Maltese language

maltese flag

The Republic of Malta is a country belonging to Europe, whose capital is Valletta. It has a population of half a million inhabitants (171º) and an area of ​​316 km 2 (186º). Its human development index is very high (29th) and its official currency is the euro. But what language is spoken in Malta?

What language do they speak in Malta?

Malta has two official languages:

  • Maltese , which is spoken by 97% of Maltese.
  • English , spoken by 88% of the population.

In addition to these, the Maltese speak Italian (66%) and French (17%). This polyglot situation makes Malta one of the most multilingual countries in the European Union. In terms of language preference, the Maltese prefer their national language: Maltese (86%), English (12%) and Italian (2%).

In secondary and tertiary education, apart from the languages ​​mentioned, Russian and Spanish have a certain level of popularity.

The Maltese language

Maltese (Malti) is a Semitic language and consists of 30 letters based on the Latin alphabet, including 6 altered letters (ż, ċ, ġ, għ, ħ, ie). It has a significant influence and linguistic loans from languages ​​such as Sicilian, Italian and, to a lesser extent, French; 52% of Maltese words come from Latin. It has different dialects that vary between cities and between islands.

The English language

English (English) is a legacy of British colonialism during the 20th century (they became independent in 1964). It is the language used in business and in universities. It is also taught in schools. Being the official language, all laws are also written in English, although in case of conflict in any legislative text between both languages, Maltese prevails. Malta is also an ideal destination for young Europeans to study English, since it has competitive prices, a good climate and almost the entire population speaks English.

danger sign malta maltese english

The Italian language

Italian (lingua italiano) is spoken by two-thirds of the population. It was an official language of the state until the arrival of British influence, ceasing to be official in 1934. However, since the 1960s, television broadcasts have been received in Italian by Mediaset and Rai, and they continue to be popular. nowadays.

Italian has a long history on the island, since from the 12th century Sicilian was the official and cultural language of Malta, and from the 16th century it became the Italian dialect of Tuscany.

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