June 2006
Fact of the Month - June
Mark Merlino - Home page
The Maltese Language -

Maltese is a Semitic language spoken by at least 400,000 people. This includes most of
the inhabitants of the Maltese islands, as well as many in the Maltese emigre
communities of North America, Australia and elsewhere in Europe.

Maltese is unique in that it is a Semitic language, based on North African Arabic
dialects, though it is written in a modified version of the Latin alphabet. The language
has also been heavily influenced in terms of vocabulary and pronunciation by Italian,
especially the Sicilian dialect of Italian.

There has also been considerable, and increasingly so, influence of English, which
remains the co-official language in Malta. In their daily lives, most Maltese speakers
will switch back and forth between Maltese and English, or other languages.

Example of Words:

Semitic roots:
Iva - Yes     Le - No     Hobz - Bread     Huta - Fish     

Italic roots:
Bongu - Good Morning     Grazzi - Thank You     Frawli - Strawberries     

Enlish roots:
Helow - Hellow     Magg - Mug