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English


English is a West Germanic language related to Dutch, Frisian and German with a significant amount of vocabulary from French, Latin, Greek and many other languages.

Approximately 341 million people speak English as a native language and a further 267 million speak it as a second language in other 104 countries including the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, American Samoa, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands and Denmark.

 

Maltese (Malti)


Maltese is a Semitic language spoken by about 350,000 people on the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo.

The Maltese language developed from the Arabic spoken by the Arabs who invaded and occupied Malta in 870 AD. Malta was occupied by French-speaking Normans in 1090. Between 1530 and 1798 Malta served as the base for the Knights Hospitaller of St John, who spoke Italian and Latin. Malta became a British colony in 1800 and the British tried to replace Italian with English as the local language.

After Malta became independent in 1964 both English and Maltese were given official status and Maltese became the national language of Malta. Today Maltese is used in most sectors of public life, including parliament, the church, the press and other media, and in general conversation. English is generally the preferred medium of instruction in schools, especially at the higher levels of the educational system.

The first known literary text in Maltese, II Cantilena, appeared during the 15th century. The first Maltese language was a catechism by F. Wizzino, and was published in 1752.

Maltese alphabet

A a

B b

Ċ ċ

D d

E e

F f

Ġ ġ

G g

Għ għ

H h

a

be

ċe

de

e

ef

ġe

ge

ajn

akka

Ħ ħ

I i

Ie ie

J j

K k

L l

M m

N n

O o

P p

ħe

i

ie

je

ke

elle

emme

enne

o

pe

Q q

R r

S s

T t

U u

V v

W w

X x

Ż ż

Z z

qe

erre

esse

te

u

ve

we

exxe

że

ze

Maltese pronunciation

Notes

  • is silent but pharyngealizes and lengthens vowels
  • h has a simliar function to
  • and h at the end of a word are both pronounced as ħ
  • għh = ħħ
  • Final consonants are devoiced: b = [p], d = [t], ġ = [ʧ], g = [k], v = [f], ż = [s]
  • i before għ, h, ħ or q = [iː]
  • m followed by a consonant at the beginning of a word is pronounced im, e.g. mnejn = [imnejn]

Sample text

Il-bnedmin kollha jitwieldu ħielsa u ugwali fid-dinjit u d-drittijiet. Huma mogħnija bir-raġuni u bil-kuxjenza u għandhom igibu ruħhom ma' xulxin bi spirtu ta' aħwa.

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

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