Print this Page
Print this Page

Malta/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.9 Language laws

The Protection of the Maltese Language Act was introduced in the autumn of 2003, paving the way for the setting up of the National Council for the Maltese Language in 2005. The Council regards the Maltese language as an integral part of the national heritage and is committed to its safeguarding, enhancement and proliferation in all sectors of public life.

Malta has also adopted legislation aimed at both public and private broadcasting. Article 13 (2) (d) of Chapter 350 of the Laws of Malta deals with the Broadcasting Act (1991) and declares that a proper proportion of the recorded and other matter included in the programmes should favour the Maltese language and reflect Maltese cultural identity. The latest legislative measure in the broadcasting sector was taken by virtue of Legal Notice 133 of 2002 in respect of a Broadcasting Code on the Correct Use of the Maltese Language in all the Broadcasting Media.

A new Law to Regulate, Protect and Develop the Native Language came into effect in October 2003. The legislation is expected to iron out problems relating to the translation of EU documents and will go a long way to establish proper criteria for the introduction and assimilation of "loan words" into the vernacular. The new law is also expected to compliment the terms of reference of the Translation and Law Drafting Unit that began operations in June 2001.

Since Maltese is as one of the EU's 23 official languages, all its legislative texts have to be translated and as it is an official language, the EU is also obliged to provide interpretation services into Maltese at many of its meetings, including those at Council, Commission and parliamentary level.

Since Malta joined the EU in 2004, the Maltese language has been the biggest employer of Maltese citizens in the EU institutions. The University of Malta has also set up undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Translation and Interpreting Studies to meet the strong demand for translators and interpreters in European Institutions.   

Chapter published: 12-08-2015

Your Comments on this Chapter?