A special edition of our Learn Luxembourgish with RTL Today series, focusing on all the coronavirus-related terminology you don't really need to know.
The coronavirus stubbornly continues its stranglehold on our daily lives and most of us engage in a battle of Freudian proportions not to throw our wits out of the window. We know… the skies are strikingly blue, the birds are chirping, and hay fever sufferers are feeling the magical appeal of spring. The world is beautiful and yet you are confined. Your Luxembourgish partner is walking the dog 10 times a day but they still won’t take out the trash. Perfect timing to practice your Luxembourgish skills.
| Botz deng Nues, Schnuddelhong! || Blow your nose, turkey! (note: A “Schnuddelhong” literally translates into “snot hen.” A true gem. |
| Dro den Dreck eraus, Knaschtert. || Take the thrash out, dirtbag. |
| Den Hond ass doudmidd. || The dog is dead tired. |
| Du hues (zwar och) scho besser gekacht. || You have cooked better. |
Ah, sweet relief. You then venture upstairs and nostalgically look out of the window. You spot your elderly neighbour washing his (insert luxury car brand here) for the third time today. And what is this abomination? That guy you’ve always hated has a friend over!
| Dat ass den ale Modell, gell? || That’s the old model, right? (Note: Luxies in the south love to use “gell.” They will literally insert it in any sentence. Easy way to sound like a local! |
| Ech mengen Ären Auto ass elo propper. || I think your car is clean now. (formal phrasing) |
| Dir kéint och Waasser spueren. || You could save water. |
| Moien, mäin Noper huet eng illegal Party. || Hi, my neighbour is having an illegal party. |
| Hie muss e Protokoll kréien. || He needs to get a fine. |
There’s light on the horizon – it’s finally time for your weekly adventure: the trip to the supermarket. You could just walk to the store close to your home but, well, let’s take the car like any proper Luxembourger would. You arrive after a short joyride and enter the hallowed halls. Some essentials:
| Muss ech elo wierklech an der Schlaang waarden? || Do I really need to wait in the queue now? |
| Et ass alles méi deier ginn. || Everything has become more expensive. |
| Braucht Dir wierklech esou vill Toilettepabeier? || Do you really need that much toilet paper? |
| Paakt net alles un wannechgelift || Don’t touch everything please! |
| Jo, ech hunn eng Kaart, mä ech wëll awer boer bezuelen. || I do have a debit card but I will pay cash. |
It is of course also essential to ensure that everything you purchase has been properly sanitized.
| Ëntschellegt; gouf dëst Brout wärend minimum 20 Sekonnen mat Seef gewäsch? || Excuse me, has this bread been washed down with soap for at least 20 seconds? |
| Kënnt Dir all Kéiers wou Dir en neie Produit scant, wannechgelift en neit Puer Händchen undoen? || Can you please change gloves between each item you scan? |
| Dir hutt elo grad eng Dous Bounen ugepaakt an se einfach zréck an d’Regal geluecht? Kann ech är Hänn richen? || You just touched that can of beans and put it back. Can I smell your hands? |
| Dem Monsieur seng Hänn richen net propper. Rufft d’Police! || This person’s hands don’t smell clean – someone call the police! |
The joy was rather short-lived and you eventually drive back home in your car that you’ve cautiously filled to the absolute brim. You don’t understand a single word of the Luxembourgish gangster rap that’s blasting from your speakers (what on earth is a “Chu an da Hood”?), erratic drivers are overtaking you at 85km/h in a 50 zone, you know the kids will bombard you with the usual “what are we having for dinner?” question the moment you step into your home… and yet, you are enjoying every moment of this last bastion of freedom to the fullest.
…Until you see the blue lights flashing in the rearview mirror. Reality sinks in. What a lovely day to be pulled over. The horror, the horror, will the unusually attractive police officer question you about the 200 toilet rolls in the trunk? And what about the 25 boxes of pasta? All this just one day after you urged everyone on Facebook not to descend into panic buying frenzy. Oh dear. The officer steps closer and you open your window. Before he even manages to utter a single word, you should blurt out the following sentences.
| Ech war grad akafen. || I’ve just been grocery shopping. |
| Mäi Mann ass Italiener; hie brauch vill Nuddelen. || My husband is Italian; he needs a lot of pasta. |
| Hien huet säit Deeg de Schësser. || He’s had diarrhea for days. |
| Ech sinn och géint Hamsterakeef. || I’m also against panic buying. (literally: hamster grocery shopping) |
| Dir sidd e flotte Borscht. || You are an attractive lad. |
All sorted, you can continue your drive. You arrive back home… and your partner still hasn’t taken out the trash. Well, some things never change, even in corona times. Time to take a nap. Gutt Nuecht!