The Maltese languageMany Europeans who want to improve their English travel to Malta. This is because English is the official language in the European microstates. And Malta is known for its many language schools. But this isn't what makes the country interesting to linguists. They are interested in Malta for another reason. The Republic of Malta has another official language: Maltese (or Malti). This language developed from an Arabic dialect. With that, Malti is the only Semitic language of Europe. The syntax and phonology are different from that of Arabic, however. Maltese is also written in Latin letters. The alphabet contains a few special characters, however. And the letters c and y are completely absent. The vocabulary contains elements from many different languages.
Aside from Arabic, Italian and English are among the influential languages. But Phoenicians and Carthaginians influenced the language as well. Therefore, some researchers consider Malti an Arabic Creole language. Throughout its history, Malta was occupied by various powers. All of them left their marks on the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino. For a very long time, Malti was only a local vernacular. But it always remained the native language of the "real" Maltese. It too was exclusively orally passed down. Not until the 19th century did people begin to write in the language. Today the number of speakers is estimated at around 330,000. Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004. With that, Malti is also one of the official European languages. But for the Maltese the language is simply a part of their culture. And they are pleased when foreigners want to learn Malti. There are definitely enough language schools in Malta…