How often is English spoken in Malta

The British ruled the Maltese Islands for nearly 200 years. During this time, British culture naturally had a major impact on the Maltese and their country. This influence can still be seen and felt everywhere today. In the administration of the country, in the kitchen, in many small, everyday habits - and - of course in the language.

Malta is a rare example of the fact that the languages ​​spoken there are not only official languages, but that the citizens of this country speak the official languages ​​as mother tongues.

During my last visit to Malta, the Director of Studies of our partner there told me that you recently heard of a German?!? was accused of falsely calling herself a native speaker (English). Suzanne is a native of Malta. Like all Maltese, she grew up bilingual (has also lived in many countries, including England) and speaks English and Maltese as mother tongues. In the rather heated discussion that followed this statement, she did not succeed in convincing Mr. X that people can have several mother tongues.

How about the mother tongues? How does a country in which citizens have several mother tongues differ from a country in which there are mother tongue (s) and official language (s)?

A person is quite capable of growing up multilingual and having several mother tongues. I know people from multicultural families who have 3, 4 or even 5 mother tongues. With one of our trainers, the mother is Spanish, the father is Italian, the paternal grandparents partly speak German (grandma comes from South Tyrol) and partly French (grandpa comes from France). The trainer herself grew up in England and Germany, but has also lived temporarily in Italy and Spain. All languages ​​were cultivated in the family and great care was taken to ensure that the children used all languages. The result is actually a 5-language native speaker. This is of course an exception, but two mother tongues are nothing special. My daughter, for example, grew up bilingual. She speaks English and German as mother tongues.

Countries like Malta, where there are several mother tongues, are still rather rare. Not only does Malta have both languages ​​as official languages, the Maltese are indeed bilingual (many even trilingual, as Italian is widely spoken). In other countries there are several official languages: Belgium (French, Dutch (Flemish) or, in my home country, Canada (English and French), most of the citizens of these countries only have one mother tongue. It is similar in India, where the official languages ​​are English and Hindi, but since over 122 languages ​​are spoken in the Indian Republic there is no national language.Whether an Indian speaks English is a question of education and the family environment.

Every Maltese speaks English in Malta. How good or how eloquent the respective language usage is, whether in English or Maltese, depends, as in every country, on the level of education available. Statements that the Maltese speak bad English, that English is "only" an official language, are simply not true! In Germany, not every German speaks perfect Standard German.

Maltese English is more British. It is very understandable English, with little dialect-like inflection and clear pronunciation. To learn or improve the English language, Malta is a good travel destination linguistically.

A pleasant climate, an interesting culture and friendly people make Malta a popular destination for language travel.

You can find more interesting, worth knowing and amusing things about language and intercultural issues in my blog: