A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Maltese

Practise reading, listening and speaking with the Maltese for Foreigners collection on Octavo!

Apart from the sunny weather and blue seas, many expats are drawn to living, studying or working in Malta thanks to the widespread use of the English language on the island. Indeed, English is one of the island’s two official languages and, with so many international people moving to Malta, English is often the main language used in workplaces and extracurricular activities.

If you’ve lived in Malta long enough, however, you’ll soon realise that learning the Maltese language is an essential skill to have to blend in with the locals’ way of life. Learning a few phrases here and there will get you far on a welcoming island like Malta, and the history of the language is enough to pique many expats’ interest and encourage them to learn how to speak Maltese! 

Where did the Maltese Language come from?

Before the Maltese Islands became independent in 1964, many civilisations sought to rule over Malta throughout history due to its strategic positioning in between the European and African continents. The islands’ national language is a reflection of the rich historical and cultural impact remaining from each period, resulting in the language spoken today: a Semitic language consisting of a mix of Arabic, Italian and English influences. 

Is Learning Maltese Easy?

Although Maltese is not the easiest language to learn, it is incredibly rewarding. With help from the Maltese for Foreigners collection on Octavo, readers can follow simple lessons using bilingual course books (Maltese/English) without any prior knowledge of the language. These books cover the first level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

The bilingual (English/Maltese) Maltese for Foreigners course books are available on Octavo!

Can the Maltese for Foreigners collection really help you learn Maltese?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer? The easiest way to learn Maltese is to practise speaking it, as it can be difficult to master the unique pronunciation of letters that may be unfamiliar to non-native speakers, such as the ‘għ’, ‘ż’ and ‘ie’. 

When reading the Maltese for Foreigners collection on Octavo, you can listen to audio narration, self-record yourself reading and play-back audio to ensure that your pronunciation is correct. 

The collection of textbooks was created by well-known Maltese language writer and educator Charles Daniel Saliba, who said during an interview with the Times of Malta, “Technology gives you a lot of advantages, including the incorporation of audio with each text, auto-correction for most exercises, photos and clipart in full colour. It’s also simple for the teacher to share screen content. Moreover, it will be a blessing for Maltese emigrants living abroad, mainly in Australia, the US and Canada, because such oBooks save them postage money.”

Improve your Maltese reading, listening and speaking skills with Octavo. 

The Maltese for Foreigners collection is made up of three coursebooks containing realistic dialogues, grammar lessons and useful expressions and vocabulary. The collection is a perfect tool to help beginners learn Maltese independently, as a group or at school.

You can access the Maltese for Foreigners collection through the Octavo app, available on Web, Android or iOS. 

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