6.1 Maltese Language use in Australia

"The unusual history of the Maltese makes them an exception to many miles" (Clyne 1982, p 35)

"Ethnic minorities shall have a eight to enjoy their own culture and use of their own language." International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 27)

Somebody once said that if you met two Greeks or two Vietnamese in the market, or on the University campus, they are sure to be speaking their native language, but if you met two Maltese, chances are they are speaking a mixture of English and Maltese, and certainly they would be speaking English if under the age of 30 or so. This readiness to introduce foreign words into the Maltese vocabulary is a trait we brought with us to Australia, a legacy of British rule. It is at the basis of our readiness to let go of our native tongue and substitute instead that of the dominant culture. This transformation has all but become complete as far as the second generation is concerned.

Source: Maurice N. Cauchi - Maltese Migrants in Australia, Malta 1990

top-of-pageprevioustopic-indexnext Email-A-Page



We need your support to continue working on this site. Help us.
Text and pictures (c) 2001-2017 Malta Emigration Museum and/or its contributors.

Consultancy, hosting, programming and technical assistance provided by A6iT.