Malta: Minister launches new book collection on Maltese language

Maggie Canvin sociolingo at
Tue Oct 10 10:35:28 UTC 2006

Rather curious question, if anything it would seem the shift is in the other direction. See today's news from Malta:

The Maltese Language set to
become an official language in the EU 

by Editor 

The Government of Malta said that a European Union
COREPER meeting approved a recommendation by the European Commission to the
effect of assuring a place for the Maltese Language among the official
languages of the EU. 

Amongst other things this means that the EU will start issuing all the laws and
the official documents in the Maltese language, while the Maltese
representative in the European Parliament would be able to deliver their
speeches in Maltese,? the Government said. 

The Government went on to say that this decision will also mean that Maltese
citizens would be able to write to the European Commission and other
institutions in Maltese and receive their replies with the same language. 

At present, the EU embraces 11 official languages (Danish, Finnish, French,
German, Greek, English, Dutch, Swedish, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese). Two
of these languages ? English and French, are considered as working languages by
the European Commission.

If this is not news, then what is? Maltese is to be an official European
Union language. The news is being greeted with gleeful patriotism from the
Maltese side, but not without a touch of caution at the wide possibilities this
opens up both in terms of language development and employment opportunities for
the Maltese. Strangely, government has kept the news as low key as is possible.

The move will mean that Maltese will be used as a working language when
Maltese functionaries talk in European Union seminars. It will also lead to the
immediate employment of up to 180 Maltese proficient in writing and speaking
Maltese in Brussels
on accession.

Furthermore, it will add a new dimension to the Maltese language. The
decision to include Maltese as an official language is a feat for the
negotiating team. More so, when one considers that other European languages
such as Catalan, Basque, Breton and Gaelic are not considered as official


----- Original Message ----
From: Stan and Sandy Anonby <stan-sandy_anonby at>
To: lgpolicy-list at
Sent: Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 3:27:26 AM
Subject: Re: Malta: Minister launches new book collection on Maltese language

Anybody know if the Maltese are shifting to English?

Stan Anonby

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs at>
To: "RELEASED MESSAGE" <joe_spam at>; "Language Policy-List" 
<lgpolicy-list at>
Sent: Monday, October 09, 2006 7:58 AM
Subject: Malta: Minister launches new book collection on Maltese language

> Minister launches new book collection on Maltese language for adults
> by Dorian Cassar, di-ve news
> FLORIANA, Malta (di-ve news) -- October 07, 2006 -- 1915CEST -- Minister
> Louis Galea launched a collection of three books, Sisien, aimed at
> teaching adults how to use the Maltese language appropriately in everyday
> situations. The book collection is the outcome of a pedagogical training
> programme to 46 literacy facilitators which was co-financed by the EU
> Structural Funds. The first book in the collection is Nghallmu Lsienna,
> aimed at serving as a guide for teachers to the way to address adults when
> learning the Maltese language. The second book is Inhaddmu Lsienna which
> presents themes and discussion topics to aid reading, listening,
> understanding and speaking.
> The remaining book is called Nitharrgu fi Lsienna and should serve to
> strengthen reading skills and to provide guidelines that will help the
> student to write correctly. "The collection is a direct result of years of
> experience of teaching the Maltese language to adults", Minister Galea
> told a press conference on Saturday. He added that the basic abilities of
> any language are directly addressed in this project and aims at giving
> basic training in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
> When quoting NSO figures, Minister Galea said that 15,437 persons followed
> a literacy course in 2004. The Education Division alone has offered
> courses to 7,800 individuals in 2005.
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