“We must safeguard the correct use of the Maltese language” – the President at the launch of ‘l-ilsien Malti għal qalbi’
President of Malta George Vella launched 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.
At the campaign launch at Sant’Anton Palace, the President remarked on the need for the correct use of the Maltese language. He said that the aim of this campaign is not to exclude other languages in order to introduce Maltese, but to use the Maltese language where required as a national language, and above all to use it correctly. President Vella referred to research conducted by Il-Kunsill tal-Malti on the state of the Maltese language, which clearly shows that 97% of Maltese people recognise the Maltese language as their first language.
In his speech, the President remarked the importance of the Maltese language as a mark of a strong identity. Since the Maltese language is part of our culture and identity, the President stressed that we must safeguard it because it is also an element that unites us. With the aim of keeping the language alive and active, the President called for a continuous update that respects the roots and structure of the language rather than an update of convenience.
President Vella said that there should be more opportunities for us to express ourselves in Maltese, and appealed to broadcasters, particularly newscasters, to seek the help and cooperation of language professionals.
On behalf of the working committee, Kit Azzopardi said that this campaign seeks to raise awareness of a cultural aspect that sets our nation apart from others. Today the Maltese language, said Mr Azzopardi, is not only the main tool of teachers and writers, but also of many other professionals, from journalists and lawyers to clerks, translators and those working in advertising. He remarked that this campaign recognises the importance of the Maltese language for many workers and shows how effective our language is in other areas of which we may not be aware.
The ‘l-ilsien Malti għal qalbi’ campaign also recognises current realities, such as the use of the Maltese language by foreigners living and working in Malta, as well as multilingualism. During the campaign, every month, the focus will be on these and other topics such as education and literature, with the participation of various personalities and on different media, including print, digital and audio-visual.
The Maltese language organisations involved in this national campaign are Il-Kunsill Nazzjonali tal-Malti, the Department of Maltese at the University of Malta, L-Akkademja tal-Malti, L-Għaqda tal-Malti Università-1931, L-Għaqda tal-Għalliema tal-Malti, Inizjamed, and L-Għaqda tal-Qarrejja tal-Provi tal-Malti.