The Maltese language is the Semitic language written in the Latin script and the only official Semitic language of the European Union to which Malta is a member. It is very tough to sort out the exact origin of the Maltese language. Some say that due to its Phoenician influence, Maltese is closer to Lebanese than the Arabic dialects of North Africa. Others argue that Tunisian is the closest form of the Semitic language to Maltese. Another popular theory is the Tunisian one that Maltese is a derivative of Siculo-Arabic (an Arabic dialect of Sicily) that has continued to develop undisturbed. What can be easily seen is that the Maltese language today has a defined Semitic platform where words from English, Italian and French have been linked, making it a language hybrid that is written in the Latin alphabet. Maltese uses the Roman alphabet with a series of letters: i.e., ż, ċ, ġ, ħ, and għ. In 1968, a 15th-century poem written in Maltese was found out by two famed Maltese research scholars. The poem with the title "IlKantilena" was associated with Pietru "Peter" Caxaro, written in Latin script. The first Maltese dictionary was anthologized by Agius de Soldanis in 1766; but, it wasn't released until 2015.
Two languages -Maltese and English - got the official language status in Malta, and the vast majority of the population is fluent in these both languages. For hundreds of years, the Maltese language has been left to its own devices, spoken by citizens, ignored by rulers, perhaps to ensure its survival. In 1800, after arriving, the British, English was initiated and quickly learned by the Maltese inhabitants. Today, most population of Malta likes better to speak English. Both languages -English and Maltese - are mandatory subjects in Malta schools. Although the vast majority of the population speaks English, the majority prefer to speak Maltese to their compatriots. Although English is an official language, the language of the people is still Maltese, which is an integral part of the Maltese identity and is important to most.
Maltese is spoken by around half a million people around the world. Maltese seems odd to visitors - some visitors think they will understand it, but many of them think, they cannot understand. This is mainly because most of the Maltese words are borrowed from English, French and Italian languages, and the rest words have Semitic origins. Common expressions like grazzi (grazie in Italian), bonġu (bonjour in French) or bonswa (bonsoir, also in French) have nearly all replaced their Maltese equivalents. Unfortunately, few Maltese are able to write Maltese correctly. Many complain that written Maltese is grammatically awful, but likely the real reason is that few of them can write the Maltese language grammatically correct. Local linguists are concerned with a modern society that writes Maltese the way they like it without worrying about the all-important grammar rules. Others argue that this notation should be adopted, arguing that the written language should follow the spoken one.
There is a strong influence of the Italian language in Maltese from food to fashion. In fact, around 60% of Maltese inhabitants speak the Italian language instead of Maltese. This influence is complex: since ancient times, people have crossed Italy and Sicily to live or do business on the island. The Romans, for example, spent a lot of time growing olive trees and vineyards. Later in history, Malta became linguistically and culturally part of the Kingdom of Sicily (Malta's neighbour hood and trade relations with Sicily have left a strong mark). Italian was declared an official language by the Johanniter and remained so until 1934. In more recent times, the Italian TV channels were practically the only channels that the Maltese broadcast over a period of about 40 years, between 60 and 60. 2000.
Good morning [English to Maltese language translation] Bonġu (bonju) Good night [English to Maltese language translation] Il-lejl it-tajjeb (illeyl ittayeb) Goodbye [English to Maltese language translation] Saħħa (Sahha) Please [English to Maltese language translation] Jekk jogħġbok (yekk yojbok) Thank you [English to Maltese language translation] Grazzi (Gratsee) Sorry / Excuse me [English to Maltese language translation] Skużani (skuzanee) How far? [English to Maltese language translation] Kemm hemm bogħod (kemm emm bood) How much / how many? [English to Maltese language translation] Kemm? (kemm?) Where can I find a bus/taxi? [English to Maltese language translation] Fejn nista’ nsib karozza tal-linja / taxi? (feyn nista insib karotsa tallinja/taxi?) Can you take me to the airport please? [English to Maltese language translation] Tista’ teħodni l-ajruport? (tista tehodni layruport?) How much does this cost? [English to Maltese language translation] Kemm tiswa? (kemm tiswa?) Where is the nearest bathroom? [English to Maltese language translation] Fejn qiegħda l-kamra tal-banju? (Feyn qeda ilkamra talbanyu) Where can I get something to eat? [English to Maltese language translation] Minn fejn nista’ nixtri ikel? (minnfeyn nista nishtree ikel?) I need help. [English to Maltese language translation] Għandi bżonn l-għajnuna. (andee bzonn laynuna) I’m lost. [English to Maltese language translation] Intlift. (intlift) Call the police. [English to Maltese language translation] Ċempel lill-pulizija. (chempel lill pulitseeya) I need a doctor. [English to Maltese language translation] Għandi bżonn tabib. (andee bzonn tabib)
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