President of Malta George Vella said that now is the time to move from words to action and do whatever is necessary to use the Maltese language correctly. During the conference ‘L-ilsien Malti għal qalbi – Konferenza dwar l-użu ta’ lsienna fostna’, which was attended by people in managerial and administrative positions in the public sector, President Vella reminded that in our efforts to use the Maltese language correctly, we must not forget the advantages that our country enjoys through bilingualism.
“No one is saying that we should abandon bilingualism. Let us use the two different languages at the right time and correctly. I appeal to everyone working in administration to use the Maltese language correctly”, stated President Vella. The President spoke about the importance that the media, in particular, uses the Maltese language correctly so that while the language remains alive and continues to develop, it does not change uncontrollably.
Mr Kit Azzopardi, on behalf of the Maltese language organisations, explained that the aim of this conference is to inform and encourage all those who can really make a difference. “In order to bring about a change in culture and in the attitude towards languages, we require political and executive will. It is pointless to conduct research and develop new and excellent resources, if you are not aware of them or continue to insist on a monolingual reality”, said Mr Azzopardi while expressing concern that the Maltese language will continue to suffer.
During the conference, presentations were made on the psychology of communication; language, accessibility, and inclusion; Maltese in Malta and in public administration; Maltese in the European Union and digital linguistic aids; and the language of health and the power of language.
Minister for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation Clifton Grima, Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici, Deputy Speaker David Agius, and the Opposition’s Spokesperson for Culture and the Arts Julie Zahra also spoke during the opening stages of the conference.
This conference forms part of the national campaign ‘l-ilsien Malti għal qalbi’ in collaboration between the Office of the President and seven Maltese language organisations for the benefit of the Maltese language.
The organisations involved in this national campaign are Il-Kunsill Nazzjonali tal-Ilsien Malti, the Department of Maltese at the University of Malta, L-Akkademja tal-Malti, L-Għaqda tal-Malti – Università, L-Għaqda tal-Għalliema tal-Malti, Inizjamed, and L-Għaqda tal-Qarrejja tal-Provi tal-Malti.