Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Uncommon Common Language


We get it now.

No, we don't understand it.  Well, we understand a little now, actually.

But we get why it's a language, why it's important, why it's useful, and why it's pretty cool.

Especially in the city schools, where well over half the population are immigrants, it's extremely useful. Luxembourgish puts all the kids on even, neutral footing.  It's the Switzerland of languages, if that makes sense.  Sure, the various native-language-subgroups can be a bit cliquish at times, but the default language remains Luxembourgish.  Because it's unique and uncommon, it's the perfect language to unite all the nationalities as equals.  And in a teeny-tiny country with such a transient population, it's what keeps Luxembourg, Luxembourg.

Daphne's best friend at school is a Chinese boy who arrived in Luxembourg around the same time we did.  He speaks Chinese, and no English.  She speaks English, and no Chinese. As Pete says, it sounds like the beginning of a tagline to a cheesy, old fashioned sitcom.

But they learned and now speak Luxembourgish together.

It's really, really weird.   And really, really remarkable.


Anonymous said...

Cool! Jake

Ariane said...

Love this post Rosie!!!! We have experienced this same phenomena.....its awesome!

Anonymous said...

Remarkable - and adorable!