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The man from Luxembourg: He say ‘Jo/Ja/Oui’

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Warning: This post was published more than 11 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 11 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Three official languages?! That ruins the meter my nicely clichéd title. The French and Dutch were more considerate. But anyway, the point of this post is that the good people of Luxembourg have voted ‘yes’, by a relatively narrow margin, to the EU Constitution. Despite the fact that it’s almost certainly dead. But, you know, good for them. But if they have three official languages, and voting is compulsory, that must make one heck of a complicated ballot paper, because surely all three languages must be used so as not to disenfranchise anyone if it’s compulsory. Unless they have three sets of papers, and then you have to request one in your chosen language. It’s a conundrum. Any readers from Luxembourg who can clarify?

This 669th post was filed under: News and Comment.






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Comments and responses

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


by sjhoward

Comment posted at 20:27 on 10th July 2005.

For those not familiar with the languages of Luxembourg, they are Luxembourgish (Jo), German (Ja), and French (Oui). At least according to Wikipedia.


Comment from Jangi Kremer


by Jangi Kremer

Comment posted at 21:38 on 15th July 2005.

The “local” national language is Leutzebuergische, a Germanic language.

French is used as the legal language and the language of culture,
and all official public signs are posted in French. Thus street signs appear as a mixture with the French word and the German name orthography (but not the Letzeuburgische name) eg Rue Rollingergrund, Rue de Neudorf (as opposed to Neidorf), etc.

Some Germans tend to ridicule Leutzebuergische as a “baby talk” language, since that is what it sounds like to them, just intelligible but not fully meaningful.

Letzeuburgers readily understand standard German, and can easily learn it, just by listening to the radio and watching the TV.


Comment from Pope Shirley W


by Pope Shirley W

Comment posted at 21:46 on 15th July 2005.

“That ruins the meter my nicely clichéd title.”

It is also sexist.


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


by sjhoward

Comment posted at 13:45 on 16th July 2005.

Thanks for the language information – it’s all very interesting.

As for the ‘sexist’ comment – the title is an homage; so am I sexist, or is the writer of the original? Or are we both? Either way, rest assured that no offence was intended on my part.


Comment from Pope Shirley W


by Pope Shirley W

Comment posted at 20:19 on 16th July 2005.

You are obviously sexist for using a sexist slogan.

The politically correct way to render the phrase would have been

“The person from … says >”

Obviously it is time for you to take a gender neutralization writing course.


Comment from Jangi Kremer


by Jangi Kremer

Comment posted at 20:38 on 16th July 2005.

Moien!

If I may borrow a sexist English expression, I feel that Pope Shirley W is “getting her knickers in a twist” over politically correct neutral language.

On the mainland where languages still retain the gender of nouns, nobody concerns themselves over such insignificant matters.

And for example, “person” is female in both French and German, “une personne” / “eine persone”.

PS Do not forget that one third of the populate of Leutzebuerg is Portugaise, thus the first language of one third of the population is Portugaise, and so more and more articles in this language are appearing as adjuncts in official publications and publicity.


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