Discover our interview with Raluca CARANFIL, who is using the mobile app "365 Days Luxembourgish" to learn Luxembourgish.
I am Raluca Caranfil, a journalist, living across the border in Arlon, but working in the middle of Luxembourg City. I speak English, Romanian, French, Italian, Spanish, a little bit of German and now I’m learning Luxembourgish.
When did you start to learn Luxembourgish? What motivated you to do so?
I was introduced to Luxembourgish during my master’s at the University of Luxembourg, where I’ve learned the story behind the language, why it was necessary for it to exist, when it was considered a language and other fun trivia about it, but I have actively start learning Luxembourgish half a year ago.
I think every person living or working in Luxembourg should know a few words in the local language and that for me is not French nor German, it’s Luxembourgish. When we travel to a new place, we make an effort to learn the basics, such as “Hello!” and “Bye!” or “Thank you!” why wouldn’t we do the same at least for the place we live in?
Also, I find that only the intention of learning Luxembourgish puts a smile on the faces of the local people I interact with and that to me it’s a plus. I only hope that in the future I could have a conversation in Luxembourgish. I happen to think that a language is more than vocabulary and grammar, it encapsulates also traditions, food, or in a word the culture of that language. And as I happen to live here, I also want to know the culture of this place and learning the language helps. I like the multiculturality of Luxembourg, but I also applaud the efforts made to promote the Luxembourgish language.
How do you find this experience?
As I’ve just learned the basics in German, Luxembourgish for me came easily.
When I’ve first arrived here, I thought Luxembourgish was a Germanic language with French accents, now I find it closer to English and it somehow makes sense, but I’m still at the beginner’s level so maybe later I will find it more difficult.
Now it is just a fun experience that also helps me accumulate some knowledge.
Would you recommend the “365 Days Luxembourgish” app?
Yes, one hundred percent yes. Over the years I’ve bought books or other learning methods to at least start learning Luxembourgish but failed every time. When Clara (Ms. Moraru) told me about the app I thought I would give it a spin just for fun, but the method is great for me and it challenged me to continue. I usually practice on the train to and from Arlon or in my spare time at home. I remember once I was doing something wrong and the app would not let me pass the level, I almost dreamed the lesson until I found the mistake I was making.
I think every learning method is suited to a specific audience. I’m not planning to apply for the Luxembourgish citizenship any time soon, so I don’t need to learn the language now. For me, the app is the right fit, I learn at may own pace, when I find a little bit of time.
What do you like most about this method? Do you use any other learning materials except the “365 Days Luxembourgish” app?
I like that it is mobile. I use it on my phone and I also have a small notebook which easily fits in my purse so with no effort on my part I can learn a word or a phrase on the go. I also like that the lessons are interconnected, and you always learn and relearn the notions. For me the method works, and it challenges me to finish 100% a lesson to pass to the next.
I’ve also used with my friends the “100 expressions you need to master in Luxembourgish” a method developed also by Ms. Clara Moraru. It is fun and I think it will become useful later as I pass to the intermediate level in Luxembourgish.
Is there any material that you would like to use but don’t find for Luxembourgish?
I can’t think of any material, as for me Luxembourgish is the fun language which helps me connect with the locals and make new friends and have fun; maybe later I will start to seriously learn it, bucking lessons and buying books, but for now the app and sometimes google is all I need. I was one of the supporters of introducing Luxembourgish into google translate and I think that could be a useful tool.
Any wishes for Languages.lu on their 15th anniversary?
15 years it’s an enormous achievement so Happy Birthday, Languages.lu!
I wish it to live happily for at least 15 more years and to continue being the pinnacle of learning Luxembourgish in this country!
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