ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the Reibach, Lieler, Luxembourg: spellings and cross-border issues

Updated on October 5, 2012
Flag of Luxembourg
Flag of Luxembourg | Source
The Reibach, on the Belgian-Luxembourg border, 100 metres from its confluence with the Our.
The Reibach, on the Belgian-Luxembourg border, 100 metres from its confluence with the Our. | Source
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg passport
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg passport | Source
Map of the tripoint Belgium-Germany-Luxembourg
Map of the tripoint Belgium-Germany-Luxembourg | Source
Map location of the enlarged Clervaux municipality
Map location of the enlarged Clervaux municipality | Source

What's in a name? It depends...

Some watercourses vary in importance, not because of their size necessarily, but because of their location.

The Reibach rises in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and before it finally empties into the Our River, it forms the border between Luxembourg and Belgium, between those countries' respective localities of Lieler (Létzebuergesch: Léiler )(1) and Ouren. If one notes that for many kilometres, including near Ouren and Lieler, the Our River forms the border between Belgium and German, one will soon realize the role that the Reibach plays: where it flows into the Our, therefore, the borders of Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany meet. In the main photo, above, showing the Reibach close to its confluence with the Our River, the Luxembourg bank is to the right, while Belgium is to the left (2).

Interestingly, this stream's name has a number of spellings. As well as Reibach , an acute accent is sometimes added to the 'e', and the letter 'a' is doubled, thus: Réibaach . This spelling would be regarded as the 'authentic' spelling in Létzebuergesch, designated as the national language of Luxembourg. (One sometimes also sees the accented, i.e., Létzebuergesch, version with one 'a' only, thus: Réibach .) There is also another variant spelling: Ribbach , the map of the locality which I have which supplied even gives this spelling.

But the spelling Reibach is the standard German one, reflecting Hochdeutsch usage.

Regarding the 'authentic', Létzebuergesch spelling, since the stream is for a number of kilometres wholly in Luxembourg and then for a shorter distance forms the Luxembourg side of the border on one of its banks, it is not surprising that there would be a distinct Létzebuergesch one. But it should also be borne in mind that near its confluence with the Our River this Létzebuergesch spelling applies only to is southern bank!

The linguistic situation along the Belgian-Luxembourg border is very interesting and diverse. There is actually a Létzebuergesch-speaking area of Belgium, in that country's province of Lexembourg (yes, confusingly, one of Belgium's provinces is also called 'Luxembourg'!), although even along Belgian Luxembourg's border with the Grand Duchy the Belgian side is not linguistically homogeneous. But here, opposite Lieler, at the Belgian village of Ouren, the province in question is Liège, the eastern part of which is known as the Ostkantone, which is officially German-speaking. It is generally acknowledged without too much controversy that what is spoken in villages along some of the Belgian Luxembourg border is Létzebuergesch, yet here opposite Lieler the official Belgian position is different: this part of Liège (German: Lüttich ) province was annexed to Belgium after World War One. Even though between Lieler and Ouren villages the local Germanic speech is not far removed, yet in the Ostkantone, the form of the language is acknowledged to be standard German only, while in Luxembourg both standard German and Létzebuegesch (and French!) are recognized (3).

So: Reibach , Réibaach , Ribbach ; what’s in a name?

Even with the name of a stream such as this one, a lot may depend on where one is.

October 5, 2012

Notes

(1) Lieler has recently been incorporated into the Municipality of Clervaux (Létzebuergesch: KlierfCliärref is also current —; German: Clerf ).

(2) Those with good eyesight may just be able to make out a barbed wire denoting this peaceful, international border. I am not qualified to argue for the appropriateness or otherwise of the barbed wire, but maybe metaphorically at least it can symbolize the slightly tricky linguistic issues which which the border areas of Luxembourg are confronted.

(3) Some years ago Luxembourg's Minister of Culture inadvertently made a statement which appeared to support a secessionist political party within Belgian Luxembourg, whereas all the minister had intended to convey was cultural support for Létzebuergesch language and literature in an area of Belgium (unlike the Ostkantone to which Ouren belongs) generally acknowledged to be Létzebuergesch-speaking.

Also worth seeing

In Lieler , Luxembourg, itself, the village church has some Medieval features.

Ouren , Belgium: close to the Reibach is a European monument and park, of which a stone is the centerpiece. The Peterskirche (St. Peter's church) dates from 1741.

Sevenig , Germany: close to the confluence of the Reibach and the Our River, this village is linked with Ouren by the Georges Wagner Bridge.

...

How to get there: The nearest large international airport to Lieler is Luxembourg (Aéroport de Luxembourg ), at Findel, from where car rental is available. For North American travellers making the London, England area their touring base, airlines flying to Luxembourg include Luxair (from London Heathrow Airport and London City Airport) and CityJet (from London City Airport). Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)