2.1. Why is English spoken in Malta?
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Have you ever wondered why English is spoken in Malta? Is English the official language in Malta?
2.Go on reading the text and fill in the gaps (5-8) using the following sentences. Write the corresponding letter (e-h) in each gap.
e. the variety of English commonly spoken in Malta is heavily influenced by Italian
f. a large number of Maltese learn Italian through Italian television
g. Italian was the official language of Malta
h. Malta was a British possession
Official Languages in Malta
Having been governed by many different countries in the past, the Maltese population carry linguistic imprints from many places. Almost 1. of Maltese people can speak Maltese, 2. of the Maltese people can speak English, 3. can speak Italian, and nowadays more than 4. of the Maltese speak French.
Before independence in 1964, 5. , and a result of this is that English is still an official language, with government business being carried out in both English and Maltese. Although standard English is official, 6. , not only in vocabulary, but extending to phonology, with the English being heavily accented in an Italian style.
Before the 1930s, 7. . Italian irredentists and Italian Maltese wanted to promote its use throughout Malta for plans to re-unify it to Italy (Malta was part of the Kingdom of Sicily up to 16th century). Although only the rich could speak Italian, with Maltese being generally spoken by those less well off, Italian was regarded as the official language.
An interesting fact is that 8. , mainly Mediaset and RAI, as their broadcasts reach the Maltese Islands. In addition to this, many products, services, and businesses that reach Malta are Italian, with Malta being too small on its own to produce some things, so many people learn Italian like this.
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