The Malta Independent 14 April 2024, Sunday
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85% of Maltese agree that foreigners living in Malta should learn Maltese

Friday, 23 February 2024, 16:31 Last update: about 3 months ago

85% of Maltese agree that foreigners who live in Malta should learn the Maltese language, a survey commissioned by the Maltese Language Centre shows.

Presented during a forum held Friday, the survey carried out by statistician Vincent Marmara’ showed that 57.3% of participants said that they feel comfortable writing emails in English, but 55.7% prefer using Maltese for writing notes and 52.5% prefer Maltese for texting and messaging on their phones.


The survey was conducted by Marmara last January with a sample of 600 individuals aged 16 and over. The MLC said that the sample reflects the demographics of the country according to age and geographical location.

The main points which resulted from the survey include that 95.4% of Maltese consider the Maltese language as one of their main languages, with 12.7% considering English as one of their main languages. Furthermore, almost 95% of Maltese speak Maltese with their relatives, while 13.5% said they speak English with their relatives, with the majority of them being people who reside in the Northern Harbour Region, at 19.8%.

68.3% of parents of children under the age of 18 said that they spoke to their children in Maltese, while 15.9% said that they speak to them in English for the most part. 15.9% said that they speak to their children in both languages.

Parents between the ages of 26 to 45 are the ones who most often said that their children understand only English, at 24.3%. Those who reside in the Northern Harbour Region were the most often to say that their children only understand English, at 30.4%.

In terms of what language people speak at work, almost 80% said that they speak Maltese while at work, and 53.2% speak English with their colleagues. When looking at which economic fields make use of the Maltese language the most, banks were first at 75.7% while bars and restaurants were last at 16.1%.

The survey found that online news in Maltese is more sought after by 57.7% of respondents, but that there is then more preference at 39.9% for further information from electronic sites in English.

Around half of Maltese, at 53.7%, attend cultural activities, with the most preferred activities being those which are only in the Maltese language.

The survey also ultimately found that 85% of Maltese agree that foreigners who live in Malta should learn the Maltese language.


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