A few? Maltese can be spoken in such a way that almost its entire vocabulary is Arabic. Anyway, there are numerous threads on this topic; I'll add some links in a bit.Maltese? I would say my knowledge of English would come more in handy there, really, although I do notice a few Arabic words in it. It's not very much like MSA though, I can tell you.
I understand quite a few words from Maltese, and none of them are English. It is very much like Arabic, obviously it's been altered quite a lot, and since it's had no contact/standardisation with Fus7a, it's very colloquial.I would say my knowledge of English would come more in handy there
Maltese is historically derived from Arabic is a more accurate way to say this. Maltese was originally a dialect of Sicilian Arabic. The connections that have been attempted between it and ancient Punic are akin to those proponents of Lebanese Arabic being truly Aramaic or Phoenician. These claims are not supported by more than circumstantial evidence. So yes it is Semitic, but to say "it is historically derived from the same linguistic group as Arabic" makes it sound like it is a cousin of Arabic and not a daughter.Maltese is a Semetic language, meaning it is historically derived from the same linguistic group as Arabic.
Maltese is more or less within the range of variation exhibited by Arabic dialects, so it in theory could be considered a dialect of Arabic. However, due to sociocultural reasons, it is considered a language in its own right. It is the only dialect of Arabic to have been standardized and attained separate language status.Maltese wouldn't be considered Arabic though the two are closely related.
Yes, Tunisian Arabic is alleged to be the closest living dialect of Arabic to the Maltese language. That said there are innovations in Maltese. In pronunciation they have lost the sounds ع, غ, ه, ص,ض,ط,ظ and now pronounce ق as ء, although this feature is shared by dialects in the Levant and Egypt. Actually, I believe that the pronunciation of ق as ء is a new feature (i.e., the last hundred years or so), and historical descriptions of Maltese speech from previous centuries still have it pronounced as ق.As far as the maltese language is concerned, i found it very close to the tunisian language; both languages have got a lot in common like prepositions, articles ............. and even at the sentence level, maltese people use the same ellipses we use in the tunisian language to avoid repetition.
Youtube links are not allowed to be posted here on the forum, but if you search there a bit, there are lots of Maltese مسلسلات, just look for drama maltija. Also if you search on Google you can find Internet radio stations and similar things.Clevermizo, you don't happen to know of any sites or clips online where maltese can be heard?
Actually, أخير is apparently the original اسم التفضيل in Arabic (thus it conformed to the standard اسم التفضيل pattern), but the hamza was eventually lost due to frequency of use, at least according to the Arab grammarian Antoine Dahdah. The same goes for شر. He says:4. اسم التفضيل Interestingly, they have made a word for "better" (أحسن) from the root خير as أخير pronounced أحْــيَــر aħjar. Words of European origin do not get اسم تفضيل but are made into the comparative or superlative by using aktar or iżyed (aktar edukat: more educated).
Does your understanding of the original أخير make sense with the fact that the Arabs left Sicily and Malta in the 11th century after being conquered by the Normans? The Emirate of Sicily (إمارة صقلية) (which included Malta) began in 965 and that's when Arabic was adopted as the language of the islands. Wouldn't the form have been خير already by then?
So, while it could be that أخير from خير was an innovation originating within Maltese, it also could be that the hamza had not yet been (completely) dropped from the Arabic أخير when Maltese broke off as a separate language.of
I think all of this is true for Tunisian, so there might be no need to jump to Beirut.at least half the time the words are pronounced the Lebanese Beiruti way. The 'a' sound is turned into 'ay' so 'baab' (door) becomes pronounced like the word 'babe' 'tuffah' (apples) becoems 'teffaih', EXACTLY like Lebanese people speak!!! This reinforces the 'Phoenician' Semitic origin of their language, or the skeleton of it.
I've, however, noticed (from what I remember, upon trying to study the language myself -before giving that up, as it just seemed like a corrupted Arabic / colloquial Arabic to me!) that their word for 'sun' is 'xamex' or was it 'xamxa'? Either way, the 'x' is the 'sh' sound and it's repeated twice, just like in ancient Semitic languages like Assyians from what I remember.
I don't think the 'alef' in Tunis is مائلة like in Lebanese, bro, is it?I think all of this is true for Tunisian, so there might be no need to jump to Beirut.
There are some features of Maltese which do appear to resemble Eastern dialects more (not necessarily Beiruti Lebanese though). I think the Eastern dialects are a lot more conservative than the Western dialects, and since Maltese was separated from the Arabic world about 1000 years ago, it therefore still retains some of those conservative features the other Western dialects lost.Silky_Sword said:Maltese is a North African branch of Arabic, we're told, however I'v noticed that at least half the time the words are pronounced the Lebanese Beiruti way.
I've heard of some Arabic speakers doing this, but more based on [lower] social status, or poorer education, than on regional variation. Akkadian merged sin & shin, hence the reason the word for sun is shamshu in Akkadian. Hebrew & Aramaic did it as well for this word, but the Arabian languages did not. Not just Arabic, but also the Sayhadic (Ancient South Arabian) languages kept it as shin-meem-sin. So it's not a distinction between ancient and modern Semitic languages.Silky_Sword said:that their word for 'sun' is 'xamex' or was it 'xamxa'? Either way, the 'x' is the 'sh' sound and it's repeated twice, just like in ancient Semitic languages like Assyians from what I remember.
It didn't become s in Arabic, it remained s in Arabic (as it was in proto-Semitic), it changed in the other languages.Silky_Sword said:The second 'sh' in the word for 'sun' becomes 's' only in Arabic
Actually Switzerland is known to have been settled by a large group of Arabs in the 10th. century. There is a book about this called Out of Arabia.Silky_Sword said:He also visited parts of Europe that weren't conventionally known to have any Arab or Arabic influence, and he tried to trace that influence in those countries. It also included Geneva, the capital city of Switzerland, the word itself he traced its Arabic origin, and he did that with many other in his book!
I don't see why it's Lebanese specifically, it's more a generic Eastern Colloquial tendancy, and I think Phoenician influence is minimal. By the time Arabic arrived, Malta had been a Roman island for many centuries, and probably had very little Phoenician influence left.Silky_Sword said:So while the Lebenese (Phoenician, ancient Semitic) origin is evident
simplistically put, Maltese has Arabic syntax with a large base of non-semitic loan words
The truth is though, that I could say the same about Tunisian Arabic or any Arabic dialect with which I'm unfamiliar. But I tend to agree with you.I took someone's advice and went to YouTube to listen to a drama show in spoken Maltese. Although I could catch the Arabic and Italian words, the fact is I had no idea what they were really saying, except in the vaguest way.
I hear a mixture of both, personally. There are some things that seem "So Arabic!" to me and some things that seem "So Italian!"Upon first hearing the Maltese drama show, it sounded to me like an Italian dialect. The stress, emphasis and lilt of Maltese is very close to spoken Italian.......and nowhere near to Arabic in this respect. Also, it was the Italian words that seemed to predominate.
Actually, I disagree with this. Maltese has a combination of Arabic and Romance syntax, and a combination of both Arabic and non-Arabic vocabulary. It's truly a mixture - you can't separate the two things!As Ustaadh mentioned above: Maltese has Arabic syntax with a large base of non-semitic loan words. Exactly. Problem is, a language is understood not by its syntax but by its vocabulary.
That's only because you chose that one text. If we look at the Maltese Bible:Furthermore, you find structures like
Here's a sample of written Maltese which I've previously used in this Forum (from wikipedia). The words in RED are from Latin, the word in BLACK show the Arabic syntax:
"L-Unjoni hija mibnija fuq il-valuri ta' rispett għad-dinjità tal-bniedem, ta' libertà, ta' demokrazija, ta' ugwaljanza, ta' l-istat tad-dritt u tar-rispett għad-drittijiet tal-bniedem, inklużi d-drittijiet ta' persuni li jagħmlu parti minn minoranzi.".....
It's obvious which predominates.
Actually in my opinion, if you know a colloquial dialect of Arabic fluently and fluent Italian and maybe a southern Italian dialect fluently, you will find written Maltese completely understandable, and you will be able to get used to spoken Maltese with time, especially if spoken slowly.2nd Bottom Line: Maltese may technically be classified as a Semitic langauge with ultimate syntactic roots in Arabic and with a large number of Italian words.
But that doesn't mean that if you're a native Arabic or Italian speaker, you can understand it, even if you know both Italian and Arabic fluently. Anybody who says differently, well.......where's that salt shaker?