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Malta and Italy have a long-standing relationship as neighbouring countries. There are many historical ties with Italy, but also touristic and economic. The short distance between the two countries helped in forging ties throughout the years and people from Sicily and southern Italy settled here.  This left an impact on the language spoken in Malta. In 1530, The Knights of the Order of St. John came to Malta and the Italian language became widely used in the Maltese islands, since it was used for official communication. For many centuries after, Italian was an official language in Malta until 1934. Through the years, words from Italian regional dialects sifted in the Maltese language and are still used in daily conversations.

Italian, as a foreign language, offers opportunities in various fields, including but not limited to architecture, art and restoration, design, engineering, fashion, law, music, translation, tourism and sports. There are many words and expressions in Italian which are similar to the Maltese language and there are other Italian words which are used widely in many languages, especially vocabulary which is related to food and music.

In Malta Italian is taught at many levels. In the primary, 9-11-year olds follow 10 short lessons in Italian, presented by qualified teachers in the language. The approach helps students get acquainted with the language through vocabulary, brief sentence building and games. 11-15-year old may choose to continue to study Italian in the Middle and Secondary Schools. Students build confidence through the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Individuals 16 years and over may continue studying Italian or start beginners’ courses in various institutions in Malta and Gozo.  Those who wish to further their studies may opt to follow courses at the University of Malta

Events and Activities are organised locally for students and for those members of the public who want to learn more about the Italian language and culture.