Following years of having the same conversation with outsiders and newcomers who are impressed by the ability to speak four or more languages, Luxembourgers have issued a heartfelt plea to close the topic forever.
“We’re pleased that our linguistic range amazes you, and it’s nice of you to remark, rather unscientifically, that our brains must be larger,” said the statement. “However, one only needs to meet Max, who works for the tax administration, to know that’s not true.”
“Please realize that it’s tiresome having the same exchange again and again,” it continued. “Yes, four languages. No, I don’t get confused. Yes, it’s practical. No, schools don’t introduce the languages at the same time. Yes, sometimes we switch languages to make fun of someone’s shoes.”
The statement also says that you shouldn’t count Luxembourgish because it’s not actually its own language.
“As so many amateur linguists new to the country have suggested, Luxembourgish is ‘basically German mixed with a little French,’” it said. “Like a measure of crème de cassis added to a glass of crémant, or a blob of applesauce on a Gromperekichelcher.”
“Not really,” the statement continued. “But we’re so desperate to end this infernal recurring topic that we’ll agree with anything you say.”
The statement goes on to say that it’s also none of your business which language a Luxembourger dreams in, just as it’s none of their business what sort of twisted scenarios you come up with while you sleep.
“When I meet a person who just moved here, I wish for once we could have a normal conversation unrelated to languages, a conversation about potatoes for example,” said one 45-year-old Luxembourger from Mersch.
“I feel like a circus animal,” said one Luxembourg City teenager with monolingual parents. “When we have friends over for dinner, my parents are always like, come on, impress us, tell us how to say ‘fart’ in German. Go on, now say it in French.”