Speak Like a Local - More Useful Maltese Phrases

30 October 2017

If you are planning your winter holidays in Malta to chase some winter sun, then you are sure to have a wonderful time. One thing you can leave behind before you depart is your phrasebook as, upon arrival, you will be pleasantly surprised that pretty much everyone speaks English. 

More Useful Maltese Phrases

That said, when travelling to a new place, it is always nice to be able to speak a bit of the local lingo, and the Maltese you encounter on your trip will certainly appreciate you making the effort to speak to them in their native tongue. With this in mind, Air Malta has put together a few useful turns of phrase that could come in handy during your visit!

More Useful Maltese Phrases

Maltese Phrase                 Phonetic Pronunciation                 English Meaning
Titkellem bl-Ingliż? 

                tit-kel-im blin-gleez                Do you speak English?
Ma nitkellimix bil-Malti

               maa nit-kel-limsh bill mal-ti                 I cannot speak Maltease 
Hawn xi hadd jitkellem bl-Ingliż?
               awn shi hut jit-kel-lem blin-gleez?                 Is there someone here that speaks English? 
Mhux nifhem 

               moosh nif-hemm                 I don't understand 

               in-tlift                I'm lost 
Ma niflahx 

              ma nif-lahsh                I'm sick
Ghandi bzonn tabib 

              ahndee- bzzon tah-beeb                I need a doctor 
Tista tghini? 

              tiss-tah tee-nee                Can you help me? 
Kemm jiswa dan? 

              kemm yiss-wah dan                How much is it? 
Nista’ nuzalek il-mowbajl? 

              nis-tah noo-zah-lek il mow-bayl                Can I use your phone? 
Ghal fejn hi din? 

              aal fey nee deen               Where does this bus go? 
Din tieqaf _____?

             deen tee-aff                Does this bus stop in _____?
Kif nasal sa _____?  

             keef nah-sal saa                How do I get to _____? 
Kemm tiswa biex tasal sal _____?

             kemm tiss-wah beesh tah-sal sal                How much does it cost to get to _____? 
Hudni s’hem, jekk joghgobok 

             hoo-dnee semm yekk yawj-bok                Take me there, please 
Malta pajjiz sabih hafna!               Malta p-eye izz sab-ear haf-nah                Malta is a wonderful country! 

More Useful Maltese Phrases

As you may notice, from trying to vocalise some of these- the Maltese language sounds pretty unlike any other European language. That is due to the fact that it has its most basic roots in Arabic, and in fact it is the only Semitic-based language that is written in Latin letters. When you hear locals speaking the language, you will also begin to notice a few influences from other languages such as English and Italian. These are often more modern words and are a direct result of Malta’s interesting history.

More Useful Maltese Phrases

Whilst you will usually encounter no issues if you are speaking English on the island, it is always nice to be able to communicate with your hosts in their own language. More than anything, they will appreciate the effort and you will get a very warm response for your attempts!

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