It is a fact that English is a very important language and the fact that we are bilingual here in Malta has definitely helped us immensely; I, myself am writing this article in English and I am also ‘guilty’ of speaking to my children mainly in English. Yet, experience has taught me that in the grand scheme of things, Maltese is still a very important language here in Malta.
Why? Simple. In Malta the majority of people still speak Maltese as their primary language. In fact in a survey on identity carried out in 2013, 17% of the respondents said they speak both languages at home, 5% speak only English, while a staggering 76.4 % claim to speak Maltese mainly at home.
Some may say, why does this matter? Isn’t English the most important language for us to write and speak correctly if we want succeed in the future? Of course, English is very important, no one can deny that. However this does not mean that the Maltese language is not.
We, as human beings do not function in a vacuum; we normally operate in teams, or at least, if we operate alone we still must interact with other people.
“..someone whose primary language is Maltese, whether he is your client or your employee would appreciate being addressed in the language he or she is most familiar with.”
Think about any career your children may choose in the future, from a doctor or CEO, to a lawyer or sales executive, chances are that if they are operating in Malta, they will need to interact in Maltese. Whether it is their boss, employees, clients, suppliers, end-consumers; somewhere in the chain, they will undoubtedly come across a primarily ‘Maltese–speaking’ person.
Book from Klabb Kotba Maltin
Now not being able to speak or write Maltese correctly may not be the end of the world, as most people, even those who mainly speak Maltese, do understand English. However, just like an English-speaking person would feel more valued when spoken to in correct English, then it is obvious that someone whose primary language is Maltese, whether he is your client or your employee would appreciate being addressed in the language he or she is most familiar with.
So fellow mummies, me included, let’s try and incorporate Maltese in our children’s day-to-day language, as I am confident, they will thank us in the future, whatever career choice they will make.
I was lucky enough to be given these lovely books by Klabb Kotba Maltin. They are beautifully illustrated, easy to follow and a fun read for young children. If you would like to get your hands on one of these books, contact Klabb Kotba Maltin and they will direct you to the correct channels. They are really great tools to help introduce Maltese to children in an enjoyable relaxed manner.
Article by Davinia Mallia Pulé; Flatlay image by Francesca Pace from ‘Gaia and Nina‘ and ‘Flatlay Photography‘
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