In brief

New survey reveals diglossia in Maltese society

Family and friends are strongholds of Maltese language, but English is preferred for reading books, posting in social networks

A bilingual sign in Maltese and English.
A bilingual sign in Maltese and English. Author: Frank Vincentz
Maltese is the most frequently used language at home by 79% of the Maltese population, with English at a distant second place with 18.6%. Data from a Malta Today survey reveal that Maltese is the most frequent language at the workplace for 50.6% of the Maltese, while for 38.4% it is English and for almost 10% both are.

As regards age, Maltese is stronger among those aged 50 and older, but a slight growth in family use can be seen in the 18-35 age group.

Among all age groups, Maltese is widely dominant in relations with friends, while English is the preferred language for reading books and newspapers or posting in social networks.

Maltese is spoken by almost 483,000 people in the world, according to Ethnologue. Of them, 403,000 are found in Malta. It is the country’s official language alongside English. It is also one of the EU’s official languages.