LUXEMBOURG-VILLE — Aware of the language uncertainty many residents face when greeting each other, the Grand Duchy’s Office of Applied Linguistic Integration is urging people to adopt a newly created word.
“We spent nearly a year trying to solve this problem,” said Virginie Muller, the office’s chief language officer. “If we asked everyone in Luxembourg to simply use moien, that would exclude nearly 50 percent of the population that doesn’t speak Luxembourgish, and plus it’s rather difficult to get the intonation right.”
“You always have those who put the accent on the second syllable, which sounds awful,” she added.
“And bonjour, obviously, has a bias towards the French,” she continued. “Some of us were in favor of hello, which is universally recognized, but in the end we agreed that hello is not a pretty word.”
“It brings to mind the sound an older gentleman makes if he’s choking on a spoonful of porridge,” she added.
The office’s linguists set to work on creating a new greeting that shows no preference for any one language, yet that is suggestive of the area’s linguistic diversity. After several weeks working long hours in a lab, they announced that they had molecularly combined moien, bonjour, and hello into one compound greeting.
“Mojourello,” she said. “Mojourello. Doesn’t that just roll off the tongue?”
Muller and her team are hoping that everyone in the Grand Duchy will quickly adopt this greeting, and that in 10 or 20 years the others will be scarcely remembered, viewed as relics of a linguistically chaotic past.
Most experts agree that mojourello is a very nice word.
“Ever since they came up with it, I’ve been saying it all the time, even when I’m alone, because it’s so much fun,” said one literature professor from the University of Luxembourg. “Mojourello. A pleasure. Mojourello. Don’t mind if I do, thanks. Mojourello.”