Migration, Language Policies, and Language Rights in Luxembourg

Open access

Abstract

This paper deals with the state of language rights in Luxembourg in the light of immigration and the multilingualism associated with it. Although Luxembourg might appear to be an ideal case of multilingualism with three official languages (Luxembourgish, French, and German), the reality is very different because its language policies are marked by a hierarchy: while Luxembourgish has the symbolic dominance as the ‘national language’, French is the preferred language in the workplace and administration. The situation has become complex due to the steady influx of immigrants since the 1970s. Currently, more than 40 per cent of Luxembourg’s population consists of foreigners, and this has changed the linguistic situation in the sense that Portuguese has become one of the most widely spoken languages in Luxembourg, although it does not enjoy any legal safeguards. Taking account of this multilingual scenario, this paper examines the rights of different linguistic communities in Luxembourg. On the one hand, there is the need to protect Luxembourgish, which is the majority language in Luxembourg but a minority language when compared to other national languages of Europe, while, on the other hand, the needs of its Portuguesespeaking community also have to be taken into account since the use of German as the medium of instruction at primary level disadvantages them. Finally, the paper will also consider the role and the future of the other two main languages (French and German).

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • BEIRÃO Delfina. 1999. Les Portugais du Luxembourg: des familles racontent leur vie. Paris: L’Harmattan.

  • CALOT Gerard–CHESNAIS Jean-Claude. 1978. La démographie du Luxembourg: passé présent et avenir. Rapport au Président du Gouvernement: Cahiers Economiques 56. Luxembourg: STATEC.

  • CAREY David–ERNST Ekkehard. 2006. Improving Education Achievement and Attainment in Luxembourg. OECD Economics Department Working Papers 508 OECD Publishing. DOI: 10.1787/431707836184.

  • CHRILLESENNeel. 2013. LuxembourgRemainsunderAverage. Delano December 3. Accessed on: 15 July 2017. At: http://delano.lu/news/luxembourg-remainsunder-average.

  • DAVIS Kathryn. 1994. Language Planning in Multilingual Contexts: Policies Communities and Schools in Luxembourg. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

  • DIONISIO Linda. 2015. International Migration in Luxembourg: Continuous Reporting System on Migration OECD October 2015. University of Luxembourg: Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning.

  • FEHLEN Fernand. 2013. Die Stellung des Französischen in Luxemburg: Von der Prestigesprache zur Verkehrssprache. In: Sieburg Heinz (ed.) Vielfalt der Sprachen – Varianz der Perspektiven: Zur Geschichte und Gegenwart der Luxemburger Mehrsprachigkeit Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag. 37–80.

  • FEHLEN Fernand et al. 2013. Die am besten beherrschte Sprache (Hauptsprache): Recensement de la population – premiers résultats No 17. Luxembourg: Institut nationaldelastatistiqueetdesétudeséconomiques.At:http://www.statistiques.public.lu/catalogue-publications/RP2011-premiers-resultats/2013/17-13-DE.pdf.

  • FRÖHLICH Harald–HOFFMANN Fernand. 1997. Sprachkontakte in Westeuropa. Luxemburg. In: Hans Goebl–Peter Nelde–Zdenek Stary–Wolfgang Wölck (eds) Kontaktlinguistik. Ein internationales Handbuch zeitgenössischer Forschung. Volume 2 Berlin/New York: de Gruyter. 1158–1172.

  • GARCIA Nuria. 2014. The Paradox of Contemporary Linguistic Nationalism: The Case of Luxembourg. Nations and Nationalism 20: 113–132.

  • HEINZ Andreas–FEHLEN Fernand. 2016. N° 10/2016 Regards sur l’intégration linguistique. Luxembourg: Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. At: http://www.statistiques.public.lu/fr/publications/series/regards/2016/10-16-integration-linguistique/index.html.

  • HORNER Kristine–WEBER Jean-Jacques. 2008. The Language Situation in Luxembourg. Current Issues in Language Planning 9: 69–128.

  • INGLEBY David–KRAMER Sander. Country Report: Luxembourg. www.csd.bg/fileSrc.php?id=20762. Accessed on: 4 July 2017.

  • Journal Official du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. Arrêté de sa Majesté du 4 janvier 1835 N°4 concernant la police de la presse. At: http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/a/1835/01/04/n1/jo. Accessed on: 4 July 2017.

  • Journal Official du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. Règlement grand-ducal du 11 août 2011 fixant le plan d’études pour les quatre cycles de l’enseignement fondamental. At: http://data.legilux.public.lu/file/eli-etat-leg-memorial-2011-178-fr-pdf.pdf.

  • Journal Official du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. Règlement grand-ducal du 4 novembre 2014 portant exécution de la loi du 22 septembre 2014 relative au Fonds national de soutien à la production audiovisuelle. At: http://data.legilux.public.lu/file/eli-etat-leg-memorial-2014-222-fr-pdf.pdf.

  • Journal Official du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. Texte Cordonne du Règlement de la chambre des Députés. At: http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/tc/2012/03/14/n1/jo.

  • KIRPS Josée–REITZ Jean. 2001. National Report Luxembourg. Strasbourg: Cultural Policy and Action Department Directorate General IV – Education Culture and Heritage Youth and Sport Council of Europe.

  • KOLLWELTER Serge. 2007. Immigration in Luxembourg: New Challenges for an Old Country. Washington: Migration Policy Institute. At: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/immigration-luxembourg-new-challengesoldcountry.

  • KOLLWELTERSerge–SADLERNoémie.2013. RacismandRelatedDiscriminatory Practices in Employment in Luxembourg. ENAR Shadow Report 2012–2013.

  • LE PORTALE DE STATISTIQUES Grand Duche de Luxemburg. 2017. Population by Sex and Nationality on 1st January (x 1000) 1981 1991 2001–17. Accessed on: 15 July 2017. At: http://www.statistiques.public.lu/stat/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=12853&IF_Language=eng&MainTheme=2&FldrName=1.

  • LUXEMBURGER WORT. 2015a. Luxembourg Rejects Foreigner Voting Rights. June 7. Accessed on: 1 August 2017. At: https://www.wort.lu/en/politics/luxembourg-referendum-2015-luxembourg-rejects-foreigner-voting-rights-55746af10c88b46a8ce5acda.

  • 2015b. Language Test Fail Rate Rising Steadily. December 29. Accessed on: 2 August 2017. At: https://www.wort.lu/en/politics/luxembourgish-nationalitylanguage-test-fail-rate-rising-steadily-56824de70da165c55dc5049d.

  • 2015c. Majority of Luxembourgers Oppose Simplifying Language Criteria. November 10. Accessed on: 2 August 2017. At: https://www.wort.lu/en/politics/luxembourg-nationality-reform-majority-of-luxembourgers-opposesimplifying-language-criteria-564219ed0da165c55dc4ce83.

  • 2014a. Children Punished for Speaking Portuguese in Kindergarten & ‘maison relais’. November 4. Accessed on: 1 August 2017. At: https://www.wort.lu/en/luxembourg/shocking-luxembourg-expose-children-punished-for-speakingportuguese-in-kindergarten-maison-relais-5458e9a7b9b3988708082cb4.

  • 2014b. Luxembourg Has the Highest Fail-Rate in OECD. September 9. Accessed on: 1 August 2017. At: https://www.wort.lu/en/luxembourg/education-at-a-glance-luxembourg-schools-have-highest-fail-rate-in-oecd-540efee6b9b3988708061f07.

  • 2013. Luxembourg a Poor Student in OECD Global Education Survey. December 3. Accessed on: 3 August 2017. At: http://www.wort.lu/en/luxembourg/luxembourg-a-poor-student-in-oecd-global-education-survey-529dbdfce4b0a66dbd89a9ff.

  • MAY Stephen. 2003. Rearticulating the Case for Minority Language Rights. Current Issues in Language Planning 4: 95–125.

  • MINISTERE DE LA FAMILLE ET DE L’INTEGRATION. 2010. Rapport national sur la situation de la jeunesse au Luxembourg. Accessed on: 10 July 2017. At: http://www.statistiques.public.lu/fr/publications/thematique/populationemploi/rapportjeunesse2010/rapport_jeunesse_de.pdf.

  • NEWCOMER James. 1984. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg: The Evolution of Nationhood 963 A.D. to 1983. Lanham: Univ. Press of America.

  • NEWTON Gerald. 1996. Luxembourg: The Nation. In: Newton Gerald (ed.) Luxembourg and Lëtzebuergesch: Language and Communication at the Crossroads of Europe Oxford: Clarendon Press. 5–38.

  • PÉPORTÉ Pit et alia. 2010. Inventing Luxembourg: Representations of the Past Space and Language from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

  • PHILLIPSON Robert. 1992. Linguistic Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • RUÍZ Richard. 1984. Orientations in Language Planning. The Journal of the National Association of Bilingual Association 8: 15–34.

  • SHELLEY Fred M. 2013. Nation Shapes: The Story Behind the World’s Borders. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

  • SHOHAMY Elena. 2006. Language Policy: Hidden Agendas and New Approaches. London: Routledge.

  • SKUTNABB-KANGAS Tove–PHILLIPSON Robert. 1995. Linguistic Human Rights Past and Present. In: Skutnabb-Kangas Tove–Phillipson Robert (eds) Linguistic Human Rights. Overcoming Linguistic Discrimination Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 71–110.

  • THE OFFICIAL PORTAL of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. 2016. Population and Multiculturality. Last modified on: 29 March. At: http://www.luxembourg.public.lu/en/le-grand-duche-se-presente/luxembourg-tour-horizon/population-et-multiculturalite/.

  • WEBER Jean-Jacque. 2009. Multilingualism Education and Change. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang.

Search
Journal information
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 265 265 26
PDF Downloads 183 183 34