August -> August
September -> September
October -> Oktober
November -> November
December -> Dezember
On a side note: Once upon a time, Luxembourgish did have its own, original names for the 12 months of the year. If you want to expand your trivia, be sure to check out this article for a deep dive into the old calendar!
The four seasons
Two of these are a breeze: Summer stays the same (just the pronunciation differs) and winter just changes a single letter!
Spring -> Fréijoer
Summer -> Summer
Autumn -> Hierscht
Winter -> Wanter
Having learned all of that, we can now confidently ask and answer the questions from the introduction:
What time is it? -> Wéi vill Auer ass et?
It's eight o'clock / It's half past eight / It's quarter to nine -> Et ass aacht Auer / Et ass halwer néng / Et ass véierel vir néng
When is your next meeting scheduled? -> Wéini ass deng nächst Reunioun / däin nächste Rendez-Vous / Meeting?
On Thursday / Friday -> En Donneschden / E Freiden (N-Regel)
When is Jean-Pierre's birthday again? -> Wéini ass dem Jean-Pierre säi Gebuertsdag scho méi?
In July -> Am Juli