We've got a new series for all you house-bound expats out there! Always wanted to learn a bit of Luxembourgish? Well, here's your chance!
As you may remember (if you don’t, off you go to our first lesson you little Faulpelz!), we started our series of bite-sized Luxembourgish lessons with greetings and basic introductions. We’re taking it up a notch to make sure you can tell the Luxies a tad more than just the timid “Moien.” And if there’s one thing the good old Lulus like (no, this lesson will not be on Crémant), it’s discussing hobbies and leisure activities.
I like to...
Let’s dive right in. The most common way of saying you like or love something (or someone) is to use the expression gär, which literally translates into “gladly.” It is usually used in combination with a verb.
| Ech schwamme gär. || I like to swim. (literally translated: I swim gladly) |
| Ech kache gär. || I like to cook. (literally translated: I cook gladly) |
| Ech meckere gär. || I like to complain. (literally translated: well you should get it by now, see above). |
| Ech schluppe gär. || I like to drink. (note: schluppen means to slurp, so you could use it in that context as well, but it’s commonly and somewhat humorously used to mean you like a bit of the booze.). Definitely (don’t) use it at dinner with your boss. |
Gär can also be used with a noun or a pronoun. This is a bit trickier as you will have to add the verb hunn (“to have” have).
| Ech hu* mäin domme Frënd gär. || I love my stupid (boy)friend. |
| Ech hunn RTL Today gär. || I love RTL Today |
| Ech hu* mäi Pony a mäin décken Auto gär. || I love my pony and my big car. |
If you do not like doing something, just throw the negative net in front of gär.
| Ech hu* Radaren net gär. || I don’t like speed cameras. |
| Ech hu* waarme Béier net gär. || I don’t like warm beer. |
*hu is actually the word “hunn”. We hinted at this in the first article as well, but we still won’t be going into detail on why the N or even NN is sometimes dropped off the end of a word. But, basically, if the word immediately after begins with one of the letters in the phrase ‘UNITED ZOHA’, you keep the N/NN, if not.. you don’t. But that’s a little bit simplified and, if you’d believe it, this grammatical rule has exceptions.
Many Luxembourgers are romantics – even if they might not admit it or not show it openly right away. So get ready for the most important phrase if you’re looking to commit to a significant other (note: if you don’t, we certainly recommend against using this magical expression):
| Ech hunn dech gär. || I love you. |
| Oh nee, ech hunn deng Schwëster gär. || Oh no, I love your sister. |
Some youngsters use the word “lieben” (yes, the German word). People will understand what you mean but it sounds wrong and should be outlawed.
The most common hobbies – vocabulary time
| Ech fuere gär Vëlo. || I like to cycle. |
| Ech spille gär Fussball (note: some people may say Foussball. Unless you’re from northern Luxembourg, don’t.) || I like to play football. |
| Ech gi gär spazéiren. || I like to go for walks. |
| Ech reege mech gär iwwert Bensinnspräisser op. || I like to complain about fuel prices. |
| Ech schaffe gär am Gaart. || I like to do gardening. |
| Ech shoppe gär. || I like to shop. |
| Ech klamme gär. || I like to climb. |
| Ech drenke gär e Patt. || I like to drink a glass (of alcohol). |
| Ech hu Steieren net gär. || I don’t like taxes. |
| Ech hu Kachkéis gär. || I like Kachkéis. (note: shame on you if you don’t know what Kachkéis is) |
If you want to ask your interlocutor what they like (then again, as a real Luxembourger you might want to skip that part), go for the question Wat hues du gär? Wat méchs du gär? (What do you like? What do you like to do?).
And finally, a useful phrase to express something you would like:
| Ech hätt gär e Croissant wannechgelift || I would like a croissant please |
| Ech hätt gär e Lait Russe wannechgelift || I would like a latte please (Lait Russe literally means Russian Milk, by the way. Not to be confused with a white Russian, which while have rather a different effect on your mental state). |