Maltese language hardly used on the internet

The very limited use of the Maltese language online is a major setback to the mother tongue even if there seems to be a strong desire for more websites in the vernacular.

According to a survey released in Brussels, only 6.5 per cent of Maltese internet users choose to browse, read and communicate in Maltese. The overwhelming majority, 91 per cent, would rather use English both when browsing from home or at work.

The survey shows that Maltese internet users are the highest users of English within the EU, after the British.

Besides the regular use of the English language, 20 per cent of Maltese internet users said they also frequently used Italian to browse or communicate and another 3.4 per cent resorted to French.

The Eurobarometer survey, conducted in Malta by Misco last January among a scientifically selected sample of 523 people, shows that, despite the common use of English on the net, many would still prefer to see more websites in Maltese.

Asked whether all websites produced in Malta should also have a Maltese language version, something which would be very costly, 82 per cent of Maltese respondents said this should be compulsory.

“The lack of use of the Maltese language in Malta seems not to be the result of snobbery towards the mother tongue but only an issue related to the limited amount of websites available in Maltese,” an EU official said. “From our analysis, it’s clear Maltese citizens want more content in their own language,” he said.

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Categories: Languages, Malta

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