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Master these classic Maltese Expressions and you’ll boss your holiday to Gozo.
Maltese is the official language of Malta and Gozo, but Gozo also has its own regional dialect, ‘Gozitan’. Although similar, there are a few key differences between the two. Gozitan has a number of unique words and phrases that are not used in standard Maltese vocabulary due to the island’s distinct history and culture. Also, while the grammar and syntax of Maltese and Gozitan are similar, some words are spelled and pronounced differently. Fret not! when it comes to learning a few key Maltese expressions there is a ‘one phrase fits all’ for most words, and the following will help you to wrap your head around the obvious ones.
FYI: The Maltese Alphabet
There is just one alphabet for Gozo and Malta, based on Latin and consists of 23 letters;
A, B, Ċ, D, E, F, Ġ, G, Ħ, H, I, Ie, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Ż, Z.
Some letters have special characters unique to the Maltese language. For example, the letters Ċ, Ġ, and Ħ each have a dot above them, which represents a different sound than their non-dotted counterparts.
There are also two unique letters not found in the Latin alphabet: “Ħ” and “Ż”. These have their own distinct sounds and learning how to pronounce them correctly is essential for anyone who wants to speak or understand Maltese.
“Ħ” is a voiceless pharyngeal fricative sound, which is similar to the “h” sound in English but is pronounced further back in the throat. It can be found in words like “ħajt” (thread) and “ħabib” (friend).
“Ż” is a voiced postalveolar fricative sound, which is similar to the “z” sound in English but is pronounced with the tongue closer to the roof of the mouth. It can be found in words like “żebbuġ” (olive) and “żgħażagħ” (youth).
Learning these Maltese expressions will help you make a good impression with the locals!
If you’re planning a trip to Gozo, it’s always a good idea to learn a few common Maltese expressions to help you communicate with the locals and get a better understanding of the local culture. Here are ten Maltese expressions to learn before you arrive:
10 Maltese Expressions To Learn Right Now
- Merħba – This is the Maltese word for “welcome.” You’ll hear it everywhere you go in Malta, from the airport to the local shops.
- Grazzi – This means “thank you” in Maltese. It’s always polite to show your gratitude when someone does something nice for you.
- Mela – This is a versatile expression that can be used to convey agreement, surprise, or even annoyance, depending on the context.
- Bongu – This is a morning greeting that’s similar to “good morning” in English. You can use it to greet people you meet in the morning.
- Jekk jogħġbok ( pronounced “yek yo-jbok” in English phonetics. This means “please” in Maltese. It’s a polite way to ask for something or to make a request.
- Iva – This is the Maltese word for “yes.” It’s a simple and easy expression to remember and is pronounced “eewa”.
- Le – This means “no” in Maltese. It’s another simple expression that’s easy to remember.
- Ċaw – This is a casual way to say “goodbye” in Maltese. You can use it to say goodbye to friends or acquaintances.
- Mela x’tnejn? – This means “What’s up?” or “What’s new?” in Maltese. It’s a casual greeting that you can use with friends or acquaintances.
- Inħobbok – This means “I love you” in Maltese. It’s a romantic expression that you can use with your partner or spouse.