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Want to Learn Maltese This Weekend?

Maltese: A language with Arabic and Italian roots

I wanted to share some Maltese language resources in case anyone felt like learning some Maltese this weekend. I’ve included a list of phrases and greetings, along with videos to guide you through the pronunciation.

The Maltese language has a beautiful ring to it, I think. Although Maltese is a Semitic language, it has Arabic and Italian roots. About 40% of Maltese vocabulary comes from Italian.

In the videos, you can hear traces of both languages. For instance, the word ġrazzi, for “thank you,” sounds like grazie in Italian. Some Maltese words also come from English. For example, “hello” is the same in Maltese and English.

Malta is a bilingual country, but almost all citizens speak Maltese at home. According to Malta Today, 97% of citizens cited Maltese as their primary language, with 75% speaking Maltese and 5% speaking English to their children. The remaining 20% reported speaking Maltese and English or another language to their children.

Maltese Phrases and Greetings

Photo by Linguanaut
Maltese lesson by TheHuSkY1984 on YouTube

Learn Maltese greetings in this video.

Learn Maltese by Jeanette Ellul on YouTube

This video teaches you how to conjugate “to be” in Maltese.

Maltese Alphabet

The Maltese alphabet has 29 letters:

  • A a
  • B b
  • Ċ ċ
  • D d
  • E e
  • F f
  • Ġ ġ
  • G g
  • Għ għ
  • H h
  • Ħ ħ
  • I i
  • Ie ie
  • J j
  • K k
  • L l
  • M m
  • N n
  • O o
  • P p
  • Q q
  • R r
  • S s
  • T t
  • U u
  • V v
  • W w
  • X x
  • Ż ż
  • Z z

As in English, Maltese vowels take long or short sounds:

A: Long “a” –  pronounced “a” as in “car” / Short “a” pronounced “u” as in “mud”

E: Long “e” – pronounced “e” as in “bed” / Short “e” – pronounced “ai” as in “pair”

I:  Long “i” – pronounced “ee” as in “seen” / Short “i” – pronounced “i” as in “bit”

O: Long “o” – pronounced “aw” as in “claw” / Short “o” – pronounced “o” as in “not”

U: Long “u” – pronounced like “oo” in “fool” / Short “u” – pronounced “u” as in “full”

That’s all for now. I hope you learn something, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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