Maltese – Language of Malta

Of course, in Malta, English is commonly spoken, but let’s not forget that the national language is Maltese.
Mixing mainly Arabic and Italian, Maltese was only a spoken language until 1934, when it became an official language. A special alphabet was even created for the occasion.

Whether you want to impress your friends and family or simply to learn something new, here are some words with their phonetics (because knowing words is good, knowing how to say them is better!)

In this article we will learn the basic, to say common Maltese words like :

  • Hello in Maltese
  • Goodbye in Maltese
  • Please and thank you in Maltese
  • yes and no in Maltese
  • My name is in Maltese

Common words

First, the most important ones:

  • How do you say hello in Maltese?
    Hello = Bonġu (Bo’ndjou)
  • How do you say thank you in Maltese?
    Thank you = grazzi (Gratsi)
  • How are you doing? = Kif inti ? (Kif i’nti)
  • Good = Tajjeb/tajba (Tayèp/tayba)
  • Goodbye = Saħħa (SaHHa)
  • How much does it cost? = Dan kemm hu ? (Da’n kèmm ou)
  • How do you do it? = Kif ? (Kif)
  • Thank you = grazzi (Gratsi)
  • Please = Jekk joghgbok(Yèk yodjbok)
  • Pardon = skuzi (Skouzi)
  • Yes = iva (Iva)
  • No = the (Lè)

Note that the favorite word of the Maltese is ” Mela “. Present in almost all spoken sentences, it has no fixed meaning, it is a tic of language that can mean “ok”, “it’s good”, “it goes”, “it works”…

Counting in Maltese to 10: Numbers

  • 1 = wieħed (WièHètt)
  • 2 = tnejn (Tnèyn) …and which also gives its name to Monday = it-Tnejn
  • 3 = tlieta (Tlièta) …on Tuesday = it-Tlieta
  • 4= erbgha(Èrba) …on Wednesday = l-Erbgħa
  • 5 = hamsa (Hàmsa) …a derivative for Thursday = l-Ħamis
  • 6 = sitta (Sitta)
  • 7 = sebgha (Sèba)
  • 8 = tmienja (Tmiènya)
  • 9 = disgha (Dissa)
  • 10 = ghaxra (Ashra)

Maltese pronunciation

  • E, e : (è) as inbeautiful.
  • IE, ie : (i-è) as in yesterday.
  • O, o: always open as a door.
  • U, u: always [ou] as soft.
  • Ċ, ċ: (tch) for Czechoslovakia.
  • Ġ, ġ: (dj) as Fijian or [tch] at the end of a word.
  • G, g: (g) as left, or [k] at the end of the word.
  • Għ, għ: Don’t know.
  • Ch, ch: (k) like kiwi
  • H: Not pronounced or sucked in at the end of a word.
  • Ħ, ħ: (h) aspirated, as in English hello.
  • J, j: (y), like noodle.
  • Q, q: Don’t know.
  • R, r : slightly rolled.
  • X, x: (ch) as in cat.
  • Ż, ż: (z) as zoo, (ss) at end of word.
  • Z, z: (ts) as in tsetse.

How are the following words pronounced in Maltese?

  • Naxxar (city)
  • Ta’Qali (city)
  • Chircop (village)
  • Ħagar Qim (temples)
  • il-Ġimgħa (Friday)
  • ix-Xitwa (winter)
  • il-palazz (the palace)

Answers: nachaar – ta-ali – kirtchop – agar imm templu – il djima – ich chitua – il palatss

It’s your turn! The ultimate test.

Practice and pronounce these words in Maltese

To find out how well you’re doing: add imma, iva, mela, għaliex (says alièche) as onomatopoeia in ALL your English sentences! Then we can say you’re a pro at integrating in Malta and Gozo!

Alex | Editor of My Little Malta
Passionate about Malta for many years. I love writing articles of the best recommendations for trips and visits to these wonderful islands.

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