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Maltese Translation

Maltese Translation

If you require professional language services in Maltese, Target Language Translation Services offers a complete set of advice to meet the needs of its worldwide customers. Target Language Translation Services' experienced Maltese linguists are committed to surpassing all our customers' expectations, whatever type of document they need translated. We possess the appropriate experience and facilities to suit your requirements.

Try Target Language Translation Services today and see how we can turn your Maltese translation spend into a strategic investment for international success.

Maltese Linguasphere


About Maltese

Maltese is a Central Semitic language spoken by about 420,000 people on the Mediterranean islands of Malta, Gozo (Għawdex) and Comino (Kemmuna). The Maltese language developed from the Siculo-Arabic or Sicilian Arabic, a form of Arabic that developed in Sicily and Malta between the 9th and 14th centuries. Siculo-Arabic was extinct in Sicily by about 1300, but continued to be spoken in Malta and evolved into Maltese. The first reference to Malta having a distinct language dates from 1364, and the language is first referred to as lingua maltensi in the will of a certain Pawlu Peregrino from 1436.

There is also a theory that Maltese developed from Carthaginian or Punic, the language of Carthage, which was a form of Phoenician. This theory was endorsed by Giacomo Bosio in his book, Dell'Istoria della Sacra Religione et Illustrissima Militia di San Giovanni Gierosolimitano (The History of the Sacred Religion and Illustrious Militia of St John of Jerusalem), written between 1594 and 1602. As Carthaginian and Arabic are both Semitic languages that developed from the same roots, it is difficult to be sure whether Maltese words arrived via Carthaginian or Arabic.

The first known literary text in Maltese, II Cantilena, appeared during the 15th century, the first Maltese dicitonary was published in 1649.

As well as the Arabs who began taking over Malta in 870 AD, Malta was occupied by Normans from 1090, and between 1530 and 1798 by the Knights Hospitaller of St John who spoke French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Latin and German. In 1800 Malta became a British colony and the British tried to replace Italian with English as the local language. As a result, about half of the vocabulary of Maltese comes from Sicilian and Italian, and a fifth comes from English. Maltese also contains quite a bit of vocabulary from Norman and French.

After Malta become 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.


Maltese alphabet


Maltese pronunciation


• għ is silent but pharyngealizes and lengthens vowels

• h at the end of a word is pronounced like ħ. Elsewhere it is not pronounced.

• At the end of a word għ is 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]

• A grave accent (à, è, etc) appears on some loanwords of Italian origin, such as libertà (freedom) and sigurtà (security)

• Stress is usually on the penultimate syllable, unless another syllable has a long vowel or final consonant, or a stress-shifting suffix is added.

Maltese Translation

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